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Crack Cocaine
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Crack addiction is serious and deadly. Thousands of people each year struggle with the physical and emotional challenge of being addicted to crack. Early and comprehensive treatment is essential to defeating this addiction, and knowing what to look for is vital in helping someone struggling with addiction get the help they need.

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Crack Cocaine Abuse

Learn About Crack Cocaine

Cocaine is a white powdery substance naturally derived from the Coca plant found in several South American countries. It is commonly referred to as simply cocaine or coke. While most people recognize cocaine in its traditional powder form, it is also sometimes found in a rock form that is referred to as crack or crack cocaine. 

Crack cocaine is formed by taking the powdered form of cocaine and combining it with water and another substance (typically sodium bicarbonate or household baking soda). Once combined, the mixture is boiled, and it forms a solid mass. Once cooled, the larger mass is broken into smaller pieces, which are eventually sold as crack. While not common, someone can become addicted to crack after just one use due to the drug’s extremely addictive nature. Unlike powdered cocaine, which can be injected or snorted, crack cocaine is taken into the body by smoking. This method of ingestion produces near-instant effects, which last only five to ten minutes. Because the effects wear off so quickly, it often leads to cycles of bingeing and crashing that cause physical dependence on the drug. The effects of powdered cocaine usually take longer to present and typically last much longer.

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How A Crack Addiction Can Ruin Your Life

Addiction to crack cocaine can have many detrimental effects on your life, including physical, emotional, and legal implications. Long-term use of crack can result in changes and impacts on your mental health, including mood changes, depression, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and other new or worsening mental health difficulties. It can also physically affect many of the body systems leading to permanent damage to vital organs, including the heart, brain, liver, lungs, and other essential body systems. Physical and emotional impacts aside, a crack addiction often results in significant legal and financial repercussions. Although possession of either cocaine or crack will result in jail time, the minimum sentencing for crack possession is five years. The length of time you could spend in prison ranges depending on how much crack you have in your possession and how many times you have been arrested for possession. The financial and legal repercussions of crack addiction and quickly and easily ruin your life. 

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Signs & Symptoms of
Crack Addiction

Crack addiction is serious and deadly. Thousands of people each year struggle with the physical and emotional challenge of being addicted to crack. Early and comprehensive treatment is essential to defeating this addiction, and knowing what to look for is vital in helping someone struggling with addiction get the help they need. There are several telltale signs of crack cocaine abuse someone will exhibit when using. Some of the most common include:

  • Excessive and uncharacteristic bursts of energy and excitement often going far beyond what is considered reasonable or “normal.”
  • They may exhibit manic activity, including talking rapidly, eating too quickly, not eating at all (despite having not eaten in some time), and being otherwise nervous, jittery, or agitated.  
  • They may experience significant changes in sleep patterns from sleeping way too little to experiencing significant exhaustion and needing to sleep constantly. 
  • They may experience violent and unpredictable mood swings that result in violent, dangerous outbursts and argumentative behavior. 
  • Someone who begins to withdraw from crack cocaine may experience severe depression and suicidal thoughts. 
  • For some, long-term abuse of crack cocaine can lead to paranoid thoughts and hallucinations. 
  • Other physical and emotional signs of crack cocaine addiction may include dilated pupils, changes in breathing patterns (breathing abnormally fast), cracked or blistered lips from pipe use, burns on their fingers, nausea, heart failure, stroke, seizures, and death. 
  • In the long-term, crack cocaine use can result in liver damage, Lung damage, permanent blood vessel damage, sexual dysfunction, infertility, psychosis, respiratory failure, kidney failure, and heart attack. 
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Crack Withdrawal & The Need for Detox

It can be challenging to convince someone with a crack cocaine addiction that they need help. Once they have accepted that treatment is the best course of action, the first and most essential step is detox and withdrawal. Someone seeking treatment for an addiction to crack cocaine will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms within a few hours after their last dose. This is because the brain is dependent on crack, and these symptoms result from the brain no longer functioning normally without the drug in the system. Most symptoms of crack withdrawal are psychological. They often include exhaustion, changes in sleep patterns, and overwhelming cravings for the drug. 

Although the psychological symptoms may be manageable without medical assistance, the physical and emotional symptoms can be dangerous and overwhelming if not carefully monitored during the withdrawal process. Crack withdrawal and the detox process should be carried out in an addiction treatment facility where medical personnel can monitor vital signs, administer medications to help mitigate the intensity of symptoms, and ensure that there are no medical emergencies that take place during the detox process. Some of the physical symptoms one experiences during detox may include muscle pain, fever, gastric upset, anxiety, overwhelming cravings, depression, and in some cases, seizures, hallucinations, suicidal tendencies, and death. This is why detox must be carried out in a controlled and safe environment. Not only are medical personnel able to monitor the detox process and ensure your safety, but there are also measures in place to ensure that you don’t reach out for other drugs (or for more crack) to alleviate the detox symptoms. 

Undergoing detox at an addiction treatment facility also provides the benefit of transitioning from detox to addiction treatment in a safe and comfortable setting where you are already familiar with the tree bit staff. This can help increase your chances of attaining sobriety and long-term recovery. 

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How to Find a Crack Treatment Program Near You

Addiction to crack cocaine is a serious, potentially life-threatening health problem. Thousands of people have reached out to addiction treatment programs to receive the help they need to begin a life free of addiction to this dangerous drug. If you or a loved one or struggling with addiction and know that you are not alone. If you are looking to seek addiction treatment for crack cocaine but are unsure where to begin, contact the team at My Recovery Source. Our highly trained, knowledgeable staff can help you find a crack treatment program near you where you can start your journey to recovery. Putting an addiction to crack cocaine behind you is not easy; however, help is available. If you are ready to learn more about treatment programs near you, contact My Recovery Source today! 

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