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crack cocaine

Various substances can become extremely addictive to people, and this includes both legal and illicit substances. There are some that can have a valuable purpose within the medical realm like opioid painkillers or certain types of stimulants, but there are also other substances that are completely illicit and serve absolutely no purpose other than for users to get high. One of the most prominent types of these latter substances is crack cocaine, which entered the scene in the 80’s.

It is important to understand the differences between crack cocaine and typical cocaine, as they are not exactly the same thing. First off is the form, as typical cocaine comes in the form of a powder, whereas crack is generally in the form of crystals, which are commonly called “rocks.” Cocaine powder is snorted most of the time, and crack is typically smoked, though it can be crushed and snorted as well. They both can also be dissolved in a solution and then injected, which is employed because of its rapid effects. Crack can be created through a few different processes, but a common one is to mix the powder with ammonia, water, and baking soda, and then let it dry. Once it has dried, crystals are formed, which are the crack “rocks” spoken about earlier. These are then collected and used through one of the above-mentioned methods.

The Effects of Crack Cocaine

There is also the matter of the effects that each can have. Crack is generally faster acting than general cocaine, which is largely due to it mostly being smoked, as it reaches the bloodstream and brain faster through this method. The effects that crack has upon an individual tend to be a bit more potent than cocaine, but they are also more fleeting. Cocaine’s effects tend to last around 15-30 minutes, whereas the effects of crack last more around 5-10 minutes. The effects come rapidly, peak quickly, and then dissipate. This often results in users taking frequent doses to continue their high.

The effects of crack can include things like:

  • Euphoria
  • Energy Bursts
  • Heightened Sense of Self or Self-Importance
  • Increased Alertness or Focus

Of course, while the above effects can sound appealing to many people, crack can also have a litany of negative effects just like any other substance. Many of these can also be signs that could indicate abuse and addiction. Psychological or behavioral symptoms can include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Mood Swings
  • Inability to Stop Even if Desiring to Do So
  • Heavy Focus on Obtaining the Drug
  • Risky Behavior to Use or Obtain Crack

There can also be several different physical signs to watch for as well, which includes:

  • Insomnia
  • Pupil Dilation
  • Nosebleeds
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Muscle Twitches (Fasciculations)
  • Suppressed Appetite
  • Weight Loss

An individual can also run the risk of developing a physical dependency to crack. This is when an individual has been using the substance for such an extended time that their body begins to grow expectant of it. Then, when the individual ceases their use, it can come as quite a shock to the system and potentially result in withdrawal symptoms, which could include:

  • Increased Anxiety or Stress
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Intense Cravings

As mentioned above, there is also the potential for addiction. It is important to recognize that there is a distinct difference between addiction and physical dependency. One is purely physical in nature, whereas the other can involve mental and behavioral factors as well. When an individual uses a substance like crack, it stimulates dopamine production within the brain, which is involved with the reward system. And when this continually occurs and feels good, it can reinforce repeated use of the substance. In both of these conditions, it is best advised that an individual seek professional addiction treatment. It can be extremely difficult to overcome addiction when attempting to do it by one’s self, but treatment can help greatly. And with physical dependence, it is ideal if the person is monitored through the detox process in the event that any medical complications come about.

Treatment for Addiction

Struggling with addiction can be an extremely despairing situation to be in, as one may feel like they will never be able to overcome it, but it is not impossible to do so. Treatment is there to help people get to the bottom of their addiction, and eventually, break free of it. And fortunately, there are many different types of treatment that can help people to achieve this. In fact, there are so many options around the country that it can be hard to know which to choose, but that is where New Beginnings is here to help. Our staff is familiar with the types of centers across the nation and can explain their various offerings. We can help find the best fit in a treatment facility for you or your loved one. Take the first steps toward a new and sober life and give us a call today.

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