Crack Addiction | Crack Cocaine In Ohio

Addiction can affect people differently, but many of the telltale signs are the same. Noticing these signs early may be the key to addressing the problem before it ruins someone’s life.

Crack Addiction | Facts, Effects, Signs, & Treatment

Crack is a smokeable form of cocaine. About 657,000 people used crack in 2020, and 1.3 million people who abused cocaine in any form had a cocaine use disorder. Crack has no medical purpose, and abusing it can lead to long-term health effects, overdose, and addiction.

Facts About Crack

Crack is commonly referred to as “freebase” cocaine because of the process used to make it. Powdered cocaine is made of cocaine hydrochloride, while crack is cocaine separated from hydrochloride (the base is free from the acid).

Here are a few facts about crack:

You Can Make Crack With Baking Soda

You can make crack by heating cocaine powder with baking soda or ammonia. It makes a crackling sound while heating and results in rock-like crystals. Though it contains impurities, crack is popular because it has a much lower melting point than cocaine hydrochloride.

True freebase cocaine used to be made with ammonia and ether. But since ether is highly flammable, this process was dangerous and is rarely used today. 

Crack Is A Stimulant

Crack cocaine is a stimulant drug. Its effects are similar to those of amphetamines (Adderall) or methamphetamine. It speeds up your heart rate, breathing, and brain activity, giving you a rush of energy, focus, and euphoria. 

But the effects are short-lived. The high from crack only lasts five to 10 minutes.

Crack Is Highly Addictive

When you smoke crack, it has an immediate and intense effect. This pleasurable sensation makes you more likely to take the drug again. Since the high wears off quickly, many people take repeated hits to keep it going.

Research indicates that crack is the most addictive form of cocaine because of its brief effect and the tendency to binge. The drug is classified as a schedule II controlled substance as it has a high potential to be abused and is likely to cause addiction.

Effects Of Crack

Crack cocaine produces a high by preventing the brain from reabsorbing dopamine, so there’s extra dopamine floating around. Dopamine is a hormone that’s part of the brain’s reward system. It makes you feel good when you do something positive, like exercise.

Some effects of crack abuse are:

  • euphoria (extreme happiness)
  • increased energy
  • mental alertness
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch
  • paranoia (unreasonable distrust of others)

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “large amounts of cocaine can lead to bizarre, unpredictable, and violent behavior.” If you smoke a lot of crack at once or take overlapping doses, you could lose control.

Risks Of Crack Abuse

Since there’s no medical use for crack cocaine, abusing it is dangerous and damaging to your health. Risks of crack abuse include overdose, long-term health effects, and addiction.

Crack Overdose

Taking too much crack cocaine at once can cause an overdose. You can also overdose if you take overlapping doses that introduce more crack into your body before it’s had a chance to metabolize the last dose.

Mixing crack with other stimulants raises the risk of overdose that may result in a heart attack or death. Combining it with a depressant (such as opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines) makes it hard to tell when you’ve had enough.

Long-Term Health Effects

Crack cocaine abuse can cause many health problems—especially concerning your heart. Chest pain is a common complaint that sends many people who use crack to the emergency room each year. Rapid heart rate and heart attack are other risks.

Smoking crack can also damage the lungs, causing:

  • a persistent cough
  • new or worsened asthma
  • respiratory distress (difficulty breathing properly)
  • a higher risk of lung infections like pneumonia

Sharing a broken crack pipe can spread bloodborne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C if a broken pipe comes in contact with open lip sores.

Other long-term health effects associated with crack cocaine abuse are:

  • loss of appetite, weight loss, and malnutrition
  • a weak immune system
  • raised body temperature
  • high blood pressure
  • muscle twitches
  • blisters on lips or fingers
  • the sensation of bugs crawling on or under the skin(“coke bugs”)
  • movement disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
  • hallucinations
  • severe paranoia
  • psychosis

Crack Addiction In Ohio

Some people think they can try crack just once, and it will be fine. Then they take one more hit because the high wears off so quickly, and then one more. Before they know it, they’re having cravings they can’t resist.

When you get the reward of excess dopamine from crack cocaine use, it reinforces drug-taking behavior. The more you depend on crack to feel good, the more addicted you become.

Signs Of Crack Addiction

Addiction can affect people differently, but many of the telltale signs are the same. Noticing these signs early may be the key to addressing the problem before it ruins someone’s life.

Some common signs of crack addiction are:

  • secretive behavior
  • loss of interest in hobbies
  • strained relationships with family and friends
  • money problems from buying drugs
  • crack paraphernalia (like thin glass or metal pipes)
  • difficulty maintaining a job or good grades
  • noticeable changes in health-related to crack abuse
  • increased energy or restlessness

You may also be able to tell if someone is addicted to crack if they go without it. Though crack doesn’t cause physical dependence, an addicted person may have a hard time hiding symptoms of withdrawal like depression, fatigue, slow thinking, or insomnia.

Crack Addiction Treatment In Ohio

The most effective crack addiction treatment programs combine evidence-based therapies and work with you to create a unique treatment plan.

Crack treatment options often include:

  • Detoxification (detox) programs for crack cocaine offer support as you go through the withdrawal process to rid your body of crack so you can focus on recovery.
  • Support groups place you with other people who have abused crack so you can share your experiences and encourage each other.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you reframe your negative thought patterns to produce healthier behavioral choices and positive coping techniques.
  • Family therapy encourages family members to repair broken relationships and restore trust so they can support their loved one’s recovery.
  • Exercise heals your body and mind, produces dopamine naturally, and gives you a healthy outlet for stress management.
  • Yoga and meditation center your mind and spirit while strengthening your body.

Some treatment facilities offer dual diagnosis treatment, which addresses co-occurring mental disorders. Often, the symptoms of another mental problem get worse with addiction, are the cause of substance abuse, or both. Resolving both issues at once ensures a better chance of avoiding relapse.

At Ohio Recovery Center, we offer residential rehab programs for crack cocaine addiction. Many people benefit from an inpatient environment during early recovery. It removes them from the stresses of everyday life and provides 24-hour support.

Our personalized treatment programs help you regain your physical and mental health, give you the tools to prevent relapse, and teach you how to live without crack cocaine.

Contact a treatment specialist to learn more and start healing today.

Written by
Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: May 27, 2022

©2022 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

This page does not provide medical advice.

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