Crack Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

What Is Crack Cocaine Addiction?

It is possible to live a life free of crack cocaine, even though it may seem difficult right now. When an addiction takes over your life, everything seems like it’s out of control, but we can help you to press pause so that you don’t fall any further.

Getting treatment for your crack addiction can stop the painful and unpleasant effects it is having on your life and the people you care about. By reaching out to us for help you can find freedom and start enjoying the life you want to live.

Crack Cocaine Addiction Symptoms

If you are addicted to crack cocaine it causes uncomfortable symptoms such as

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings

By seeking treatment for your addiction, you can regain control of your life again. We can help you put an end to the behavioural challenges that might make your life seem hopeless:

  • You have tried to stop using but can’t, despite it having negative effects on your life
  • You need to use more to achieve the same high
  • You think constantly about your next hit and invest a lot of time and money to find it
  • Isolating yourself socially and spending time with other people who use it
  • You experience severe withdrawal effects when you do not use it
  • Your career, school life or personal relationships are compromised because of crack use.

Defining Crack Cocaine

Crack is a short-acting stimulant that results in a high lasting for 10 to 15 minutes. It causes energetic or edgy behaviour that turns into extreme fatigue once the high is over.

Crack is made by adding water and baking soda or ammonia to powdered cocaine in a chemical process and reducing it to produce rocks or crystals. It gets its name from the distinctive cracking sound that the crystals make when they are heated to smoke.

Chemical formula

Crack cocaine is the freebase form of cocaine hydrochloride (powdered cocaine) that shares the same chemical formula C17H21NO4. With crack, the cocaine alkaloid is chemically free from the hydrochloride salt that it was bonded to in cocaine hydrochloride.

How it’s sold

Crack is sold as rocks or crystals that range in colour from white to off-white to pink. The crystals are of different sizes and shapes and are packaged in small bags for sale on the street.

Crack cocaine is illegal, Class-A controlled substance. It is cheaper than cocaine because it is less pure, however, because the high only lasts for a short period, people tend to use more of it.

Addictive potential

Crack is highly addictive because of its short high. Abusing it causes a release of dopamine, leading to euphoria, however, this is followed by a devastating crash, resulting in the craving to use more. Crack is not considered to be as physically addictive as powdered cocaine and withdrawal is very psychological. We understand how intense the addiction is and will help you to develop the coping strategies you need to live your life without it.

The Dangers of Crack Cocaine Addiction

Abusing crack poses short- and long-term risks to your health. The psychological and physiological risks are relative to the amount you use. Common short-term dangers include heart failure, stroke and respiratory failure.
Over the long-term, crack cocaine damages your internal organs. It also compromises your immunity so you are more susceptible to infection. It can also cause

  • Blood vessel damage
  • Hypertension
  • Malnutrition
  • Tooth decay
  • Lung damage
  • Heart attack
  • Infertility and reproductive damage

Using crack makes you more likely to engage in high-risk behaviours, and overdoses are common. Overdose can cause chest pain, seizures and hallucinations. We have helped our clients to live lives that are substance-free for 25 years and even though you might not think it’s possible now, we can help you to avoid the long-term dangers of crack addiction.

What Is the Difference between Crack Cocaine Addiction and Crack Cocaine Abuse?

Because crack is such a potent drug and cravings are very intense, abusing it recreationally can lead to an addiction.
Crack cocaine abuse is typified by

  • Missing social, school or work events
  • Mood swings and irritability when you don’t have it
  • Denying that using crack is a problem, even when the negative effects are apparent
  • Isolating yourself from friends and family

Some of the signs that you need our help for crack addiction include

  • Developing a tolerance and needing to use more of it to achieve the same effects
  • Going through withdrawal symptoms when you don’t have it or try to stop using it
  • Thinking constantly about your next hit
  • Dedicating lots of time and money to acquiring it
  • Borrowing money or stealing to fund your habit.

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Crack Cocaine Effects

Crack causes almost-instant euphoria and a high after ingestion. People who use it experience alertness, hyperactivity and often an increase in sexual desire. The effects are usually felt for between five and 15 minutes, but dissipate quickly, leaving you craving more.

