Crack is the low purity version of cocaine. It is comprised of sodium bicarbonate, and comes in a solid form that can be smoked. Crack can be produced using baking soda as well as sodium hydroxide, through a method which involves transforming cocaine hydrochloride into a substance called methylbenzoylecgonine. Crack is distinct from cocaine because it is primarily smoked, rather than snorted. While cocaine is always white in color, the color for crack may vary depending on the process used in its preparation. Because crack contains impurities, it is cheaper than cocaine.
When consumed, crack causes a high which is short in duration but very intense. As the user comes down from this high, they will experience feelings of depression, a feeling of edginess, and a strong craving for more. It is this cycle that can quickly lead to addiction. Crack addicts will often find it difficult to sleep or eat food, and they may display a number of other disturbing changes to both their personality and behavior, even when they are not under the influence of the drug.
Warning Signs of Crack Addiction
The warning signs typically exhibited by those who become crack addicts often involve the manner in which they behave. Crack addicts will typically display paranoia, anxiety or anger. Their cravings for crack are so powerful that addicts may be willing to steal, fight, and even kill to obtain it. Former addicts have described the cravings as being akin to a starving man that is offered food or the opportunity to take it. Additional warning signs to watch for are:
- Weight loss resulting from low appetite
- Extreme aggression
- A willingness to harm others for the drug
- Increased euphoria
- Pupils which are dilated
- Behaving erratically or unpredictably
- Hallucinations and Hyper stimulation
Side Effects of Crack Abuse
Because crack is smoked rather than snorted, its effects are both rapid and more potent. Users will experience increases in their heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Their blood vessels will also contract, along with nausea. Other side effects of both short and long term crack use include:
- Damage to lungs or kidney
- Convulsions or seizures
- Intense chest pain
- Respiratory problems
- Deteriorating teeth and gums
- Sexual dysfunction and infertility
- Frequent mood swings
- High tolerance and craving
- Susceptibility to risk behaviors
- Apathy and disorientation
Crack is a dangerous substance that has destroyed the lives of many. A number of users are fighting back by seeking treatment which can help them overcome it. If you know someone who is addicted to crack, or you’re struggling to break free yourself, you should seek help. Going into rehab will give you the help you need while increasing your chances of success.
Crack rehab can be undertaken with a number of unique treatment programs, including inpatient and outpatient care. Prior to your treatment, you will be assessed to determine your addiction and the best option to help you recover. Rehab can be costly, and some crack users may not have the cash necessary for treatment. However, alternative options are always available, including insurance coverage or credit card payments.
Improve your life by contacting NeuroPsychiatric Addiction Clinic, where we can help you overcome your crack addiction and live the meaningful life you desire.