Crack cocaine is one of the most addictive substances that can destroy a person’s life. However, people suffering from crack addiction may learn to hide their problem from their loved ones. If you suspect that a friend or loved one suffers from crack cocaine addiction, then you should look for the common symptoms and side effects of cocaine abuse.
Read on to understand the dangers of crack cocaine, and learn how an addict can find effective treatment and break the circle of abuse.
Understanding Crack Cocaine
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that boosts alertness, attention, and energy. The effects are so strong that people may lose their sense of reality, become dangerously agitated, and in extreme cases, even suffer a heart attack.
Cocaine is made from the coca plant and is known with various names across the world, including:
- Nose candy
Plus countless more.
Crack is the free base form of cocaine. It can be smoked and gives a powerful high to the user. It is the most addictive form of cocaine, and it is also cheap to buy and easy to use.
Since crack is inhaled, it acts almost immediately to give the user an intense euphoria. The high lasts about 10 minutes. Because it’s so short, users tend to abuse crack by binging on it time after time.
Crack binging can lead to numerous health problems, including heart failure.
Why is Crack Cocaine so Addictive?
Crack users describe the experience as extremely intense. This is because when inhaled, crack is immediately absorbed in the bloodstream and acts instantly. Cocaine causes the brain to release excess dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter we all have in our bodies that control the feelings of pleasure and reward.
So, when you use cocaine, you trick your body to think that this is the most rewarding activity you can undertake, so it makes you desire it more.
Crack highs give users:
- Intense euphoria
- Delusions of self-importance
- Decreased appetite
- Loss of inhibition
With prolonged use, users become accustomed to the effects and addiction settles in. The more you use crack cocaine, the less you experience the desired effects, and the more you start feeling the drawbacks.
Crack Cocaine Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
Immediately after smoking crack, your body brims with dopamine, which makes you feel happy, alert and unbeatable. The effects are both physical and psychological and vary from person to person.
Some other symptoms users of crack cocaine experience while high include:
- Fits of anger
- Sensitivity to stimuli
- Inability to stand still
As it is so dangerous and addictive, crack has no potential for recreational use. Doctors take crack use very seriously as it can cause irreversible damage.
With prolonged use, crack users start experiencing more serious side effects and chronic health problems, including:
- Persistent headaches
- Lung problems
- Risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases
- Heart diseases
- Heart attack
The Risks of Crack Addiction and Crack Overdose
Since the high of crack is so short-lived, withdrawal symptoms can settle in quickly. These come with negative side effects plus an overwhelming urge to use more. Stronger crack doses can bring about the worse health problems and disrupt the life of the user.
Withdrawal is painful and can bring about the following withdrawal symptoms, some of which are common with the symptoms from prolonged use:
- Poor quality of sleep
- Loss of concentration
- Muscle aches
- Extreme cravings for cocaine
Crack cocaine binges can bring about overdose. This is a dangerous physical condition that requires medical attention. People overdosing with crack exhibit the following symptoms:
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble breathing
- Chest pains
- Loss of consciousness
Crack overdose can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. If you suspect that a person you know is experiencing a crack overdose, rush them to the hospital.
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Recovering from Crack Cocaine Addiction
Thankfully, people can free themselves from crack cocaine. The most effective treatment for cocaine addiction is therapy and counseling at a rehab center. People with cocaine withdrawal have frequent sessions with therapists to help them cope with the symptoms of withdrawal and make the necessary changes to stop the self-harm of drug abuse.
There is no medicine to treat cocaine addiction, but long-term users will need medical treatment to manage the side effects of cutting cocaine.
Crack addicts have a large percentage of relapse due to the drug’s extreme addictiveness. People who leave rehab centers clean sometimes find themselves craving for the euphoria of crack. The only solution to this is more and better counseling to break the grip of euphoric recall that many addicts suffer from.
Overcome Crack Cocaine Addiction and Recover Your Life
Here at Revive, we are committed to helping anyone looking for inpatient substance abuse treatment to overcome addiction.
We understand the reality of crack cocaine rehabilitation and know that the process is so much more than easing the withdrawal process. When dealing with a substance so addictive as crack, you need to provide a period of comfortable withdrawal, while simultaneously laying the foundation for what will be a quality, lifelong sobriety.
Our expert team leverages the experience of highly acclaimed addiction detoxification physicians to help people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction break free of their harmful habits and enjoy a better life. If you, a friend, or a loved one are suffering from addiction, do not hesitate to contact us today!