Crack-cocaine is the enhanced man-made form of cocaine. It gives more of a euphoric effect, lasts longer, and is less expensive than the powder form of cocaine. Additionally, crack is more addictive, which is cause for the high amount of people that use crack in this nation. It is used for its ability to provide a rapid rush of euphoria, an increase of energy, a rush of mental and cognitive process, and an increased ability to stay focused. The negative effects of crack are plentiful and dependence can be evident in even first time users. Crack is usually identified as a rock-like substance that is smoked, but it can also be injected. Crack can come in all types of sizes and hues since it is made illegally and usually added to additional substances. There are a variety of street names for crack including:
Crack is used for the euphoric feeling it gives for roughly 10 minutes after it is first administered. This is the reason for the drug’s addictive tendency since even first time users will chase that short-lived high again. Some crack users take multiple doses repetitively to increase the time frame of the high and prolong the inevitable crash. Eventually, dependence forms and the addicted individual will say and do anything in their quest to obtaining the drug, no matter the consequences. Signs of crack addiction often include:
- Very dilated pupils
- Concerning weight loss
- Aggression and irritability
- Feelings of restlessness and paranoia
- Rapid and early aging
- Avoidance of commitments and responsibilities
- Inability to fall or stay asleep
- Loss of weight and appetite
- Hallucinations and paranoia
Addiction forms when dependence of the drug is apparent. Dependence is when withdrawal symptoms happen when the drug is not used. This happens because the body gets used to crack in the system and doesn’t function properly without it any longer. Dependence is usually directly related to addiction. More than a psychological or physiological dependence, addiction is a behavior. Crack addiction is evident when a person tries to quit using crack but fails or experiences negative consequences from using crack and continues to use regardless. Crack addiction can lead to many unhealthy and risky behaviors since a person will engage in activities that negatively affect their well-being just to use again. Some possible high-risk situations individuals who use crack may get into include:
Illegal Activity: Along with using crack itself, users will commit crimes to get more crack. Usually, the crime is in the form of burglary to attain money needed to buy the substance.
High-Risk Sexual Behavior: Crack can lower judgment and increase the desire to perform sexual acts. Additionally, it is not uncommon to hear of prostitution as an attempt to attain crack. Those addicted to crack that involves themselves in these behaviors place themselves at an increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases.
Neglecting Responsibilities: When addiction takes hold, there is little else to live for besides using crack. Responsibilities like children, school, family, jobs, and any others fall to the wayside so that crack can be used.
Violent Behavior: Crack can make any emotion feel like it is multiplied by 100. This includes anger; so a person that has used crack is more likely to display violent behavior like harming others or themselves.
The Florida House Experience understands the dangers of this lethal drug and has come up with crack treatment services for those that want to live a life free from the strains of crack addiction. Many view addiction as a fail of willpower. This is simply not the case. Those afflicted with addiction are unhealthy and in need of professional aid, just like those with an illness who are in need of medical attention. With crack addiction, users may want to stop but physically and psychologically are unable. The only help for those addicted is to attend rehabilitation. At The Florida House Experience, we know what it takes in addiction recovery to heal from crack’s grip on life. Our crack treatment programs implement needed skills and knowledge for an individual to embark on a life of sobriety and quality.
When a person is physically dependent to crack, if they stop using the drug they experience withdrawal symptoms. These unpleasant symptoms are usually the cause of a person’s relapse and continual usage. Crack withdrawal is usually more intense than cocaine because of its higher intensity. Detox is the removal of crack from the body and is done by experiencing withdrawal without reverting back to crack use. It is suggested that anyone that struggles with an addiction to crack be administered into a medical detox program. Instead of going at it alone, a medical detox facility provides a medical staff with expert knowledge to keep you safe and comfortable during the withdrawal process. Additionally, medical personnel has the opportunity to provide medications that help decrease pain brought on by withdrawal. Since crack is both physically and mentally addictive, there are both physical and mental withdrawal symptoms during detox. A withdrawing individual with an addiction to crack will experience:
- Inability to focus
- Mood swings
- Inability to sleep
- Trouble experiencing happiness
Physical symptoms of withdrawal usually subside after a week, although it depends on the severity of the addiction. Psychological symptoms can last months, with the most intense being an extreme craving to use crack. Because of the intense cravings, it is important to be administered into a treatment program during the time of psychological withdrawals so that a relapse does not occur. Relapse is the number one cause of death by overdose because of tolerance. Tolerance is an increased ability to take more of a drug because a smaller dose no longer provides the desired effects. After detox, a recovering addict’s tolerance decreases. The early days of recovery are the most susceptible of relapse, and this is when many recovering individuals overdose because they take the amount of the drug they were used to while they had a high tolerance. Treatment and therapy provide information on how to prevent relapse. Being able to understand and recognize cravings and triggers will allow a recovering addict to behave in a way that protects their sobriety. Additionally, individualized and group therapy will help a recovering patient be able to uncover their underlying causes of addiction. Once it is noted what the underlying cause for addiction is, it can be identified in everyday life and avoided for recovery’s sake. The Florida House Experience provides a supportive atmosphere for all of our patients so that they can open up to what they need to find out about themselves. Drug addiction treatment is not only about refraining from substance abuse, it is about finding the true self and living in a way that incorporates that in everyday life.