The U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health has found that about 8.6 million citizens aged 12+ have admitted to using crack. But, what does the typical person using crack cocaine look like? This infographic is based on trusted governmental statistics and can answer your questions. Check it out!
Crack is super addictive! A 28 day stay in rehab is the bare minimum for most people. In fact, some patients may be asked to stay in rehabilitation programs for crack for 3 months, or more. Learn more about the factors that lead to rehab duration, here.
Is cold turkey withdrawal from crack always advised? We review the steps you can take to safely stop taking crack here.
The best way to stop using crack is with medical supervision, so that you can receive the psycho-emotional support that you need. More on how to stop using and avoiding relapse here.
Crack detox is most severe in the first week after last use. But psychological withdrawal symptoms may persist for weeks and even months after cessation. A clear picture of what to expect during crack detox here.
Yes, you can get addicted to crack. In fact, crack is HIGHLY addictive as a result of euphoric effect and short half-life. More on the addictive properties of crack here.
Currently, pharmaceutical treatments for crack detox are limited. But you don’t need to detox alone. What treatment options are available to you? We review here.
Crack lasts for 1-2 hours after administration (depending on the dose) but the euphoric high lasts for about 5-15 minutes. More on the REAL effects of crack here.
Crack is known for its almost immediate euphoric effect. But while you can get high on crack easily, risk for addiction is through the roof! More on crack, the high it produces, and risks you take when using crack here.
Dependence on crack cocaine occurs after regular, daily use and can manifest in a series of symptoms when you stop using crack. More on the signs of crack dependence and its treatment here.
What is crack?
Crack, the freebase form of cocaine, is created when cocaine is mixed with water and other solvents (mostly sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate, and ammonium carbonate). After mixing, crack cocaine is then cooked into a hard, rock form.
Typically, crack is used by smoking it through a glass pipe. This way, it is quickly absorbed into the blood stream and reaches the brain in a matter of seconds. However, crack can also be injected intravenously directly into the blood system. Users also snort crack, since it affects the brain and the central nervous system (CNS) and produces a quick high when nasally insufflated. However, because there is no way to know how much of the drug is actually contained in any single batch of crack, and using crack can quickly lead to toxic overdose and serious consequences.
Why do people use crack?
People use crack because of the relatively low-cost and the extreme high that results from using it. In fact, crack has become one of the most widely abused drugs in the United States. The “high” crack offers only lasts a few solid minutes, so usually people abuse crack progressively, in order to prolong the effects of the drug. This is also why crack is so addictive.
Crack affects the body as a whole. It changes the brain chemistry by stimulating the release of dopamine in the body. After inhaling crack, users experience an instant rush that can last for a period of minutes. Euphoric effect is then followed by a “crash” that drives them to crave the drug and compulsively use more. As a result, users can experience euphoria and supreme confidence as well as extreme paranoia.
A list of common side effects associated with crack use include:
- aggressive outbursts
- extreme euphoria
- increased blood pressure
- increased energy
- loss of appetite
- loss of sexual ability
- strain on the heart
- sudden heart attack or stroke
- violent behavior
Excessive crack users can also experience formication, nicknamed the “cocaine bugs” or “coke bugs”. Other negative side effects of crack use include:
- broken interpersonal relationships
- financial crisis
Crack also influences pregnant crack users and their babies. During the prenatal period, crack cocaine can increase the risk of miscarriage, trigger pre-term labor, or impair an infants’ normal growth. Babies exposed to crack cocaine have low birth weight which can result in death. After birth, if a mother continues using crack, it will be present in her milk and breastfeeding is not recommended.
Is crack addictive?
Yes, crack is addictive. In fact, crack is a highly potent, very powerful stimulant drug; it is known to be more powerful, cause physical dependence faster and to be far more dangerous than powder cocaine. Crack abuse leads to crack addiction very quickly, and the reason is the drugs’ strong potential to cause physical and psychological dependence. Actually, addiction can develop after one single use, or after just a few uses of crack.
Crack addiction is a state of captivity. The drug takes control over a user’s life, making it very difficult to stop. Cravings to smoke crack can dominate the psyche and all daily activities can become directed towards obtaining and using the drug.
To learn more about crack cocaine, feel free to explore the following topics: