Crack Addiction – Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab
Are you, a loved one or a friend suffering from an addiction? Any Drug addiction including a Crack addiction can cause serious issues in your life. It can change your behaviour, your health and the effects can be permanent. Crack is particularly dangerous with problems starting after the first use. If you’re worried about this type of addiction, we can help you. At Help4Addiction, we can offer impartial advice and support through our free helpline. We can also ensure you can find the treatment you need. So, if you want to talk, get advice or quit your addiction for good, get in touch now by calling 0203 955 7700.
What Is Crack?
Crack is a common form of cocaine. As such, it is either referred to as crack or crack cocaine as well as a variety of other slang terms. If you find it in the room of a family member or a loved one, it would look like tiny, smashed, pieces of soap. It is incredibly popular because it is one of the fastest working forms of the substance. When you get high from crack, the substance reaches the brain in about ten seconds.
Crack is known by a variety of names on the street. This includes:
- Rock Candy
The drug comes in a crystal form and is often sold as a power. It can also be sold in solid blocks which are either yellow, rose pink or white. To take crack cocaine a user will heat the substance and then smoke it. When heated it makes a cracking noise and this is where it gets its name. Crack cocaine has become popular for a variety of reasons and as such, crack addiction is incredibly dangerous.
Difference Between Crack And Cocaine
As already mentioned one of the main differences between crack and normal cocaine is how quickly it provides the effect users are looking for. It is also the most potent form of this particular drug. It can be anything between 75% and 100% pure. This is far stronger than the typical cocaine that you might purchase on the market. Unlike other forms of cocaine, crack will be smoked, rather than snorted or injected. It is powder cocaine mixed with baking soda and water. In contrast, regular cocaine is hydro-chloride salt in a powder form.
Another key difference is the cost of the drug. Cocaine is often considered a rich man’s drug because it is incredibly expensive. Crack on the other hand is a lot cheaper. Unfortunately, this means that virtually anyone can buy it and get the high that they want. It is indeed possible for teens to be able to afford this drug with their lunch money. That’s how cheap it is.
Read more about cocaine addiction
Is Crack Addictive?
Just like regular cocaine, crack is an addictive substance. The simple reason for this is that crack provides a high and taps into the feelings of pleasure that we experience in regular life. It then elevates these feelings and when you’re off the drug you feel like you need it back.
How Addictive Is Crack
As a drug, crack cocaine provides one of the highest levels of psychological dependency. Crack is even worse because of how you take it. When you use crack you get a short high followed by a severe low. This pushes people to take it more with higher doses. It’s also far more likely that you will get addicted after one hit of crack compared with one use of cocaine.
Why Is Crack Addictive?
Crack can be addictive for a variety of reasons. Be aware, that the drug can be cut with other substances which can actually increase the addiction. Despite the main substance being somewhat diluted this does cause more issues. Essentially, individuals find themselves immediately seeking out the same level of high again. They might not be able to get this because the drug that they buy next may not provide the same level of potency.
Furthermore, crack is a stimulant. Upon taking it, the drug provides a strong feeling of euphoria. The fact that it is short lived actually makes the substance more addictive because individuals want to take another hit immediately. The other problem is that the drug quickly causes tolerance to build. As such, the second hit may not provide the same high. Instead, users will need to up the dosage to get the same kick that they experienced before. This happens with every few uses and each time, the addiction grows.
Crack Addictive Properties
To understand crack addictive properties, we need to dissect how the pleasure system in the brain works. In a pleasurable situation, your brain sends messages by neurons to release a chemical known as dopamine. This is what causes you to feel euphoric in certain situations such as riding a roller coaster. After the pleasurable sensation is over, the neurons stop firing and the dopamine is recycled.
When you take crack cocaine, the drug immediately impacts the brain. It causes the levels of dopamine to build because the neurons constantly fire and when it is released, it’s in a massive amount. It can be seen as a pleasure overload and it does provide heightened euphoria. Once this occurs, the individual then feels the need to experience it again and again. This is how addiction begins and because crack is cheap, it’s easy to get your hands on it. As such, you can quickly be dealing with a very serious issue.
What Causes Crack Addiction?
As we’ve already mentioned, you can get addicted to crack after taking it a single time. This is all to do with how fast it impacts the brain. So, an individual might think that they can try it once and then stop. But before they know if they are already completely hooked on the substance.
