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.

drugs-908533_1920-400x267 Crack Addiction - Symptoms, Side Effects, How to Get Treatment & Rehab

Crack is known by a variety of names on the street. This includes:

  • Tornado
  • Chemical
  • Sleep
  • Hail
  • Dice
  • Nuggets
  • Rocks
  • Base
  • Ball
  • Candy
  • 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
  • Shaking

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:

  • Irritable
  • Argumentative
  • Violent
  • Erratic
  • 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
  • Nausea
  • 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
  • Paranoia

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.


  • Detox


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:

  • Cravings
  • Nightmares
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Severe levels of anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea

This is all part of the crack rehab process and experts will be there every step of the way helping you to avoid relapse.


  • Medication


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.


  • 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:

Crack Rehab Cost

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.

Find A Crack Rehab Center

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.


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    Detoxification (detox) is the medical intervention required for someone who is physically dependent to drugs or alcohol. If required, medical detoxification would be the first step taken in residential rehab. Detox is used to prevent uncomfortable and dangerous (even fatal) withdrawals symptoms resulting in suddenly becoming abstinent from alcohol/certain drugs.

    The goal of a medical detox is to aid in the physical healing required following long term addiction and rid the body of all together of substance whilst providing a cushion for unpleasant symptoms of withdrawals. Detox is not considered the whole treatment for drug/alcohol addiction and it is always recommended that a comprehensive rehabilitation program is used along side to help maintain long term abstinence.

    Medication is often required for alcohol detox. If you are dependent on alcohol and experiencing withdrawal symptoms it is vitally important to seek medical advice prior to stopping. There is a long list of medications used when treating alcohol addiction and the exact medication given to an individual will depend on their needs/medical history. Some of these include;

    • Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
    • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    • Diazapam (vailium)

    Librium and Valium are the most commonly used detox medication in the UK. All medication used to help with alcohol detox have been proven to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

    There are also a number of drugs recombined by the NHS to help treat alcohol misuse. Some of these include:

    • Naltrexone
    • Disulfiram (Antabuse)
    • Nalmefene
    • Acamprosate (campral)

    Medication is always required for heroin detox. For someone suffering from heroin addiction, the thought of detoxification (detox) can be exceptionally daunting. Withdrawal symptoms from opiates, such as heroin, can be severe and include pain, vomiting, nausea and shaking.

    There are different ways that heroin detox can be carried out, most usually either ‘maintenance therapy’ or ‘full medical detox’.

    Attempting to switch from heroin to a heroin substitute, usually on a controlled prescription, is known as Maintenance therapy. Subsites used are most often methadone or buprenorphine.

    A full medical detox from heroin will always be carried out in a residential rehab setting and will allow the individual to switch form heroin to a substitute and slowly withdraw completing treatment free of all substances. Someone using a heroin substitute can choose to have a full medical detox at any time, however detoxing substances such a methadone can often add to the length of detox required. Drugs most commonly used to fully detox from heroin are, Subutex, Suboxone and Methadone. Much like alcohol, the exact drugs used will be dependent on the individuals needs/medical history.

    Once detoxed from heroin the risk of overdose is much higher following relapse due to tolerance following withdrawal.

    The length of treatment in a residential rehab depends on a number of elements. Some substances require longer periods of detox than others.

    Private paying patients will also often choose a length of stay that suites their therapeutic and financial needs. As a rule, a full treatment program in a rehab is considered to be 28 days (often referred to as a month), however, treatment is offered in several different ways and lengths starting at 7 days.

    Treating alcohol addiction will always require a minimum of 7-10 days, this would be considered the detoxification (detox) faze. The length required for treating drug addiction can vary drastically depending on the substance being used. Detox for Heroin addiction is generally around 14 days minimum, with more time required if substances such a methadone are being used. Treating prescription drug addiction can often take the longest. The time required for treating gambling addiction, eating disorders and sex addiction will be based on the individuals needs.

    Rehab programs can be as long as an individual requires but primary treatment is normally caped at 12 weeks, with the offering for further secondary and tertiary treatment thereafter.

    *based on average rehab stays, everyone will vary dependant on needs and medical requirement/history.

    There is no need for your employer to know that you are seeking help for trauma and addiction unless you choose to involve them with the process. All employers should have a policy that explains what you do if you cannot come to work due to illness – illness to include treating alcohol addiction/treating drug addiction.

    If your work absence extends over 7 days your employer is likely to require an official statement of fitness to work which would be obtained from your GP. This would need to supply evidence of your illness as well as any adjustments required for returning to work, fazed return or reduced hours, but does not need to specify in detail the reason why you have been absent.

    If you are absent from work for 7 days of less, for example entering rehab for a detoxification (detox) on a Saturday for 7-10 days taking a full week away from work, you can self-certify your illness by letting your employer work you will not be attending work for that period of time. Exactly how an individual would do this would be dependent on a specific companies’ policies on taking sick leave.

