The Leading Expert in Treatment for Alcohol and Substance Abuse
and Founder of The Hills Treatment Center
Crack Addiction

Crack cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant derived from cocaine. Crack cocaine looks like small white rocks, it produces effects similar to those of cocaine however it cannot be snorted. The most common route of administration is by smoking crack out of a small glass pipe. The high from crack consumption may last anywhere from five to ten minutes. Crack became prevalent in large inner city areas in the late 70's and 80's. Many drug users were attracted to crack due to easy accessibility and affordability of the drug.
Signs and symptoms of crack addiction include:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite and weight loss
  • Nasal cavity/lung damage
  • Heart problems
  • Strokes
  • Convulsions
  • Delusions

Effects Produced by Crack-Cocaine include:

  • Euphoria
  • Exhilaration
  • Impulsivity
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Increased rate of breathing
  • Loss of inhibition
  • Panic and paranoia
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Increased heart rate
  • Cravings (for the drug)

In addition to these effects, there is a risk of overdose and death associated with crack use. Unlike cocaine, the effects produced by smoking crack-cocaine reach their peak approximately one minute after use. Crack is also known for the short duration of effect; both characteristics, quick onset and short duration of effects, are known as addictive characteristics in abuse-able substances.

An individual addicted to crack-cocaine will have a much higher chance of recovery if some type of treatment is sought. An Addiction to crack can cause an individual's life to quickly become unmanageable, and treatment should be sought sooner rather than later if you or someone you know appears to have an addiction to crack-cocaine.

Treatment for Crack-Cocaine Addiction

As with any addiction, outside help is often required in order to break the cycle. There are many options available: Twelve-step programs, individual therapy and counseling, group therapy, and in-patient treatment. It is recommended that any individual who is serious about their recovery participate in multiple, if not all, forms of treatment.

Generally speaking, addiction to crack-cocaine is a serious problem and should be treated as such. The addicted individual will likely benefit from some type of in-patient care, such as a prolonged stay at a rehabilitation center, followed by some type of 'aftercare' or sober living environment. There are many twelve-step programs that cater to drug use in general, including CA (cocaine anonymous), which would likely benefit in the recovery of the addict. Crack is widely known as an incredibly addictive substance, and an individual who has become addicted to crack should have an extensive recovery program in order to maximize their chances of successful recovery.

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