People don’t often start with crack. Instead, they may begin with a lower class of drug and then build to crack as they search for greater highs. This can be due to peer pressure or even mental health issues. Many individuals do develop a drug addiction because they are looking to cope with a problem in their life. Since it is so cheap, crack is often considered one of the best possibilities available.
Signs Of Crack Addiction
You might be worried that your loved one or family member has an addiction to this drug. Here are some of the signs of crack addiction that you should watch out for. People who are on this drug or who have used it multiple times may have:
- Dilated pupils
- Dry mouth and nose
- Bad breath
- Muscle spasms
If you’re worried they have been smoking it in the house, you might notice an unpleasant smell. This is described as being like burning plastic, mixed with chemicals.
Be aware that crack cocaine can also be injected also his is far more rare. To do this, the drug is still heated and then the substance is put inside a needle. If someone is using the drug this way, they will have what is known as track marks on their arm or potentially anywhere on their body. These are black lines or rings. They will be over the vein where the substance has been injected.
You may notice a change to mood and behaviour as well because the drug is changing their mind and taking over their life. For instance, people who use cocaine are often:
- Not interested in food
- Suffering from trouble sleeping
- Unable to maintain focus on a conversation
You may also want to look out for objects that are around the house including a long glass pipe, small spoons, metal, straws and razor blades.
Side Effects Of Crack Addiction
The main effect of the drug is an immediate sense of euphoria which occurs in seconds. People are also incredibly alert after initially taking the drug. However, this effect does not last long at all and will typically have completely subsided in a few minutes. What follows after is known as a massive crash. Immediately, cravings begin and there are also countless unpleasant side effects that most users simply don’t expect or see coming.
Some of these effects include:
- Enlarged pupils
- Increased anxiety
- Unpredictable behavior
- Temperature spikes
- Trouble breathing
Even after one use, it’s possible that you will suffer from a stroke, seizures or even a heart attack. It’s not uncommon for individuals to enter into a coma after using the drug for the first time.
Crack Addiction Symptoms
If you are addicted to crack, then it’s likely that you’re going to have used the drug a lot more than once. Since it’s addictive and you constantly need the increased high, it could even become a daily habit. This level of addiction brings more dangerous and troubling symptoms such as:
- Severe depression and anxiety – due to an inability to get the drug they crave
- Suicidal thoughts – again often due to inability to get the drug they need.
- Vivid hallucinations – this can cause self mutilation
- Parkinson’s Disease – this condition becomes far more common after taking crack
- Difficulty functioning sexually
- Malnourishment – food becomes less important and the drug becomes the main focus of their life
The most common side effect is definitely paranoia. Users are often shocked to discover that the paranoia you experience on crack goes far beyond what you might feel on regular cocaine. You will be anti-social, you may not want to talk to individuals around you. Instead, you will cut yourself off from society completely.
There are behavioural symptoms as well. People on crack often will do anything to feed the habit. They will steal, lie, commit crimes. They will drift away from other commitments such as work as well as personal relationships.
Am I Addicted To Crack?
You might be wondering whether you have an issue with crack cocaine. Are you addicted to crack? If any of the symptoms and signs above seem familiar then it is highly likely that you are addicted to this substance. The telltale sign will be craving. People who are addicted to this drug cannot help but crave it constantly. If you are not using it, you will want it. If you do not have access to it, you will feel depressed. You will do everything and anything you can to get it. The need for this drug will constantly haunt you and drive you to do things that you never thought possible before now.
Some people believe that they can handle or cope with their addiction. Your loved one or friend might say that they are functioning well despite using crack cocaine. While it is possible for some people to function and use crack, it’s likely that it will eventually reach the point where the addiction does grow out of control. Furthermore, it is necessary to point out that there is no level of crack that is safe to use. It’s possible and indeed likely that you die after your first use. Indeed, many people do find that they struggle with life-changing consequences after just a couple of hits.
How To Beat Crack Addiction
Are you wondering how to beat crack addiction? You might think that you can do this at home without anyone else’s help. After all, you have already recognized you have a problem so from here you might assume it’s a straightforward process. It isn’t though because taking crack for extended periods actually changes how your brain operates. You may not even be able to feel pleasure anymore without the drug. Everything else in your life becomes empty and meaningless. You can barely feel anything at all. As such, it can be difficult to fight back against the addiction and beat it. Those who try to do this on their own will often find themselves relapsing very quickly.
