S To Overcoming A Crack Addiction
Overcoming an addiction to crack cocaine is extremely difficult, and should not be attempted without help. The best methods for quitting the addiction involves a medically monitored detox followed by complete immersion in a rehabilitation center for several months.
Detoxing from a drug addiction can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious withdrawal side-effects, but medical intervention can help ease some of these symptoms. Once the drug detox is complete, behavioral therapy is absolutely essential to fully overcoming the addiction. Rehab centers can provide the therapy and motivation needed to stop using.
Behavior therapy can look different depending on the individual patient and the counselor, but a motivational approach tends to work well with those recovering from an addiction to crack. This type of therapy often uses gifts and prizes to reward positive changes in behavior. When a user smokes crack, it releases a large amount of dopamine into the brain. Winning a price or receiving a gift releases a small amount of dopamine, replicating the effects of crack in a safe and drug-free manner. This reinforces the positive behavioral changes, so this process can be extremely effective in recovery.
What Are The Long Term Side Effects Of Taking Cocaine
There are many health side effects of cocaine use. Long-term side effects, based on how cocaine is used, include:
- From snorting: nosebleeds, running nose, loss of smell, hole in the nasal septum , hole in the roof of the mouth, swallowing problems.
- From injecting: increased risk of IV-related viruses, such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS, from sharing needles vein collapse or scarring heart valve, skin and soft tissue infections.
- From smoking: cough, irregular breathing, asthma, increased risk of lung infections including pneumonia and bronchitis.
- From absorption through gums in themouth: mouth sores on the gums and the underlying bone, receding gums, chronic gingivitis , dry mouth, tooth decay.
Other general long-term effects include:
- Severe weight loss and malnourishment.
- Movement disorders similar to Parkinsons disease.
- Intestinal death and rupture due to constricted blood vessels/lack of oxygen to the intestinal tract.
How To Find Freedom From Crack Cocaine Addiction
Substance abuse, particularly crack addiction, is dangerous and requires immediate treatment. The very definition of addiction is the loss of control over a craving. With cocaine, this can become lethal. The problem is compounded by the fact that though it is illegal, it is widely accessible to almost anyone who wants it.
Crack addiction is a big issue in urban areas. He supply is plenty and the price is cheap two things that make it popular among those looking for a quick hit. Those who have developed a dependence on this substance often resort to violence and manipulation in order to satisfy their need for more. Their behavior has a negative impact to those around them whether in school, at the office, or at home.
Highly respected medical organizations have long considered drug addiction as an illness. Users who do not get the proper treatments are likely to die due to overdose or poor health. Crack cocaine addiction can induce heart attacks by causing sudden increase in blood pressure.
Such is its potency that all it takes is just one moment of weakness one try to be addicted to crack cocaine. Once a person crosses this point, it is extremely difficult to go back to the way he was before. It will be as if the mind is possessed by an insatiable need to experience it again and again, each time wanting more until the body is no longer able to handle it.
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Crack Cocaine Use And The Brain
Crack cocaine mainly interacts with different regions of the brain to induce feelings of energy, euphoria, and excitement. It works by creating a backlog of dopamine, which is responsible for pleasure and is an important part of the brains reward system. Under normal circumstances, dopamine is released to induce pleasure when we carry out fun activities and is reabsorbed by cells in the brain once these activities are over. But, with the introduction of crack, these cells are prevented from absorbing dopamine, causing an accumulation of the chemical which results in intense pleasure.
When taken over a long period, the brain will begin to adjust its normal functions to accommodate the presence of crack. As time goes on, the users brain will begin to depend on the drug for normal function and will also become tolerant to its effects, causing the need for increased doses. If the abuse of crack continues over time, this can lead to brain damage and other neurological disorders.
Crack Cocaine Addiction Behaviors: What To Look Out For As A Concerned Parent
A lot of substances will have mild short term side effects that make it challenging to help your child in the beginning stages. With crack cocaine, the side effects come on quickly and are often noticeable.
In fact, many people discover that the short term effects of crack are quite similar to the longer term effects of other drugs. These crack addiction behaviors can develop after even one use of the drug. That fact alone makes crack one of the most dangerous drugs in the United States.
Some of the short term effects of crack cocaine include:
- Bouts of anger and irritation
- Feeling extremely paranoid
- Being nauseous or having an upset stomach
- Having convulsions
The euphoric high that crack produces doesnât last long at all, and so all of these effects can be experienced once the user starts to come down from that high. Itâs almost akin to having a hangover, but mood changes are highly likely as well.
