If you’re looking for a documentary on crack cocaine, check out Hitting Rock Bottom. This TV-style online documentary is an EXCELLENT teaching resource for prevention or addiction treatment. Why? We review here.
Signs of crack addiction include noticeable mood changes, insomnia, and blood shot, red eyes. What else to look for in a crack addict here.
Yes. Crack is addictive. What makes crack addictive? More on the euphoric effect and the chemical dependency that crack cocaine develops in the brain here.
Crack cocaine works by affecting the dopamine neurotransmitters in the brain. Can you make crack work better? What does crack do in the body? More on how crack cocaine works in the brain and body here. Plus a section for your questions about crack at the end.
Mixing crack with alcohol creates cocaethylene. While alcohol can intensify the length and the high you get from crack, it can also make the body shut down, inducing an unconsious state. More here on dangers and risks of mixing crack with alcohol.
Crack can stay in your system for days to weeks after use. Chronic crack cocaine use can result in detectable levels in your system for weeks in urine, sweat, and saliva samples. More about crack’s detection time here.
An ongoing series for parents, family or friends of addicts looking to see-through addiction. From the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a thorough list of street names for crack.
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: