Signs and Symptoms of Crack Addiction

There are similarities between crack and cocaine addiction, but these drugs do have some key differences. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of crack addiction and know how to seek help for yourself or someone you love before it is too late.

Cocaine is a white powdery stimulant substance that can be injected, smoked or inhaled. Crack cocaine, often known simply as “crack,” is a highly concentrated form of cocaine that appears as a rock-like substance that is usually smoked, but can also be melted and used in various other ways. Crack is a white/brown, rock-like substance that is usually sold in vials, plastic bags or other small containers. It is formed during a process called “freebasing” in which cocaine is combined with baking soda, cooked, and then broken into pieces. The name “crack” comes from the crackling noises that are made when it is heated.

Crack and Cocaine Paraphernalia

There are a variety of items that are used to facilitate the use of crack.

These drug paraphernalia items are often a sure indication that unhealthy drug use is in action. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes crack and cocaine use in-depth, noting that many people alternate between cocaine and crack cocaine, and may combine these drugs with other materials, such as heroin.

The most notable paraphernalia item is a crack pipe. This item looks like a glass pipe or bowl with mesh screens on either end. A heat source, such as a lighter or burner, is used to heat up the pipe, causing the crack to smoke and release vapors which the user then inhales. It can also be placed into regular or marijuana cigarettes and smoked that way, as well. Once inhaled, crack travels to the brain in a matter of seconds and causes an intense rush of that can last as long as 15 minutes.Unfortunately, this rush eventually subsides and results in a “crash” that can feel like anything ranging from depression to illness.

Cocaine and Crack Addiction

crack abuse signsBecause crack is a concentrated form of cocaine, addiction can form after just a few doses, and some people can be addicted after the very first dose. The purity also means that it is much easier to die from either overdose or from failure of the heart or respiratory system. The increased purity also causes other problems, such as increased risk of psychosis and addiction.

Although the effects only last for a few moments, the “crash” after the “high” is particularly nasty, with intense feelings of depression replacing the euphoric emotions that were present only moments before. Cravings for more of the drug accompany the depression, which often leads to dependence and compulsive addiction. This can lead the user to turn to crime to fuel their drug habit, as well as to selling their personal possessions.

Telltale Signs of Crack Use

Physical symptoms and signs of crack abuse are similar to those of people who take cocaine, such as pupil dilation, sweating, loss of weight, and excess black mucous. Emotional signs are often present as well and may include alternating cycles of euphoria and depression, and intense changes in personal habits or tendencies.

Rehab at The Canyon

At The Canyon, we have just one goal: to help you detox off of crack and begin a comprehensive crack cocaine recovery program that will get you off the drug for good. If you or a loved one is struggling with crack cocaine abuse or addiction, give us a call today.