Physiological effects

The physiological effects include an increased heart rate, temperature and blood pressure, dilated pupils and constriction of blood vessels. It also causes coughing, nausea, sweating and red / bloodshot eyes. These effects can lead to respiratory arrest, cardiac arrest and seizures.

Psychological effects

People who use crack find it gives them confidence, excitability and concentration problems. It is associated with a heightened sense of self worth, aggression, mood swings and restlessness. It also changes your sleeping and eating patterns. Some users develop psychosis, which may include delirium, bouts of rage, heightened anxiety, confusion and delusion. Conversely, because consuming it is a rewarding experience, when you do not take it as expected, depression may occur.

Effects on relationships

Crack causes strain on your interpersonal and professional relationships. People who abuse it are likely to engage in secretive and deceitful behaviours, as intense cravings cause an obsession to use more crack. You may find yourself in debt and need to borrow or steal money to get crack cocaine.

Crack addiction also causes social isolation. Conflicts may occur more regularly as your performance at work or school starts to decline the more you use crack. We will work with you and your loved ones to treat your addiction and to help you and the people you care about heal.

There is a strong association between crime and crack use, however it is acknowledged that many users were involved in crime before using crack. Because of the intensity of cravings for crack, many users turn to criminal acts like theft and prostitution to fuel their drug habits.

How Does Crack Cocaine Addiction Affect My Family?

Substance addictions can cause families to feel as though they have reached a crisis point. When a parent is addicted, it can have far-reaching consequences for other family members that include legal and financial strain, as well as psychological effects. Children who grow up in addicted households are at greater risk of developing addictions themselves.

Family members undergo a great deal of stress and deal with it in different ways. Some family members withdraw or blame themselves, while others feel strong emotions that result in constant household conflicts.

By getting professional help as soon as possible, you can repair broken relationships and help your family members to heal.

The Dangers of Crack Cocaine Overdose

A crack overdose is life-threatening and a medical emergency. If you suspect someone close to you is experiencing an overdose, you must seek immediate medical attention. The greatest danger of overdose is organ failure, and most overdose deaths from crack are caused by respiratory depression.

Overdose can occur as a result of short- and long-term use. The risk of overdose is greater when other substances are involved. A crack causes an abnormal increase in your heart rate, which can lead to a heart attack.

Getting Help for Crack Cocaine Addiction

Our treatment centre is a supportive and non-judgemental environment where our clients can recovery from crack cocaine addiction without fear. Each client is assessed on admission, and a customised care plan is created based on your recovery needs and medical history.

Crack cocaine rehab begins with detox to clear crack cocaine from your system. Then you will being your rehab programme to explore the factors that contributed to your addiction, through a process of individual and group therapy.

Our evidence-based approach has enabled our clients to find ways to cope with addiction-free lives for the past 25 years, thanks to our supportive professional team and treatment therapies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Crack Cocaine tolerance?

Tolerance to crack cocaine develops when you need to use more of the drug in order to feel its effects. This is a sign of a physical dependency, because of the changes that the drug causes to your brain chemistry. When you have developed a tolerance, your brain cannot function normally without the substance.

Do I need to seek residential rehab?

Residential rehab is the safest way to overcome crack addiction. Because the cravings are so strong in withdrawal, many people end up relapsing if they don’t have medical supervision. Your risk of relapse and overdose is high, and these risk factors need to be managed in a medical environment for the best chance of long-term recovery. Should you not be able to afford private inpatient rehab, we encourage you to find a treatment provider through the NHS.

How is Crack Cocaine harmful?

Crack highs are short, and cravings are intense, making overdose a risk, even when using it for the first time. Damage to internal organs such as the kidneys and lungs is common with crack use. Your heart undergoes a lot of strain and irregular heartbeat, stroke and heart attack are dangerous risks. Your risk of developing mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, psychosis, and schizophrenia is also elevated.

How to help if someone is overdosing?

A person who is overdosing from crack is at risk of seizures and heart abnormalities and needs immediate medical attention. Please dial 999 if you suspect someone is experiencing a crack overdose. Symptoms can progress very quickly and sudden death is a real risk. If possible, try to reduce body temperature by using cold compresses. If the person is experiencing a seizure, manage the environment to prevent him/her from injuring him/herself.

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