Crack cocaine is a highly addictive smokable form of cocaine. Commonly made by mixing powder cocaine and ammonia or baking soda, crack is relatively cheap to produce and produces a rapid onset of effects. Recent data has shown that crack cocaine is spreading across all areas of society, with the street youth being the main users.
Effects of Crack Cocaine
Crack produces effects similar to those of powder cocaine, but with more intensity. Extreme euphoria, hyper-alertness, grandiosity, and the inhibition of hunger are the most common effects felt from smoking crack. The high peaks around two to four minutes after ingestion, and usually lasts about fifteen minutes.
Long-term crack use can result in more severe psychological and physical damage. Some physical effects often experienced are heart attack, stroke, lung damage, and bleeding from mucous membranes. The effects from smoking crack can happen rapidly, as crack use quickly turns into addiction. The psychological effects felt from long-term crack use include paranoia, psychosis, loss of judgement, and extreme impulsivity. Crack addicts in the depths of their addiction will go to any lengths to achieve a high. Many addicts steal, lie, and end up homeless and broke.
Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Crack is an extremely addictive substance, and must be treated as such. Those who are struggling with a crack addiction must recognize the strength of their problem, and be willing to seek help, as most cannot quit on their own. The first step of crack addiction treatment for most is a detox procedure. Withdrawal from crack results in severe psychological distress, usually including insomnia, anxiety, depression, and irritability. A detox facility may prescribe sedatives or painkillers in order to ease the discomfort. Withdrawing in a detox program is far more comfortable than withdrawing at home, and the cravings to use crack and ease the pain are lifted significantly.
After detox, the next step is attending a crack drug rehab center. At crack rehab the individual goes through therapy to take a closer look at the root cause of their addiction, as well as participates in counseling that aims to help them learn to live a healthier lifestyle. Inpatient treatment centers provide an environment free of drugs and alcohol, relieving the individual from the temptation and craving to use. Also, the presence of staff around the clock gives the patients the attention and level of care required by newly recovering crack addicts.
Some addicts choose to attend an outpatient crack rehab program, where they are not confined to the facility for a period of time. Outpatient programs allow the patients to leave while group is not in session, in order to permit them to maintain their everyday life. However, outpatient programs are not as secure as residential ones.
A key component of a healthy recovery from crack addiction is continuing care. There are many options, with the most popular being individual or group therapy, twelve-step meetings such as Cocaine Anonymous, or alumni support groups from your treatment center.