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Crack Addiction and Abuse

What is Crack?

Crack (or crack cocaine) is a powdered form of cocaine that is usually taken to feel an extreme high.  It is most commonly used through snorting or smoking. The major difference between cocaine and crack is the intensity and duration of the high. Crack affects the nervous system of the body and acts as a stimulant for certain physical and psychological processes of the body, it causes an increase in energy and focus. Contrary to cocaine, the effects of crack are almost immediate because once smoked or snorted crack is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and travels from body to the brain immediately. The effects of a crack high generally last between five to ten minutes. Due to the high intensity and low duration of the crack high it is considered more dangerous than cocaine, because developing a crack addiction and tolerance takes less time.

What are the effects?

People tend to use crack for a feeling of euphoria, increased energy, increased focus, a feeling of escaping reality and an inflated sense of self. However, it does not take long for good side effects of crack to turn into bad effects, and an abuse of crack could cause following problems:

Effects of Crack
Crack - Complete (1)

In addition to the above physical symptoms crack abuse could cause following psychological effects:

Psychological Effects
CRACK - SIDE EFFECTS

Smoking crack does not only happen at the expense of psychological and physical well-being, it commonly leads to severe financial loss. Crack is extremely addictive and once someone has developed a dependency on it, it could be difficult for them to stop despite a strong desire to stop. Moreover, crack addiction could cause loss of consciousness as well as risky sexual behaviors, violence, avoidance of responsibilities and breaking the law.

What are the warning signs?

One of the most common warning signs of smoking crack is dilated pupils, a rapid increase in energy, incoherent speech, and sudden change in behavior can be associated with smoking crack. Once a tolerance level for crack is developed, the user’s body starts requiring more and more crack in order to obtain the same high acquired in the early stages of use. If your loved ones are suffering from crack addiction it is important to notice the following signs, if they are missing more and more from important events, feel agitated, or have start having financial troubles and are borrowing money excessively to feed their addiction. Moreover, extreme weight loss, cracked lips, dry skin, confusion and psychotic symptoms are some of the most obvious warning signs of crack abuse.

What are withdrawal symptoms?

Due to the extreme side-effects of crack, the withdrawal symptoms of crack are also severe and include both physical and psychological symptoms. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms associated with crack abuse are body pains, nausea, extreme depression, anxiety, irritability and intense cravings for smoking more crack. If your loved ones suffer from crack abuse and are in a period of abstinence. they will need constant supervision and support in order to recover from the cycle of abuse.

Treatment

The first step towards treating crack abuse is finding a safe environment for detoxification. Due to extreme withdrawal symptoms, it is important to find a professional setting, such as professional detox centers to begin the detoxification from the drug. During detoxification, a patient is supervised constantly to ensure that psychological and physical symptoms are dealt with properly.

The psychological withdrawal symptoms from crack could be worse than any other drug as crack is extremely addictive and even when a person is stabilized after detox, it is important to supervise them and provide them with professional psychological support to help them manage the depression, anxiety and irritability that is caused from withdrawal from crack.

It is important to find a strong, long term treatment setting in an effort to achieve lasting recovery from crack addiction.