Legacy Healing Center Blog
If a loved one has mentioned using crack, you may wonder what this drug is and how it could affect your loved one. You may wonder what it would look like if your family member or friend is using crack. Here is some information about the drug, signs of crack use, and how you can get help for your loved one with addiction treatment.
What is Crack Cocaine?
Crack cocaine is an incredibly dangerous and addictive drug that is the crystal form of cocaine. Crack cocaine, often referred to as crack for short, is so addictive that even the first time the body uses it, the brain begins to rewire itself because of the pleasure it gives. Crack is a drug that doesn’t give a long-lasting high, leaving individuals who use it needing it more frequently.
Crack cocaine comes in either solid blocks or crystals that can be any color from yellow or white to light rose. For someone to use it, they must heat it up and then smoke it, hence the name: crack. It makes a cracking sound when it is heated up. Because smoking crack brings on a high so quickly, it also comes with a quick decline, leading individuals to want more almost immediately.
Crack, unlike cocaine, has such cheap prices that almost anyone can afford it. Although if someone is addicted to crack, the price of it reflects the need for it, making it increasingly more expensive. Continue reading to learn about signs of crack use in men, women, and teens as well as crack addict behavior.
Warning Signs of Crack Cocaine Use: Behaviors and Effects on the Body
Signs of crack use in men, women and teens can be easier to spot than other types of drugs due to the frequent need to get high. One of the more severe types of crack addict behavior is the lack of ability to hold a regular conversation because of the addiction and mental obsession on getting high. Other basic warning signs of crack cocaine use are:
• Frequent disappearances
• Dilated pupils
• Aggressive behavior
• Increased breathing rates
• Irresponsibility that is out of character
• Burns on fingertips
• Blisters on the lips as well as cracks on lips
Because of how cheap crack is and it’s wide availability, it’s overwhelming how many children have been exposed to the drug. In a survey from 2010, even children at the age of 13 had been exposed to the drug as well as 23 % of eighth-graders, 32% tenth-graders and 45% of twelfth graders reported knowing what the drug was and that it is pretty easy to get their hands on.
The effects of crack cocaine abuse can cause long term signs of crack use in men, women, and teens as well exhibit crack addict behaviors even after the addiction has been beaten.
Signs of Crack Abuse on Mind & Body
Along with changes in behavior, people using crack will show subtle physical signs¹. Pay attention to their eyes to see if their pupils are dilated. You can also check their hands for burns on the fingertips from smoking crack. You may also see blisters on the lips along with cracks to indicate they have smoked crack.
Once someone has smoked crack, their muscles may twitch, and they may not have an appetite. They can have nosebleeds due to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. All of these can be side effects of crack use.
Crack not only releases large quantities of dopamine into the brain but also can contain many different types of harmful drugs that can damage the body both physically and mentally. The more someone smokes crack cocaine, the more dangerous the warning signs of crack cocaine use become apparent. With continued use, the person may experience the following serious crack side effects:
• Heightened alertness
• Increased heart rate
• Increased blood pressure
• Pressured speech
• Dilated pupils
• Lack of appetite
• Un-natural sleep patterns
• Contracted blood vessels
• Increased body temperature
• Intense euphoria
• Intense cravings for the drug
• Strange, unordinary behavior
• Heart failure
• Possible death
• Respiratory failure
Risk for Overdose on Crack Cocaine
Crack is a short-acting and lasting drug, meaning it is fairly easy to overdose on the drug¹. Many people pair it with alcohol or heroin which increases risk of overdose. When combining drugs, it becomes more difficult to discern whether or not you have taken too much. One drug can mask the effects of the other drug, which could lead a person to using even more.
If a person overdoses on crack, they may have trouble breathing and see a dangerous spike in blood pressure and heart rate, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. They may also experience seizures and hallucinations.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 5000 fatalities occurred in 2013 from cocaine, which includes crack2.
Treatment for Crack Addiction
As with other addictive substances, it’s important to get help if you suspect your loved one has a crack addiction. Since this drug is so highly addictive and the user typically craves it constantly, it can be difficult to stop using it independently. A drug rehab facility will help you go through detox to start getting crack out of your system while minimizing the risk of relapsing.
Once you have gone through detox, cocaine addiction treatment at a rehab facility can help you overcome the temptation to use again. Treatment specialists will help you identify triggers and learn how to avoid them and how to develop other coping skills. Aftercare programs can provide ongoing support for those times when you are tempted to give in or when you need encouragement to deal with life’s stressors instead of turning to crack.
Get Help Today with Legacy Healing Center
At Legacy Healing Center, our approach to cocaine addiction recovery is built around a holistic methodology. We look at addiction as a comprehensive issue and offer a complete set of services to heal the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. Combining research-evidenced practices from medicine and psychology, our team of highly trained professionals looks at all aspects of our clients’ lives on an individual basis. Our holistic approach to healing encompasses more than dealing with addiction through primary treatment strategies like therapy and meetings. We offer a full range of services to heal the whole person, body, mind, and spirit.
If you or a loved one needs help with a crack addiction, contact us at Legacy Healing Center. We offer drug detox and treatment to help you begin your path to recovery. Learn more about drug rehab in Florida and our treatment programs here and how we can help you.
At Legacy Healing Center, our approach to recovery is built around a holistic methodology. We look at addiction as a comprehensive issue and offer a complete set of services to heal the physical body, the mind, and the spirit. Combining research-evidenced practices from medicine and psychology, our team of highly trained professionals looks at all aspects of our clients’ lives on an individual basis. Our holistic approach to healing encompasses more than dealing with addiction through primary treatment strategies like therapy and meetings. We offer a full range of services to heal the whole person, body, mind, and spirit.