    Any time longer than 7 days it is likely an employer will require a note from the individuals GP certifying their sickness and a fit note on return. Most companies have a clearly outlined policy on sickness and receiving sick pay so the exact requirement can vary. A rehab will always be willing to advise on time off work.

    How much does rehab cost is a very frequently asked question. The cost of treatment can range from £1,000 per week upwards depending on the place, with luxury rehab being the most expensive.

    There are free options available on the NHS but the waitlist of those looking for free treatment is longer than that for privately paying patients. Some private health insurance policies will cover treatment in some rehabs around the country.

    Choosing the right rehab centre will often be based on priced but it is important to follow guidance on the most suitable treatment centre for an individual’s needs which our expert team of advisers are on hand to offer.

    There are certainly pro’s for both treatment near by and traveling for treatment with one of the most asked question being should I get rehab near me? There are rehabs all over the UK and around the world that all offer expert programs, let’s look at how to choose a rehab.

    Local treatment

    Being close to home gives certainly has benefits. Visitors are normally permitted in rehab following the first 7 days stay, therefore if an individual is in treatment for a length of time longer than that being local will make it easier for loved ones to visit.

    Most rehab centres will also provide a full aftercare plan for someone following treatment, this will include ongoing aftercare in the specific treatment centre. Living close by can make it easy to take full advantage of ongoing aftercare. There can also often be the option for ongoing care with an individual therapist, again being close by will allow that treatment to be carried out face to face.

    Some individuals wish to be local but are willing to look broader, for instance the greater city of residence (London, Manchester, Liverpool, etc)

    Treatment Away

    Getting treatment away from home can be very appealing to some. Being out of the local area makes it a lot harder to just walk out of treatment as resources locally are unknown. Some also take comfort in knowing that they are not near home and focus more on treatment.

    As the price for treatment can vary so much from one residential treatment centre to another, private paying patients often would rather travel to keep the cost down. Those using private health insurance may also have to travel to find a treatment centre covered in their policy.

    When opting for treatment away from home this can be anywhere in the UK and also abroad. Aftercare can still be carried out and very successful using tools such as The Online Rehab.

    There is no right or wrong when choosing where to go to residential rehab, but our expert advisors are always on hand to help provide information on all possible options.

    Whilst millions of people in the UK have taken recreational drugs (amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, GHB, heron, ketamine, methadone, and prescription drugs) and drank alcohol not all become ‘addicted’. Most recent reports show that 279,793 individuals were in contact with drug and alcohol misuse services in the last year with over half of that being from opiate addiction and a quarter for alcohol.

    There are several risk factors invoiced in addiction and those using drugs and alcohol socially, simply take the risk. These risks are as follows;

    Tolerance – basically, if a substance is used repeatedly an individual’s tolerance to it will build. This will result in more of the same substance being required to get the same effect. In the long run this can easily lead to addiction and physical dependencies.

    Environmental risks – these can include influences such a peer pressure and stress as well as physical or mental abuse of an individual (particularly as a child). Overall, those who live with frequent pressures and stress are more likely to reach for a substance to cope and are therefore at higher risk of becoming addicted.

    Drug type – it is very well known that certain drugs are simply more addictive than others. Using substances such as heroin increases the risk of becoming addicted for need to ‘chase’ a high as well as physical dependency.

    Drug administration – how a drug is administered can affect its addictive qualities. A drug injected rather than smoked or snorted will release a quicker and more intense high thus making it psychologically (and in many cases physically) more addictive.

    Biological factors – it is now widely reported that being an addict is not only psychological but also biological. This includes your genetic makeup, mental health, sex and age. It is also reported to be 8 times more likely for the child of an addict to become an addict themselves.

    Its believed that addiction is approximately half genetics and therefore some are 50% more likely to become addicted than others.

    How do you help a loved one trapped in addiction?

    The first step is to help and encourage the individual to become willing to accept help. They do not need to be shouting this off the rooftops, but they do need to be willing to go into treatment. There are ways to help someone become willing to get treatment for alcohol or treatment for drugs.

    Set boundaries – set boundaries and stick to them. Once you have laid them out follow through with whatever consequences you have set however hard it is.

    Stop finances – if you are financially supporting someone stopping these finances can be the quickest way for the addict needing to ask for help. With no money to acquire a substance an addict’s options become very limited.

    Intervention – getting together with other family members/friends/colleagues and staging an intervention is often very successful in the fist stage of acceptance and gaining an admission to residential rehab.

    You can’t make them quit, this can lead to dangerous withdrawal. Boundaries are very important in helping someone become willing to get help. Unfortunately you cannot do someone’s recovery for them and without self-motivation it is very hard to make it work.

    The next step is to call our highly trained advisers 0203 955 7700.

    There is a huge range of rehab options available and where to start can be completely over whelming so let us help.