Crack cocaine has the notoriety it deserves as a very dangerous, very addictive drug. After just one use a user can become fully addicted; and after just one use a user can die. Crack cocaine should never be seen as a simple alternative to cocaine; it is more addictive, and the chances of overdosing are much higher.
What is Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine is created when cocaine is heated to 90 degrees celsius with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate, the oil that floats to the top of the mixture is crack cocaine; it is removed and rounded into a rock-like shape. It differs to cocaine which is usually snorted and which takes more time to give a more gradual high.
Crack cocaine is smoked, the crack reaches the brain after just 8 seconds, making it release dopamines which induce euphoria. The user will then become highly alert, confident and restless; users can potentially experience intense paranoia if they binge smoke the drug. If users do become highly paranoid they can potentially have a psychotic episode, harming themselves or those around them as they lose grip on reality.
As dopamine levels drop back to normal the user experiences serious depression; having reached such a high they crave more. However once dopamine has been released it takes time to refill, meaning users will potentially be smoking more and more crack to achieve a high that is not yet available; this is the classic way a user overdoses from crack.
Overdoses can occur after just one hit of crack cocaine; the drug causes increased heartbeat, elevated blood-pressure and a rise in body temperature. Unnatural changes in the body like those can put it under serious strain, potentially causing heart attacks, seizures and strokes, any of which can lead to death.
Crack cocaine’s addictiveness is not to be underestimated, it is one of the most dangerously addictive drugs. Users are always trying to recapture their first crack experience, leading them to take more and more till they inevitably overdose.
It’s often situated in a close second behind heroin in what it is considered the most addictive drug. It is because they both offer quick, intense highs.
The Long Term
It is extremely unlikely for a person to only use crack cocaine once, having experienced that high users will always go back for more. Sustained use of the drug is devastating, both to your health and to your life.
Long term users of crack can develop a condition known as ‘crack lung’. This is when consistent smoking of the drug has constricted the lung’s blood vessels, meaning oxygen is not being circulated and absorbed efficiently. Symptoms of ‘crack lung’ include fever and severe chest pain.
The longer a user is addicted to a drug the more they will notice the differences in batches; some will be almost pure crack cocaine, others may have been cut with something to increase its volume. Having realised that some batches don’t give as larger high, they will smoke more to make sure they always get a big high; this is typically how a user may overdose. In addition, the more crack you do the more likely you are to get a batch that has been cut with something toxic – this combined with a lot of the drug itself has serious potential to cause an overdose.
Crack cocaine doesn’t just ruin your health, it can ruin lives. Users will become isolated as the drug becomes all they think about; their relationships with friends and loved ones will disintegrate. Serious addiction can cause job loss and may even result in the user stealing from loved ones to fund his habit.
Long term use of crack cocaine is undeniably hard to recover from, but there is help out there. If the user admits their problem and is willing to overcome it, then rehabilitation is the best option. Rehabilitation centers are incredibly well equipped to deal with crack cocaine addiction, using a combination of medicine, therapy and a place away from drugs to help users overcome it. Kicking the habit is not as simple as just going to rehab, it takes a lot of effort, especially when the user has been addicted for a long time, but it can be done.
Don’t let crack cocaine ruin yours or any loved ones lives. Long term use of crack cocaine is devastating and addiction is almost guaranteed after one use. If however the addiction has already developed then seek help, it is readily available.
This guest post was provided by Stanely Martinson. Stanely has a myriad of interests but has recently been compelled to write about drug addiction as well as drug rehab, for more info on this subject, read here.