In case you might be worried that you or a loved one has been abusing crack or is struggling with crack addiction, it might be in your best interests to know what you need to look for. Read on to find out more:
Crack or crack cocaine is irregularly shaped in white chunks that are available in different sizes. Due to this appearance, the drug is commonly known as rock. Although it does not come with any distinctive smell, the substance is often burned for smoking - during which process I produces a smoke or burning odor.
A freebase form of the popular drug cocaine, crack is popular due to its ongoing appeal as an affordable or relatively expensive drug. It also produces an ultra-potent and fast acting high.
The drug is known as crack due to the sound that the rock shaped chunks of the substance produce when they are burned. On the streets, the substance is also known by various other names, including but not limited to base, candy, cookies, dice, gravel, jelly beans, nuggets, and rocks.
A powerful stimulant, the drug elicits a rapid and euphoric high. Its stimulant effects on the human body means that when you take this substance, it will speed up various physical and psychological processes.
As a result, the drug can lead to an increase in energy as well as boost your feeling of having a sense of control. Since the drug is the smoked form of popular cocaine, it typically leads to near-immediate effects. This is because you would typically inhale it and its fumes directly into your lungs - from where it will be absorbed into your bloodstream rather quickly.
Although you will feel its effects rather quickly and they will also peak quickly, often, they will dissipate within 2 to 20 minutes. Since the high is short lived, you may find yourself abusing this drug in binges, which will be followed by successive crashes. This binge and crash cycle of substance abuse will increase your risk of developing dependence, tolerance, and crack addiction.
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If you have been abusing crack, you may have been doing so to achieve the high that the drug is commonly known for. This high is typically accompanied by the pleasurable effects of the drug, which include but are not limited to:
The substance is like any other drug in the sense that persistent use will quickly displace these desired effects with other negative effects, consequences, and harmful outcomes.
Both in the short as well as in the long term, abusing crack can lead to a wide variety of other negative side effects. Most of these effects will have an influence on your health and wellness. They include:
It is advised that you learn how to spot these effects as being a result of your ongoing crack abuse and addiction. The only way to manage them would be to seek help from an addiction treatment and rehabilitation facility that can help you overcome your dependence on the drug as well as teach you how to get back to your normal healthy self.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that crack cocaine is a dangerous substance. For this reason, it is highly unlikely that you are going to be able to use this drug in a recreational or casual way for a significant period of time. This is because it is one of the most powerfully addictive substances available on the market today.
To this end, it is important that you take any use of this drug seriously. Ongoing crack use will eventually give rise to addiction, which would typically be accompanied by a number of signs and symptoms - both psychological and physical. These symptoms include but are not limited to:
But how can you tell whether you have been living with crack addiction? Essentially, addiction would most likely be present if you have started engaging in risk, problematic, or dangerous behaviors so that you can continue receiving as well as using this substance.
If you persistently continue using the drug, you may eventually find that you have developed tolerance to it. Tolerance refers to a situation in which your body has adapted to the drug in its system. When this happens, you will find that you have to take crack in higher doses or more frequently than you used to before you can experience its pleasurable effects.
After you have built up a tolerance to the substance and you start taking it in higher amounts, you may soon find that you are dependent on it. At this point, you could be said to be struggling with a substance use disorder in the form of crack addiction.
Once you are an addict, you will find yourself engaging in problematic behavior so that you can continue getting access to and using the drug. In the course of your addiction, you will also be less logical and rational. Most likely, it will be challenging for you to maintain any healthy relationships because of the running influence of this drug.
One of the clear signs and symptoms of addiction is the development of withdrawal. As your tolerance develops, you will soon find yourself struggling with physical dependence. This means that your body and brain would have started relying on the drug to function normally. If you do not take the drug, significantly reduce your typical dose, or go for longer than normal without it, you may struggle with any of the following withdrawal symptoms:
In the course of your crack abuse and addiction, you may place yourself and others in harm's way - which would of your own doing - due to the compulsion that you have when it comes to seeking this drug. Some of the dangerous behaviors that you may also engage in include:
Crack cocaine is known to intensify sexual desire while also removing any inhibitions that you may have. While high on this drug, you may find yourself having sexual intercourse with multiple partners. There is also a risk that you may end up engaging in unprotected sex.
Apart from these risky sexual behaviors, you may also choose to exchange sexual favors to get your hands on crack - especially if you are unable to afford the drug any more or urgently need to take it.
One of the effects of this drug is that it intensifies emotional experiences - including but not limited to rage and anger. When you are high on it, you may end up turning violent towards other people around you. Further, there is a risk that you may harm yourself, both unintentionally and intentionally.
Often, in the course of your crack addiction, you may find yourself in risky situations in your search for the drug. Often, you may visit dangerous neighborhoods or even agree to engage in risky activities so that you can get your hands on the substance. This is because addiction is one of the most powerful motivators and there are many people who are ensnared by it who find that they no longer have inhibitions about what they would do to get the drug.
When you are addicted to crack, you may find yourself prioritizing the drug over your other responsibilities. As a result, you may neglect to maintain your personal and professional relationships, to take care of your children, to attend to your professional responsibilities, or to pay your bills.
While struggling with this drug, you may break the law in a bid to get your hands on it. For instance, you may steal so that you can afford to support your drug habit. Further, you may commit robbery and engage in other illicit activities so that you can acquire money to afford the drug.
That said, even possessing this illicit drug is now considered a crime - and doing so would be an illegal activity. For this reason, you may end up in trouble with law enforcement officials if you are apprehended possessing or using crack.
The only way you are going to overcome your crack addiction, tolerance, and dependence is through a professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation program. Often, the treatment program will require that you first go through detoxification.
Also known as medically managed detoxification, detox is a controlled medical treatment that is designed to help you go through withdrawal from this drug in a protected and caring way.
If you are enrolled in an inpatient detox program, doctors will be able to provide you with round the clock care. They will also monitor you and take care of any severe withdrawal symptoms that arise.
During this process, you may experience some intense physical and psychological effects, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, agitation, and mood swings. That said, the period will often vary in duration depending on the extent and severity of your substance abuse and addiction, the amount of drugs that you were abusing, as well as any other additional factors that are related to your drug dependence. This means that it will most likely be severe if you were using high volumes of crack for an extended period of time.
After you have completed detox, you will typically receive residential rehabilitation services or go for any other structured form of addiction treatment. Typically, rehab programs tend to be inpatient in nature. This means that you will have to live at the treatment facility so that you can get help with your substance abuse and addiction.
During rehab, you will mostly focus on the various psychological, emotional, behavioral, and social aspects of your substance use disorder. You can expect to spend anywhere between 30 days and 1 year - or even longer - receiving treatment.
After you complete your residential or inpatient rehabilitation, you will typically be advised to seek ongoing aftercare services. This means that you can get back to your normal day to day life but still continue checking into an addiction rehabilitation center on a regular basis. This is known as outpatient addiction treatment and it can happen at a rehab or at any other pre-arranged aftercare clinical office.
You may also choose to transition back to your normal life by first living in a sober living facility or a halfway house. These centers are run and operated like any regular apartment. However, you need to follow certain established rules - including curfews and forced submission to regular random drug tests. The goal of these rules is to ensure that you do not suffer a relapse back to crack addiction and abuse.