Crack is usually smoked but it can also be snorted. If you notice your child has nosebleeds, along with other drug abuse behaviors, you may be able to narrow it down to cocaine or crack. Why do those nosebleeds happen? The chemicals tear down your nasal lining, causing it to bleed. Your child may also seem to have a runny nose all the time. Snorting drugs can also cause the mucous lining in the throat to tear. This can cause your child to have a hard time speaking. At the very least, a crack user is going to have a hoarse voice and may often complain about a sore throat.
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The Dangers Of Crack Cocaine Use
Crack is the most dangerous form of cocaine and it has been associated with fatal health risks and organ failure. The dangers of crack also go beyond mental and physical health consequences. Users will experience difficulties in different areas of their lives as well.
Organs that can be affected by abusing crack cocaine include:
Blood vessels are constricted by crack abuse, which can result in severe pain in the chest and a heart attack. Research has found that users of crack cocaine are 23 times more likely to get a heart attack after using the drug in 24 hours. Youll also risk the health of your heart further if you combine alcohol with your abuse of crack cocaine.
Smoking crack cocaine can cause a lot of complications in the lungs. Its been found that people with asthma risk worsening their illness, and breathing can become irregular as a result of chronic crack use.
Liver damage is also a risk that comes with using crack in the long term especially when you abuse the drug alongside substances like alcohol.
Renal problems have been associated with the use of crack cocaine over the years and such issues are known to be life-threatening.
Apart from affecting different organs in the body, crack also causes psychological problems such as paranoia, anxiety, depression, and persistent psychotic symptoms that may end up becoming permanent mental damage.
Are You A Crack Addict
If youâre asking yourself this question, you may have enough time to get out of abusing crack before itâs too late. A crack addict is going to have a hard time acknowledging any sense of reality. Have you noticed that your parents and peers are worried about your well-being? Have you shifted friends and dropped activities you once cared about? The majority of crack users will start in their 20âs and 30âs, which is just when your adult life starts to form. There is easy access to crack cocaine and itâs usually used widely in the party scene.
If youâre questioning your dependence to crack, hereâs a video that tells you about the six most common signs of crack addiction.
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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
Signs Of Crack Addiction
1. The presence of the drug. Would you recognize crack if you saw it in your loved oneâs home? Itâs a type of cocaine that comes in the form of small, rock-like crystals that are various shades of white, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
2. Crack paraphernalia. Users smoke this drug, often from a narrow glass or metal pipe that may have a round bulb at the end, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency . Some create makeshift pipes with household items. A 2020 study in the International Journal of Drug Policy says these items can include:
- Soft drink cans
- Empty asthma inhalers
You may notice black burn marks on any object that has been used to smoke crack.
3. Extreme bursts of energy. Crack is a type of drug called a stimulant, which means someone whoâs high on it could have bursts of energy that are much more excessive than normal. Your loved one might:
- Talk rapidly
- Act erratic or aggressively
- Seem anxious or on edge
The high from smoking crack can last about 5-10 minutes, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says. But it can be more intense than the high from snorting powder cocaine.
4. Fatigue or changed sleep habits. When the effects of crack wear off, the extreme energy gives way to exhaustion. According to American Addiction Centers, your loved one may seem extremely tired and sluggish, and they could even sleep for days.
6. Overdose. This is a medical emergency. Symptoms can include:
- Enlarged pupils
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Treatment For Crack Withdrawal And Addiction In South Carolina
Crack cocaine is a highly addictive drug. In fact, addiction can develop after just one use, especially when the brain develops a biochemical dependency on it. The drug then impairs the brains ability to make rational decisions about controlled use because of the intensely euphoric effects of crack. This is why those with a crack addiction often continue to use this drug even when it has undeniable harmful effects on their life, like being arrested, losing jobs, or damaging important personal relationships.
An initial resolve to quit can be quickly overcome when an addict undergoes the intense cravings common to withdrawal. It is nearly impossible to overcome addiction alone. With medical help and peer support, those with an addiction to crack can achieve long-term sobriety plus a healthy foundation to commit to better decisions each day.
What Is Crack Cocaine?
Crack is an addictive stimulant drug that speeds up the bodys systems. In short, its the solid form of cocaine, made by combining powdered cocaine with water and, typically, baking soda. After boiling and cooling this mixture, it can be cracked off into pieces to sell for distribution.
What Does Crack Look Like?
