Signs of Crack Addiction
The signs of crack addiction are very similar to cocaine
addiction. However, there are many differences between how the drugs are
used and the duration and types of effects experienced by the user. Crack,
sometimes called "Rock", is a purified form of cocaine that is
smoked by inhaling the vapors of cocaine that are given off as the drug
is heated. Crack is cocaine has been distilled from its familiar powder
form of cocaine hydrochloride. Cocaine powder is put into a mixture with
baking soda, heated, hardened and then broken into pieces. Crack is often
more pure than sniffable cocaine (85%-90% pure). It is sold as light brown
or beige pellets. Drug dealers distribute ready to smoke freebase cocaine
packaged in small vials.
Crack is typically smoked in pipes constructed of glass bowls
fitted with one or more fine mesh screens that support the drug. The user
heats the side of the bowl (usually with a lighter), and the heat causes
the cocaine base to vaporize. The user inhales the cocaine-laden fumes
through the pipe. Alternatively, crack cocaine can be sprinkled in cigarettes
and smoked. Usually the crack is ground up and sprinkled into a marijuana
joint and smoked. These cocaine laced joints are referred to as primos.
The vapors of the freebase are absorbed through the lungs into the bloodstream
and transported to the brain within 10-15 seconds. One inhalation will
produce a degree of intoxication usually lasting 10-15 minutes. The drug
is said to take its name from the crackling noise it makes when it is smoked.
Crack is a purified form cocaine. Two or three doses can
cause addiction. Because this smokable form of cocaine delivers 10 times
the impact of "snorting" the powder, casual use can cause death
from heart or respiratory failure. Crack smokers also run an increased
risk of addiction and paranoid psychosis. The high from smoking crack lasts
between 5 to 7 minutes and is followed by severe depression, feelings of
worthlessness, and a craving for more of the drug. In a brief period of
time, crack begins to control the user. This is the pattern of behavior
that leads to addiction and dependence. The compulsion to continue to use
crack has led to the "binges" that are often described by users.
During a binge, Crack is smoked continuously until money and/or drug supplies
are gone, or the user experiences physical collapse. The need for crack
every other need, leading to crime and violence to acquire it.
Crack addicts have many tell tale signs of their addiction.
A few physical signs of crack addiction include dilated pupils, sweating,
weight loss, irregular heartbeat, frequent upper respiratory infections,
fits of coughing, coughing up black mucous, muscle tremors, severe headaches
and a decline in personal appearance. Additionally, a few emotional signs
of crack addiction include dramatic mood changes, and insomnia followed
by exhaustion, loss of interest in friends, loss of interest in food,
sex, or other pleasures, hearing voices and hallucinations.