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Evils of crack cocaine; how to kick its addiction

Evils of crack cocaine; how to kick its addiction

01-21 | CDAH Team

The U.S. Justice Department reports reveal that approximately 2 million people use crack cocaine. The disturbing figure and the continuous rise in crack addiction call for stern steps by the authorities concerned. If it’s not about breaking the bank, people would sell their soul for that hit of the drug.

Crack causes an intense high leading initially to addiction, and then to many mental illnesses. People who get addicted are found to have improper eating and sleeping habit. Besides, an addict becomes more prone to cardiac arrests, stroke, and seizure or respiratory failure. What makes the threat epidemic is its easy accessibility, especially among teens and young adults. In a 2010 survey, 23 percent of eighth graders, 32 percent of 10th graders, and 45 percent of 12th graders reported that crack was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

What is crack cocaine?

Crack is a powerful form of cocaine and is also called crack cocaine. This stimulant drug is a white powder made from leaves of coca bush, which grows in the Andes Mountains in South America. It is usually smoked, often in a glass pipe. It can also be injected. According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), when crack is heated and inhaled, the lungs absorb the vapors and direct it to the bloodstream. Smoking crack can give a high lasting 5-10 minutes, compared to 15-30 minutes of high by snorting cocaine.

Signs and symptoms

A crack addict may show different signs at different stages of addiction. Below are the symptoms that can develop at an initial stage:

  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Euphoria (intense)
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Psychosis

There can be severe effects of regular consumption of crack, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Severe tooth decay
  • Respiratory failure
  • Sexual problems
  • Intense mood swings
  • Kidney failure
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack


Understanding the risks involved

A person who smokes crack gets a feeling of pleasure, as the drug makes dopamine in the spaces between nerve cells. Dopamine increases the stimulation, creating a high for 5-15 minutes. When crack begins to wear off, the person might feel depressed and anxious which leads to more craving for the drug. Many substances which create toxic fumes are added while preparing crack.

Using crack may increase a person’s breathing rate or body temperature. Regular use of the drug results in loss of appetite leading to weight fluctuations. Not only it gives frequent mood swings, but the person also tends to lose interest in socializing and carrying out other daily activities. Talking about major health problems, a crack addict may have severe heart problems, lungs damage and respiratory issues. It comes as no surprise that crack may lead to risky sexual behavior and violence.

Road to recovery

Regardless of the intensity of the addiction, one may always hope to step ahead and walk on a path to sobriety. The NIDA is studying modafinil, a drug used for the treatment of narcolepsy, as a medicine to get someone off cocaine crack addiction. Bupropion, Baclofen, Acetylcysteine, Vanoxerine and Vigabatrin are a few other medicines that are used for de-addiction.

It is advisable to seek a treatment that includes a combination of medications and therapy under the specialists’ supervision. Since an addict goes through severe mental trauma as well, it is crucial to know the intensity to which he is involved in crack, and to what extent he could be recovered initially. If you know someone who is struggling with addiction, and finding an effective way to recover, help is available. The Colorado Drug Addiction Helpline is available 24/7 to answer all your questions and help you find an effective treatment option in your area. Call at 866-218-7546 and make someone lead a normal life again.

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