Is crack addictive?

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.

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Yes, crack is highly addictive.  In fact, getting addicted to crack cocaine is an expected outcome of long term use and is based on how crack works.  Specifically, when crack is smoked a lot over time, the brain changes its neurological pathways to accommodate for the presence of cocaine.

Here, we review what you need to know if you think you’re an crack addict. We answer questions about what makes crack addictive and how you can know if you’ve become addicted to crack. Afterward, we invite your questions about the addictive potential of crack i the comments section at the end.

What is crack used for?

Crack is the free base form of cocaine. It comes in rock form in various colors. Crack is stronger than cocaine because it is in its more pure form. Plus, the route of delivery (crack is delivered to the brain by smoking it) ensures a more intense, quicker high. While cocaine was once used to treat pain and anxiety, any use of cocaine is now illegal. So crack is used recreationally, heated and smoked for the intense feeling of pleasure it produces. People abuse crack cocaine because of the added energy, mental clarity and sense of well-being that it gives.  Others mix crack with other substances, such as mixing alcohol with crack.  While tempting, this practice can cause the body to shut down.

What is crack made of?

Crack is considered a benzoylmethylecgonine type of drug and is classified as a stimulant. Stimulants increase mental alertness. Think of it as an intense caffeine high. Once the cocaine is extracted from the coca plant it is then heated and mixed with other substances such as baking soda, ketamine, etc. and then solidified into rocks. In fact, there is not telling what other potential substances are mixed in with crack. This makes the drug cheaper and easier to distribute. Further, crack cocaine has a low melting point so when a rock is heated, it is liquefied and smoked to create the high.

How addictive is crack?

Crack is extremely addictive. Crack disrupts the absorption of dopamine in the system. It effects the distribution of serotonin levels and can permanently alter your brain chemistry, making it difficult to feel normal pleasure. Like the powdered form of cocaine, crack is also a schedule II drug as determined by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and addiction, which can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence.

How do you get addicted to crack?

Crack has the powerful potential to get you addicted from the start. In fact, You can get addicted to crack cocaine after trying crack a few times. But in general, the more you take crack the more potential for developing an addiction. Additionally, the psychological need to escape can result in the earlier onset ofcrack addiction. And because there is no telling what other substances are in a rock of crack, the potential for other kinds of drug addiction are also present.

Crack dependence vs. addiction

Physical dependence on crack often occurs at the same time as crack addiction. But dependence is not necessarily the same as addiction. Everyone has a different response and reactions to crack. Some people can be physically dependent on crack without being addicted to it. Though this is more of a rare experience than not, during conditions of drugdependence you will experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is removed without the manifestation ofpsychological symptoms of addiction. However, crack is both physically and psychosocially addictive. This combination of dependence and addiction make is it extremely difficult to seek out a drug free life. Seeking proper support can help you stop dependence on crack and address the underlying psycho-emotional need for smoking crack.

Signs of Crack addiction

Crack addiction involves intense cravings for the crack and the feeling that you can’t go without it. In other words, you may be addicted to Crack if you need to take crack to deal with normal stresses in daily life. Other signs of crack addiction include:

  1. Chasing after the same intense high of your first hit
  2. Drug seeking behavior
  3. Giving up family or friends in order to get high
  4. Mixing crack with other substances to obtain the same high
  5. Negative consequences because of your drug abuse

Crack addiction potential questions

Do you still have questions about the addiction potential of crack? Please leave your questions, comments or feedback here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. And if we do not know the answer to your particular crack question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: NCBI: Cocaine and Psychiatric symptoms
Attorney General: Crack
NCBI: Pharmalogic approaches to treatment of cocaine
U.S. Department of Justice: Production of freebase cocaine
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. My 16 year old son was hit by a car , he passed away Dec,18,2014; I. Smoke everyday, takes the pain away, for a few minutes,!, I hate going to bed, even when I’m out. Help, it’s ruining everything

    1. Hi Katie. The loss of a child is heartbreaking… No words can describe how sorry I am for your loss. I suggest that you call the Cocaine Helpline on 1-888-497-6879 to get in touch with dependable hotline professionals available 24/7. You will be talking to someone knowledgeable about crack/cocaine abuse, rehab and recovery centers who can help you find a crack/cocaine recovery program.

  2. My husband has bien using crack cocaine for years, decides to quick cold turkey. Has been cleaned for four weeks. Has bien having All kinds of withdrawal smytons. He has dizziness mood swings, can not Walk straight sometimes, vomiting, can not sleep, headaches, sleeps All the time, has no Energy. Has bien to the doctor a couple of times. They tan a los of tests, and did blood work, says he is in excellent Health. The problemas is he never tells them he has used crack cocaine for years, but Wonder why he is sick. I tried to tell him he is in withdrawal, but he dos not beleive it because the doctora say they saw nothing wrong with his blood work. He thinks its something else. What do you think.

  3. Far worse than all the other things I bee addicted to….gonna try starting tomorrow with some comfort drugs my doc gave me…lotsa prayer and I’m the biggest baby ever when it comes to addiction. So scared

    1. Hi Paula. I suggest you call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment consultants who can help your husband access adequate treatment program.

