Crack is widely regarded as the most addictive form of cocaine. Rather than being snorted intranasally, however, crack is typically smoked. A crack “rock” can be found in various forms, many of which appear as a crystalline compound.
Once consumed, crack induces a short burst of euphoria that lasts just a few minutes, and is generally shorter than a traditional cocaine high. Due to its extremely brief but intense high, crack is believed to be even more habit-forming than regular cocaine, as users looking to maintain a high must accelerate the cycle of use. This binge-crash pattern can persist uninterrupted for days on end.
Signs of Symptoms Commonly Exhibited by a Crack Addict
Effects of crack use generally include the following:
- Feelings of euphoria
- Increased alertness
- Excited state
- Elevated mood
- Decreased appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Elevated heart rate
- Intense cravings for more
The initial euphoria induced by crack use can quickly devolve into feelings of depression and paranoia when the initial rush subsides. A person on crack or coming down from it may falsely believe that someone is trying to attack them and engage in aggressive and risky behavior.
A crack addict will also likely experience a litany of adverse side effects, which may include the following:
- Stomach pain
- Heart attack
- Coughing/wheezing (“crack lung”)
General Signs of Drug Addiction
The following are signs that a person is suffering from drug addiction:
- Needing increasing amounts of a substance to achieve the desired effects (tolerance)
- Experiencing adverse effects or withdrawal symptoms when the drug’s effects wear off (dependence)
- Continuing to use a drug despite the negative impact it has on one’s life, health, family, and friends
- Spending a significant amount of time thinking about obtaining and using a substance
- Being frequently unable to control the use of a substance, such as using more or for a longer time than originally intended
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were formerly enjoyed or important
- Neglect of everyday responsibilities, such as work, school, and household chores or personal hygiene
- Driving or engaging in other risky behavior while intoxicated
- Borrowing or stealing money or other items to get cash to buy drugs
- Other are complaining that there has been a noticeable negative change in one’s behavior
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Unkempt appearance or uncleanliness, such as not showering for days or weeks
- Socializing with others who do drugs
Crack Cocaine Overdose
Many believe that the use of crack and crack cocaine is not the problem that it once was as everyone is focused on the opioid epidemic. However, cocaine in its various forms is involved in thousands of overdose deaths each year, and many of these fatalities are also related to opioids and other substances. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, among all 2017 overdose fatalities, 13,942 (19.8%) involved cocaine, and 10,333 (14.7%) involved other stimulants.
Crack overdose symptoms are very similar to those induced by traditional cocaine use. However, these symptoms may onset more rapidly. They include the following:
- Chest pain
- Rapid pulse even while resting
- Weak pulse and low blood pressure
- Decreased respiration rate
- Cold, clammy skin
- Vomiting in excess or retching
- Trembling and fidgeting
- Uncontrollable energy or mania
- Severe agitation
- Angry or violent behavior
- Paranoia or abnormal thoughts
- Excessive itching
- Feeling of bugs under skin
An overdose of cocaine is a potentially life-threatening event, and if you or someone you know appears to be experiencing an overdose call 911 immediately.
Getting Treatment for Addiction
Fortunately, a crack addict can be treated through the use of a comprehensive, customized treatment plan. As part of our treatment programs, Recovery By The Sea offers clinically-proven therapies and services, including behavioral therapy, counseling, group support, aftercare planning, and much, much more.
Recovery from addiction can be a lifelong process, but no one should have to battle it alone. Participation in evidence-based treatment has been shown to improve outcomes and help people sustain long-term recovery. A person who attempts to quit the use of crack abruptly and without help is much more likely to experience intense feelings of severe anxiety and depression, as well as suffer a relapse.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to cocaine, contact us today! Discover how we help those who need it most overcome substance abuse and reclaim the healthy, fulfilling lives they deserve!