Physical and Psychological Effects of Crack

Crack’s main course of action is to alter and work on the autonomic nervous system of the human body. In normal functions, the brain secretes dopamine, a chemical that, when bound to nerve cells in the brain, produces feelings of pleasure in the body.

Dopamine production normally occurs naturally, but crack speeds up this natural system by causing the brain to release all of the stored dopamine in one quick burst. This produces feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria, but when things settle down, there is no dopamine left, and this state means a downswing of emotions and an intense desire to get more crack at any cost.

Immediate Effects

effects of crack cocaineCrack is most commonly smoked, which, due to the lungs’ rapid absorption rate, means that more of the drug gets into the body faster than through injection or inhaling. When smoked, it takes about 20 seconds or less for feelings of euphoria and pleasure to start, but along with this quick high comes the downside: the happy feelings fade just a few minutes later and the resulting low can be dramatically dismal.

The effects from both sides of this wave of pleasure/pain can include things like intense euphoria, grandiose feelings of power, paranoia, delusions or hallucinations and weight loss.

Physical issues

Many of the effects that crack abuse has on the body are not just psychological, but physical as well. These effects can be as minor as dilated pupils and sweating to as severe as heart attack, stroke, increased heart rate and even, in some cases, death. There are also moderate physical problems such as nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and shortness of breath to contend with, and repeated crack smoking can lead to lung cancer.

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Emotional/Psychological Changes

Crack also has effects on the psychological and emotional wellbeing of its users.

While it can produce feelings of intense pleasure, these are short-lived and are replaced by negative feelings and emotions. Some of these include depression, sadness, paranoia and schizophrenic tendencies and hallucinations. A dependence on crack can also lead users to sell their personal effects or stolen goods to get money to buy more of the drug and can lead them to abandon family, friends and jobs, all in a pursuit of the next high.


all-inclusive-call-ctaAt the core of our treatment program here at The Canyon is our unique treatment program, a holistic system designed to help you develop a positive relationship with yourself through the use of traditional and alternative therapeutic options. Along the way, you’ll awaken an authentic relationship with yourself and be given the opportunity to reclaim your personal dreams and goals.

Our complete treatment system at The Canyon helps patients deal with the physical, mental, emotional and psychological effects of cocaine addiction and provide you with the tools you need to make a positive recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine abuse or addiction, contact us today.