Cocaine is a drug that many people are addicted to, and it also comes as a cheaper version known as crack cocaine.
Crack cocaine is a rock form of cocaine that can be smoked, thus having a faster effect on the brain. The effect is often said to be more intense and once someone starts consuming the substance, it can be extremely difficult to stop. The drug can easily result in an addiction that will be there to stay for a very long time. As a result, the addict will deal with bad symptoms, both immediate and long-term. Seeking help as soon as possible is of utmost importance.
What Is Crack Cocaine?
Crack cocaine refers to the crystal form of cocaine. It is a drug that is made by mixing cocaine powder with baking soda. Initially, this drug started being spread around as a recreational drug in some impoverished areas in Washington, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and many others in 1984-1985. The Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment says that this is the most addictive type of cocaine, which is what makes it very dangerous.
More than 800,000 Americans had abused the drug in 2019, and more than 1 million Americans had a difficult time with cocaine use disorder and crack cocaine.
This cocaine type is either called rock cocaine, raw, hard, or freebase cocaine. Once cooked, the crack is broken into smaller rocks that are usually white or tan pieces. The “crack” part of the name comes from the fact that when the drug is being heated and smoked, it crackles.
Crack and Cocaine: The Difference
The drug is a bit different from powdered cocaine. Although crack and cocaine are similar forms of the same drug, they have different effects on the individual who consumes them.
Both drugs are derived from the coca plant, but when it comes to their formations, they are processed differently. Crack is made by mixing baking soda and cocaine and processing them into a smokable form. Smoking the drug can lead to a very intense high sensation that can get addictive.
So, crack is an impure cocaine form, and you can easily find it on the streets sold for a smaller price compared to pure cocaine. Because of that, it is more accessible, and a larger group of people will be able to afford it – at least for a while.
Crack is different than cocaine because its effects are more intense and come much faster. On the other hand, the high sensation caused by smoking crack lasts a very short time, usually diminishing within 10-15 minutes.
Because the effects vanish so quickly, one would be more tempted to use it continuously, which makes the addiction potential higher compared to normal cocaine. On top of that, crack cocaine is much cheaper because it is mixed with several impurities and is very easy to make. The low cost is one of the things that made it popular, to begin with.
How Crack is Used
While people use cocaine orally or by snorting it, crack cocaine is smoked. After being processed by mixing cocaine powder with baking soda, the result is broken into smaller pieces. Then, it is smoked in a pipe, which makes it more likely for the addict to experience the symptoms much faster and in a more intense way. This makes getting help for the addiction much harder.
The Effects of Smoking Crack
Smoking crack can offer both immediate and long-term effects. It is hard to tell how someone would act under the influence of crack cocaine because every person reacts differently to the drug.
That being said, just because an individual deals with certain symptoms, it doesn’t mean that another person will have the same symptoms. The effects of crack cocaine can be psychological and physical. Going on with the addiction will worsen the symptoms and may even lead to irreversible damage to the body. The withdrawal symptoms for crack are also unique for each person.
Crack cocaine can result in the following symptoms:
- Sleep pattern changes
- Nervousness and paranoia
- Weird and/or risky behavior
- Dilated eyes
- Loss of appetite
- High alertness and body temperature
- Heart failure
- Higher heart rate and blood pressure
- Contracted blood vessels
- Crack cocaine cravings
- “Coke bugs” hallucination
However, that is not where it stops. Crack cocaine use can also lead to some long-term, permanent effects. Vital body parts such as the liver, kidneys, or heart may be affected. The immune system will also be weakened, making it more likely for the addict to deal with infections.
In the long-term, crack cocaine can result in:
- Kidney or heart failure
- Respiratory failure
- Liver damage
- Lung damage
- Permanent blood vessel damage
- Tooth decay
- Paranoid behavior
- Higher chances of engaging in risky behavior
Someone who abuses crack will find it difficult and sometimes even impossible to stop. Whether the amount of crack they consume is smaller or larger, the addict will not be able to stop and will crave more of the drug, especially when withdrawal symptoms appear. They would be willing to give anything to obtain crack cocaine, even if that means going against the law.
If you or someone else in your life is struggling with crack addiction, the best thing to do is seek help. You should contact someone who could offer the right treatment and help the individual get off the harmful substance. It would be hard to get them to start taking treatment or give up on crack, so it is best to consider an intervention.
Getting Treatment for Crack Addiction
Real Deal Therapy & Wellness can help you get the help you need when crack addiction is ruining your life. We have a detox program available where your body can be cleared of crack cocaine. However, we also focus on your mental health and addiction treatment after detox.
This way, you will be able to get the appropriate treatment for your problem and then work hard to improve your mental health and your life. You can ask for help for yourself or a loved one, so you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out.
Don’t let crack cocaine ruin your life! Ask for help right now and you can start getting treatment before it’s too late!