Author: Gary Jackson

Crack Addiction: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. The term ‘crack’ refers to the crackling sound the crystal makes when it is being heated to smoke. Cocaine addiction may have the highest risk of relapse compared to other drugs, making cocaine addiction extremely difficult to treat. It’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating cocaine addiction. Crack is created by combining cocaine with baking soda and water (often with other fillers).

  • More commonly, people use cocaine to boost feelings like being energized, happy and alert.
  • It has various street names, including badrock, beat candy, and chemical.
  • As a result, people need to take more of the drug more frequently in order to achieve the same high and prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Another dangerous consequence is that heroin is longer lasting, and as such can cause respiratory failure when the crack wears off.
  • These drugs increase the brain’s neurotransmitters (chemical messengers).

Below are some of the most common short-term effects of crack use. Crack is a freebase form of cocaine that is processed using water and either ammonia or baking soda, until it forms a rock crystal that can be smoked. Crack cocaine is also known as “rock,” because it looks like small, hard shards of rock. People typically smoke crack by heating it in a glass pipe; however, they may also add it to tobacco cigarettes or marijuana joints.

What is Treatment Like for Meth and Crack Addiction?

With multiple treatment options available, individuals can restore their health and lead new lives free from addiction. If someone in your life has a crack addiction, it’s important to support them and help them find evidence-based treatment that works for them, Dr. Tetrault says. The treatment process often begins with detox, where the person is not allowed to consume crack and may experience severe withdrawal symptoms as a result. This is because repeated use of the drug causes the reward circuit of the brain to adapt and become less sensitive to its effects. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. The purified form of the extract, which looks like fine, white, powdered crystals, was initially used for medicinal purposes.

In the United Kingdom, crack is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Crack is known for causing paranoia and anxiety, especially when the drug wears off. If you notice someone is emotionally flat and is experiencing new (or worsened) anxiety and depression, it may signal an addiction. Crack’s cheap production costs and ease of use led to the “crack epidemic” as demand for the drug soared in the 1980s.

Long-Term Effects

Alcohol is frequently combined with cocaine or crack to reduce its stimulating side effects which include anxiety, tension, clenching, or twitching. However, like other stimulants, crack can mask the effects of alcohol, causing someone to drink more than they normally would. Conversely, alcohol can mask the stimulating effects of crack, potentially leading to an overdose. When the drug wears off, it can cause a person to feel irritable, drowsy, and lethargic. This withdrawal effect is what makes crack addictive for physical and psychological reasons. If a person wishes to avoid feeling negative emotions, they may continue their crack use to maintain those feel-good emotions.