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:
- 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.
- 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. FHE Health 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.