  4. I smoke crack but 18 the last five years of that 18 was the worst. I got clean and 2009 for six years the 1st of 2016 it came back
    This is September 5th and it’s been 72 days straight in a row I’ve been smoking I’m going to Myrtle Beach on Friday for 4 days to get me some clean time my question is will I have a rough withdrawal symptoms while I’m at the beach I want to stop and I’m not going to do it anymore no more alcohol for me that will lead to this crack smoking. This chemicals has really ruined my life in the next in the last 6 months I have went through probably $25,000 in the last 4 months
    Question to you is do they make a pill I can get from my doctor that will keep me from smoking this dumb drug
    Thank you for this web page

    1. Hi Jimmy. There is no medication that will prevent you from smoking crack. The safest way withdrawal from crack is to check into a rehab facility. You may consider counseling therapy or group meetings where you’ll learn coping mechanisms to stay away from crack.

  5. From experience I have found crack so much harder to give up than heroin.crack is on my mind from morning til night i try and fight my cravings but they always get the better of me people don’t believe that iv had enough but I just can’t think of nothing else

  6. My boyfriend is in a terrible mood 24/7. He smokes crack sometimes. Could his occasional use of crack make him be in a terrible mood and become verbally abusive? It’s terrible. He always puts me down and calls me terrible names. Then I don’t wanna call him and this makes him angrier and more verbally abusive. I have no idea what to do here. I’ve been with him for 10 years on and off. When we first get back together he is ok (not really loving and not sorry). It will last maybe 2 days, then the verbal abuse continues. He says it’s all my fault for taking off. But I do that because of the continued verbal abuse. I don’t know what to do!

  7. I was clean from crack for 3 years I was a Ginger I relasp about 7 months ago but now I’m suffering from depression so badly I have been on meds but they seem to work. I don’t insurance rite now what can I do

  8. Yes it helps thank you I’m watching one episode now……. I mean he and I will no longer be however I just,wanted to become more educated on this here addiction there are so many episodes wow-
    Thank you again

  9. Hi Kasey. Crack is one of the MOST ADDICTIVE drugs out there. Sometimes, it just takes one hit to get hooked. I’m not sure about this man … but yes! Many people have deep rooted issues which compel them to keep using, because they can forget about life and feel good.

    Yes, being high on crack can also make you feel sexually confident. Check out documentaries from National Geographic about cocaine to learn more…and to understand it from a user’s point of view.

    Does that help?

  10. Hello. I’ve been researching this for almost 6mths. I’ve been engaged to a addict living a lie 4 almost a year. I thought either this man has another woman or on drugs he’ll start by not coming home turned phone off I’m like what happened I asked his family thry say he has an alcoholic problem I always say to them why not do an intervention for him? Well I got smart I purchased a drug test he took it came back positive for cocain ohhhhhh his family still saying alcohol. Now it’s like he does this 7-14 day out on the street in the bad parts of town with white women hung out black men getting high crazy scene he goes rite back to same place all the time it’s like he love being out there called a crack head not washing not eating I finally said that’s it!!!!! I’m gone me and my 2 children this is awful the sad thing for me was everyone knew he was a crack addict but didn’t tell me warn me. I love myself to much to go thru this I’ve asked him are you sexually active out there in the street he says no but I can’t believe him you know. I’m sorta afraid for my health. I really wanted to try and help him he don’t want it why does this happen to people? Why don’t there family tell the truth? Do you think that ppl have deep rooted issues this is why they choose cocain? ? Does being high on cocain make u want to perform in sex?? Or by yourself? ? Do people get high together? ? Just curious thank you

  11. A little late my younger brother dead now Aug 3 this year age 47 had it all tell crack came in his life try every where for to get him help it all come down to the buck so f*ckin sick thank s

    1. Hello Steve. I am very sorry for your loss! I hope other readers will take your experience as an example that crack addiction can be very dangerous.

  12. My brother is crack addicted. I dont know what to do anymore to help him. Jhe keeps saying was his last time then in max 2-3 days he s doing it again. I am in romanian and we dont really have any specialised centers for crack addicts . Could u sugest me a good clinique in europe where i could send him? Thank u

    1. Bună ziua Helene. From what I have learned through the internet, drug treatment programs in Romania are funded by the national health programmes through a special budget line in the public authority budget. There are about 18 public medical units that provide drug treatment. Also, You have three private practices and three centres managed by an NGO that provide drug treatment, including counselling and methadone maintenance treatment. You can also check out this private addiction treatment facility in romania: Another good online resource for addiction treatment programs in Romania is this one: I hope I was able to help!

  13. Hello Jak. The brain is a self-healing organ. It takes time for it to return to normal functioning, for all brain chemicals to balance out and reach homeostasis. Keep busy, exercise, change your life style for the better…it will get better in time.

  14. Great information on crack. It is also helpful to share the difference between being physically dependent vs. addicted. This can easily get confused. I will be sure to share this post.

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