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You Can Quit Crack

Crack became enormously popular in the mid-1980s. Since then, it’s been widely used because it produces an immediate high and is relatively easy and inexpensive to produce. In fact, crack is a highly addictive and powerful stimulant that is derived from powdered cocaine using a simple conversion process.

But you can quick crack when you’re ready.

In this article we explain the use, abuse and consequences of smoking crack cocaine. We invite you to read on, learn more and post your questions or personal experiences in the comments section at the end.

Crack Recreational Use

Crack cocaine stimulated the entire central nervous system and almost immediately damages and stresses the user’s lungs, brain and heart. When smoked, crack cocaine influences the whole body. The muscles tense, the heart rate increases, blood vessels constrict and feelings of excitement, happiness, and elation follow the release of specific mood hormones.

The main methods of using crack include:

  • combining crack cocaine with marijuana (lacing)
  • crushing and snorting crack
  • injecting it intravenously
  • mixing crack with heroin
  • smoking or freebasing through a glass hand pipe or water pipe

The almost immediate effects of smoking crack intensify the euphoria a person is feeling. But, it only lasts 5-15 minutes, after which there is an intense desire for more if the drug. Addiction to crack cocaine can develop even after only one use. Sudden death can also happen with the first use. Many first time users overdose on crack, and for many it has fatal consequences.

If you or someone near you has been using crack and experiences adverse effects, you shouldn’t hesitate to Call 911. You can also CALL the Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert and have a free over-the-phone assessment of overdose risk and instructions on what to do next.

Medical Use Of Crack

Crack is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act and is not intended for medical use. Instead, crack is an illicit, or illegal, form of cocaine. It is used because it produces euphoria, is a stimulant, suppresses appetite, and relieves pain.  Crack abuse is illegal and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Here are some quick stats on who uses crack:

The National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health data indicate that about 6 million American residents aged 12+ used crack at least at one point in their lifetime.

1. Around 150,000 teenagers from the age group 12-17 have used crack cocaine.
2. About 1,003,000 adults aged 18-25 have used crack at least once.
3. Nearly 4% of high school seniors in the U.S. have reported at least a one-time crack use.
4. More than 1% of high school seniors reported past month use of crack cocaine.

Long Term Crack Use

Crack is extremely addictive and its effects are intense, but short. Users quickly develop strong psychological and physical dependence on crack, and cessation becomes nearly impossible. Long-term crack addiction can cause permanent and irreversible damage. It damages the body and mind, increases the risk of developing psychological disorders, such as agoraphobia, depression, and psychosis. It may cause permanent organ damage and failure, premature aging and increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

After a long period of crack use, the most common problems users experience include:

  • auditory and tactile hallucinations
  • brain seizures
  • death
  • delirium or psychosis
  • depression
  • heart attack
  • heart disease
  • irritability and aggressiveness
  • mood changes
  • paranoid behavior
  • reproductive damage and infertility
  • respiratory impairment and failure
  • risky and illegal actions and behavior
  • sexual dysfunction
  • stroke
  • tolerance and addiction

Prolonged Use Of Crack

Users quickly develop a tolerance to crack, this means they’ll be needing more of the substance to achieve the desired effects. Since the high from crack cocaine is so short-lived, users will usually smoke it repeatedly in order to sustain a longer high. This can lead to an even faster onset of addiction, as the drug is very potent and is smoked.

Crack cocaine interferes and changes the brain’s system of reward and punishment. So, when the drug’s effects wear off, withdrawal symptoms occur. These symptoms can include depression, irritability, extreme fatigue, anxiety, an intense craving for the drug, and sometimes even psychosis. Users often keep using just to avoid the severe and agonizing effects of crack withdrawal.

Now, Your Questions

Looking for more information on crack cocaine? Maybe you want to learn how long does crack last or how to withdraw from crack, perhaps you’re looking for more on medical crack detox options or crack addiction treatment help. Explore our site and find the answers to those and many more questions. We invite you to post your questions and comments below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: National Drug Intelligence Center: Crack Cocaine Fast Facts
National Institute of Justice & Office of National Drug Control Policy: Crack, Powder Cocaine, and Heroin: Drug Purchase and Use Patterns in Six U.S. Cities
NARCONON International: Signs and Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Use
Foundation For a DRUG-FREE WORLD: The truth about crack cocaine?
Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR): Crack Cocaine

View the original article at addictionblog.org

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