What is Crack?
Crack cocaine was originally introduced in the 1980’s to poverty stricken neighborhoods and inner cities. It’s use skyrocketed because it was so easy to get and because it was so much less expensive then regular powder cocaine and quickly became an epidemic.
What is Crack?
Crack cocaine is made when regular powdered cocaine hydro-chloride is mixed with baking soda and water and cooked with other ingredients and then allowed to dry and harden. It is then broken up into smaller pieces that look like little white rocks or crystals that can smoked or freebased. The term “crack” comes from the crackling sound it makes when it is smoked. Crack cocaine is cheaper than regular cocaine and can be sold at a much higher profit.
Is Smoking Crack Dangerous?
Smoking crack is extremely dangerous because it allows the drug to get to the brain much more quickly than snorting regular cocaine. The effects are almost immediate but only last for about 5 to 10 minutes and then the user will “crash” from the high. This increases the likelihood of addiction because the user will smoke crack again and again to try to achieve the original “high” and more of the drug is necessary which leads to tolerance.
This is where the problems start. Many people describe crack cocaine addiction as an inescapable dark pit. They say that after their very first hit of crack cocaine they were helplessly addicted. Even those recovering from addiction that have not used crack cocaine for years say they fight with the urge to use it again every single day even though they know how destructive it is. Their minds simply can’t stop craving that euphoric feeling that made their stress vanish instantly.
It can be difficult to return to life without the extra lift that cocaine users feel. They struggle with debilitating depression and anxiety and may even need behavioral therapy indefinitely to cope and not relapse. According to NIDA, “Cocaine abusers can also experience severe paranoia—a temporary state of full-blown paranoid psychosis – in which they lose touch with reality and experience auditory hallucinations”.
Will I Need Professional Treatment?
If you believe you are addicted to crack cocaine or any other drugs you should talk to your doctor about programs that might be able to help. Cocaine addiction is usually treatable on an outpatient basis so you can live from home and continue working during your treatment. It may be advised that the initial detox process be administered in a medical facility because of the withdrawal symptoms associated with crack cocaine recovery. Not only is there an intense desire to use crack again during this time, but they might also have physical symptoms of withdrawal like nausea, vomiting, cramping and muscle soreness and fatigue. Medications can be given to help with the uncomfortable, painful symptoms so that the person can focus on other aspects of their recovery and be involved in the planning.
If you are not sure where to start looking for help you should use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).