As such, it’s important to have a support system in place. Friends and family members aren’t enough because they may not be prepared for the full list of side effects that you may experience. They may also find it difficult to ensure that you stick to a treatment plan. Instead, they will often allow you to revert back to your old ways or potentially even simply walk away from you completely. That’s why you need professional support and experts on your side.
Crack Addiction Treatment
Crack addiction treatment is the answer you need if you are trying to fight your problem. With crack addiction treatment you can make sure that you are putting your recovery in the hands of professionals who will be able to help you every step of the way. They will ensure that the risk and temptation is removed throughout your recovery process. They will also ensure that you get the full support you require. It’s important to understand that an addiction to crack impacts various aspects of your life. You might struggle to get a job, rebuild personal relationships or just continue to live your life. Crack addiction treatment can cater to all these requirements and more. They will ensure that you have a support system in place throughout your recovery and long after the first stage is completed.
Crack Addiction Treatment Methods
If you’re wondering how to overcome crack addiction, then there are several key methods that can be used. This will typically depend on the individual treatment centre as well as the support that you need. Different experts have various ideas on how to fight crack addiction, but there are some options that are more commonly used than others.
In crack rehab, the first step is always going to be a full drug detox. This is completed in a safe environment as drug withdrawal symptoms can be severe. It also ensures that users get through the painful depression that comes after even one use. Symptoms of withdrawal can last anywhere from several days to multiple months. Symptoms can also disappear and then emerge at any time.
The length of symptoms will typically depend on how long the drug is used, how much is used as well as a full medical history. You may experience number of Crack withdrawal symptoms including:
- Severe levels of anxiety
- Abdominal pain
This is all part of the crack rehab process and experts will be there every step of the way helping you to avoid relapse.
There are no medications available to treat crack addiction. That said, Buspirone has shown promising results, reducing levels of anxiety in addicts. Instead it’s more likely that you will complete several crack rehab programs that involve therapy.
Treatment will typically include cognitive behavioural therapy as well as support groups. Group therapy is particularly effective as it provides individuals who you can lean on for support and advice. Typically, full rehab treatment will last between 30 and 90 days. However, if the addiction is more serious it can be significantly longer. The main idea is to ensure that you are prepared and ready for the challenges that you will face when you return to society.
Even after the first stages of recovery are complete, it’s likely that you will need additional help and support. This often includes intensive counselling where individuals must tackle their addiction and what lead them to start using crack head on. This may include vocational training to ensure that they can effectively rejoin society.
There are various support groups that will be involved in crack addiction treatment throughout your stay in rehab. This will usually ensure that people have others who they can depend on. That’s particularly crucial if other support options in their life such as partners, family members and friends have been lost. It can help guarantee that individuals do not feel alone or outcast while they are trying to recover from a crack addiction.
Crack Rehab Process
You might be nervous about the full crack rehab process. The first step is finding the rehab centre that you need. This can either be located by you or someone who knows you. When you enter the facility, you will usually be asked to hand over any phones or items that allow you to contact the outside world. This is to guarantee a fully immersive environment and ensure that nothing can impact your recovery process. You will be able to contact individuals outside the rehab facility after a matter of days. Detox will be completed in several days after which the longer recovery process begins. While you can typically leave of your own accord, experts will often advise when you are cleared to leave and reenter society.
You can find out more about drug rehab here:
You might be worried about the cost of crack rehab. Well, we’re here to say that it can be more affordable than you think. In exceptional cases, it can even be provided for free by the NHS. The issue here is that if you reach the emergency room due to a crack addiction, you will already have probably suffered life-changing injuries. There is also typically a long wait during which relapses are common. As such, it’s best to opt for private treatment. Standard costs are currently between £2000 and £6000 for private facilities. It’s also possible to find considerably cheaper options that are far more budget-friendly.
If you’re wondering where to get help for crack addiction then we can certainly assist you. We provide a free solution. All you need to do is call us up and a friendly member of our team will be happy to aid you. This is true whether you are calling about yourself or a loved one. Discretion and compassion is ensured as we provide immediate advice for your individual situation. So, if you’re looking up how to get help for crack addiction, just give us a call. After providing advice, we’ll find the right rehab centre for you in the UK and make sure that you are immediately put in contact with them. There’s no wait, no delays, no issues and absolutely no judgement here. Stop suffering in silence and start getting the crack treatment you need with our help and expertise, call 0203 955 7700 and speak to an expert.