Signs and Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Withdrawal
Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances used in today’s society. Crack is cocaine, but not in the powder form. Crack is a solid formed by mixing cocaine powder with water and baking soda. This transformation makes crack cocaine easier to market and, consequently, much less expensive than cocaine in powder form. When smoked, the drug is delivered through the lungs to the brain almost immediately. It then causes pleasure centers in the brain to release chemicals, resulting in the desired stimulating and euphoric feelings.
Crack produces effects immediately, within seconds, as opposed to powder cocaine that is snorted which may require 5 to 10 minutes to produce effects. Intense euphoria, ecstasy, and pleasurable moods are intensified further with crack than cocaine. The National Institute of Health sites an article with quotes from patient interviews that have provided useful descriptions, including: “It’s like a hurricane blast of pure white pleasure” and “It’s like you’re speeding. Moving around a lot. Talking a lot.” Anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes of these after sensations, the user will begin to feel uncomfortable and irritable. In an attempt to avoid this discomfort and retrieve the same high, users often smoke again. Users state, “I get restless and agitated and keep doing it. I dunno… it’s crazy.” “It’s the most horrible depression I ever got. The only thing to do is do more, but it doesn’t help… ”
A person who is high on Crack cocaine:
- Will appear jittery
- May clench their jaw (even when talking)
- May talk faster than normally
- Has a hard time sitting still
- Appears overly happy
- May seem agitated (depending on purity)
- May be overly aggressive
Abusers of crack cocaine will experience some symptoms of withdrawal as soon as the initial high is gone. It is for this reason that addiction is considered high-risk when regarding crack. The user will feel the need to use again to overcome the “let down” of withdrawal after a high. As with most highly addictive drugs, a tolerance is built up with each use and more is need to achieve the same euphoric state that the user desires.
A person experiencing withdrawal from crack cocaine:
- Will be irritable
- May appear devastated
- Will want to smoke again
- May cry and throw tantrums
- Will be exhausted
- Will need sleep
- Will find less pleasure in “normal” life
- May “need” to smoke to feel normal
Crack cocaine is highly addictive and once an addiction is present, the problems stack up exponentially. Realizing there is a problem, and seeking help to conquer an addiction are the first strides to reclaiming a drug-free life. Addiction to crack is a chronic condition that will be with the user for life. Recovery is possible and help is out there. If you or a loved one are suffering from crack addiction, please seek help.