Saturday October 25th 2014

Signs and symptoms of crack addiction

Crack is a form of cocaine that’s been changed to a free base, allowing it to be smoked.  Compared with other drugs, crack addictive properties are risky, and crack is highly addictive.   How does crack affect the brain?  Being addicted to crack produces both changes in mood and changes in behavior. Some examples include being too nervous and alert on a regular basis and losing weight while being careless about personal grooming.

Here, we explore the signs and symptoms of crack addiction, so that you can get help for your loved one before it’s too late. And we invite your questions about crack addiction in the comments section at the end.

Crack addiction signs

If someone has started to abuse crack, there are various signs in behavior that can alert you. A person who was calm before will become highly alert and nervous at even the smallest things. A crack addict may also exhibit lots of surprising energy, which can turn to anger, fear and restlessness. If you suspect that your loved one is showing crack addiction signs, there’s still lots you can do. Addiction specialists such as psychotherapists, doctors, and psychiatrists (in addition to your own love and support) can help loved ones recover from addiction.

Symptoms of crack addiction

The symptoms and signs of crack addiction are very noticeable, and you should be on alert if someone you know exhibits several of these symptoms at the same time. Here is a list of the symptoms of crack addiction that you’ll notice shortly after a person starts using crack regularly:

  • being nervous and alert all the time
  • bloodshoot, red eyes
  • carelessness about personal appearance
  • constantly requiring money
  • denial of a problem
  • frequent sniffing
  • insomnia
  • looking tired
  • loss of interest in family, friends, school or other once-pleasurable activities
  • lying
  • noticeable mood changes
  • runny nose
  • sudden loss of weight

The fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders outlines the clinical criteria for crack addiction. It’s a maladaptive pattern of substance abuse that brings about clinically severe impairment happening for a time span of one year. During crack addiction, recurrent crack use progresses to massive failures to satisfy major life obligations at work, home or school. Another sign of crack addiction is that recurrent crack use leads to instances of physical danger, such as driving while impaired. Crack addiction involves ongoing legal problems like arrests for crack-related disorderly behavior and continuous use of crack in spite of these ongoing social and interpersonal problems caused by crack’s effects.

Crack addiction symptoms: Can they be treated?

Even though it can be difficult, crack addiction symptoms are treatable. Studies have shown that treatment of crack addiction can actually lessen use by as much as 50%. Abusers of crack can recover thanks to a mix of drug and behavioral therapies. After detox, crack addicts can undergo psychotherapy to address main reasons for use. Once the root of drug use is exposed, mental and behavioral adaptations make sobriety possible.

One of the most common ways to get a crack addict into treatment is the intervention. An intervention can be information, or you can ask for help from a mental health professional (psychologist, counselor, etc.). During an intervention fo crack addiction, the addict’s friends and family confront the addict about substance abuse with the goal of getting him to agree to attend drug rehab treatment.

Signs of crack addiction questions

Still have questions about the signs and symptoms of crack addiction? Please ask us now. We respond to questions or comments left below personally.

References: U.S. Attorney General: Drugs: Crack 
NIDA: Cocaine Facts
PubMed: Cocaine and Psychiatric Symptoms
http://www.brown.edu/Courses/BI_278/Other/Teaching%20examples/Brain%20and%20Behavior/articles/substance.pdf

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5 Responses to “Signs and symptoms of crack addiction
Bob E
3:17 pm March 21st, 2013

Another tell tale sign is the “picked” face much like the meth user.

LeRon
6:11 am March 22nd, 2013

Those are pretty accurate symptoms.
Continue to educate people.

LeRon

Cari
1:58 am March 24th, 2013

My daughter was on herion, shooting it up to 5 times a day. For some reason she started to smoke crack, I still do not believe ut, and now she credits crack for getting her off heroin, I just don’t know what to say to this belief. My mind draws a blank, I realize how sick she is. In her mind herion is worse Helpy

6:33 am March 24th, 2013

Hi Cari. Addiction is primarily a brain-based condition, and addicts can have very distorted patterns of thinking. It’s important to get an addict off a drug to address the underlying psychological issues which compel use, but the addict needs to be willing to change.

Look into Al-anon and Narc-Anon for yourself. Family counseling or individual counseling can help you identify what you need to do to set up and keep boundaries with your daughter. You can look into planning an intervention or contact your state attorney general’s office to learn if there are any laws in place which can REQUIRE drug addiction treatment for someone who may hurt themselves or others. But the first thing you can do is seek support for yourself.

Twin River Rehab
10:39 am March 27th, 2013

We are regular readers of this blog and @Cari we agree with @Addiction blog. Addiction is a sign of an underlying pshycological problem and that problem should be addressed while getting the user off their drug of choice. Substituting one drug for another is by no means addressing the issue at hand

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