Crack looks like a crystallized rock that may be white, cream, tan, or light brown in color. The color may change depending upon the additives. Often, those who buy crack arent aware of the other substances mixed into this kind of drug. Additives may include Ritalin and lidocaine.
Benefits Of Withdrawal And Detox
If you have abused crack cocaine for a while and have become addicted to the drug, youll have to go through withdrawal if you want to quit using. While withdrawal can be discomforting and discouraging, its a necessary phase that your body has to deal with before it regains normalcy.
Withdrawal is a normal process whenever youre discontinuing use and it can be made more bearable if you go through a medically-assisted detox programme.
Detox is also an important stage of recovery because its the process involved with dispelling the hazardous remnants of crack in the system. Although the process is accompanied by painful withdrawal symptoms, it can be managed through medical supervision.
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How Is Crack Cocaine Used
Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that comes in white or off-white rock crystals.
The consistency ranges from a softer wax-like substance to hard and brittle plastic.
You usually smoke crack through a pipe and inhale the vapor. Absorption via the lungs is almost as fast as injecting, and you experience an almost immediate rush of intense euphoria that lasts around five to fifteen minutes.
Crack Withdrawal Symptoms And Signs
Crack withdrawal causes many symptoms. Fatigue, appetite increase, irritability and strong cravings are generally the least severe of the symptoms. Depression, paranoia, and even suicidal thoughts are some of the more dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can occur as a result of an addiction to crack cocaine.
Crack cocaine withdrawal does not usually have serious physical symptoms. But the mental symptoms, such as cravings and depression, can be hard to manage alone. Seeking help for crack cocaine withdrawal can help prevent relapse and provide medical and psychiatric care for any difficult symptoms that arise.
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Crack Addicts: Crack Addiction Begins
A crack addict may start as a cocaine or other drug user. A crack addict typically has an unhappy home life or other stresses or problems. The addict begins using drugs or alcohol to escape from the stresses of their life. The addict may feel like they are just “partying” but, in fact, they are trying to cope with unhappiness.
At some point, the user tries crack and a crack addiction takes hold. Crack addiction can happen almost immediately. The crack addict then starts to use crack to deal with stress and crack quickly becomes the focus of life.
Detox & Rehab For Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine withdrawal does not usually have serious physical symptoms. But the mental symptoms, such as cravings and depression, can be hard to manage alone. Many people who try to detox cold turkey end up relapsing, which can lead to overdose, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Seeking help for crack cocaine withdrawal can help prevent relapse and provide medical and psychiatric care for any difficult symptoms that arise.
Treatment programs for crack withdrawal include detox centers, inpatient treatment, and outpatient treatment. These programs offer varying levels of supervision and medical care. For example, detox centers and inpatient programs offer 24/7 monitoring from medical and treatment staff.
Once detoxification is complete, long-term recovery from crack addiction can begin. Addiction treatment can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis depending on how serious the addiction is and whether the person has struggled to maintain sobriety in the past.
Crack use can lead to both physical and psychological addiction, so many different methods of treatment are used to help the user recover. Some of the common treatment methods used in crack cocaine addiction treatment include:
In some cases, a treatment center may also offer holistic treatment options, which can include art therapy, animal therapy, yoga, or meditation.
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How To Help An Addict Quit
A recovery support representative is standing by to help you find crack rehab centers in your area. Please call
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is recommended that you seek medical attention:
- Severe headaches.
- Irregular heart rate.
Severe depression and suicidal thoughts also may occur during crack withdrawal. It is important to call 911 if you have thoughts of harming yourself or others.
What Is The Difference Between Powder Cocaine And Crack Cocaine
Chemically, there is very little difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.
Crack cocaine is a freebase version of powder cocaine. This means that the cocaine component is freed from the hydrochloric salt from which it is bound.
In the 1980s and 1990s, lawmakers and public opinion considered crack cocaine to be much more addictive and harmful than powder cocaine. The sentencing for drug possession reflected this, enforcing the same penalty that you would receive for 100g of powder cocaine for just 1g of crack cocaine.
However, several scientific studies have questioned the extent to which crack cocaine is more addictive than powder cocaine. They argue that there are higher addiction rates among crack users because they are more susceptible to becoming dependent on the substance. The demonization of crack cocaine and its harsh sentencing instead results from racial biases intending to persecute the overwhelmingly black demographic that use crack cocaine.
Currently, there is no conclusive evidence on whether or not crack cocaine is more addictive than powder cocaine. There remains, however, an 18:1 disparity in the sentencing of the two substances in United States law.
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