While all illegal stimulants are addictive, crack is often considered one of the most addictive by users and medical professionals alike. Crack begins with cocaine, but converts the cocaine into a form that is easily smoked and produces an incredibly intense – but short lasting – high. The natural outcome of such a short and intense high is that users come down quickly and want to get high again, smoking more and creating a cycle of use that rapidly leads to addiction.
As with cocaine, methamphetamine and amphetamine addiction, crack addiction creates a real struggle for the user – making it impossible to lead a healthy, happy life. Fortunately, it is possible to recover from a crack addiction and to move on with your life. You just need help to get you there.
Drug rehabilitation treatment is the best way to leave addiction behind. If you or your loved one are ready to quit using crack, we can help.
What is Crack?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse DrugFacts lists crack within its section on cocaine because crack is made using cocaine. Many people are surprised to discover the fact that crack is made from a drug that they are more familiar with. In popular culture crack is one of the worst drugs out there, while cocaine is portrayed as a high-end product enjoyed by the wealthy. Both drugs are addictive, but there is some justification for the perception of crack. It is considerably more addictive than regular cocaine.
Manufacturers take cocaine and process it using baking soda or ammonia to create a crystal. The product is sometimes called freebase, but today it is most often referred to as crack.
Part of what makes crack extremely addictive is the efficiency of administration. Cocaine that is snorted takes some time to reach the brain and lasts for 20 to 30 minutes. Crack can reach the brain almost immediately, and only keeps the user high for 5 or 10 minutes at the most. The user almost immediately wants more, and can get more just by smoking again. The up and down cycle is fast and intense, training the brain to want more in a short period of time.
How is Crack Abused?
Crack comes in a crystal form, often called rocks, that is heated up by the user, who will then inhale the vapors produced. The crystal will make popping or crackling sounds as it is heated, which gives the drug its name. Some users also inject crack by dissolving the crystal into a solution.
Effects of Crack Addiction
Because crack is essentially cocaine, it does much the same thing to the brain and the body – just faster and more intensely. The neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are all blocked by the drug, causing the a great sense of euphoria and a rush. The user’s mood elevates along with his or her energy levels. The feeling is extremely powerful and the subsequent come down is just as strong. The loss of all the intense, good feelings leaves a void that is most easily filled by smoking more crack.
Negative effects of crack use include:
- Paranoia – Different people respond differently to crack, but generally the more one uses the more the negative effects begin to show themselves. Paranoia is common with with crack use.
- Agitation – Crack is an extreme stimulant, the use of which can put the body and mind into overdrive and cause severe agitation, restlessness, and irritability. Sleeplessness is common.
- Severe Mood Swings – Because the mind is regularly moving from intense elation to deep depression, mood swings often continue even after the user comes down. The individual will often stay in a state of depression, become isolated and more difficult to connect with. The longer someone uses crack, the more difficult it becomes to react in moderation to challenges common in everyday life.
- Heart Damage – Crack damages the heart and the arteries and blood vessels in the body. Crack use over time can stress the heart and cause hardening in the arteries.
Crack Rehab Programs
As bad as crack addiction can be, there are still effective treatment options out there for those that want to get clean. The nice thing about professional treatment is that you have a team on your side that can guide you through recovery, greatly increasing your chances of success.
Effective treatments include:
- Medically Assisted Detoxification – If you are heavily addicted to crack it can be incredibly challenging to stop using it, both mentally and physically. With medically assisted detox, you get assistance from a medical professional that can monitor you to ensure you are healthy, and that can medicate you as necessary to make the transition more comfortable.
- Inpatient Treatment – Inpatient treatment is designed to provide you with an ideal environment for recovery. You are provided with a place to sleep and healthy meals, along with multiple treatment options to choose from. Inpatient treatment is intensive but also very effective.
- Outpatient Treatment – Even if you go through an inpatient program, you are still going to need support when you go back to your old life. With outpatient treatment you can continue to work with treatment professionals to guide you along your path to recovery.
Contact Us Today to Learn More About Crack Cocaine Rehab
You are not alone. If you or a loved one is struggling with crack addiction, contact us. We are ready to help you find a treatment center that offers the assistance you need to take your life back.