Crack cocaine (known simply as ‘crack’) is a more powerful and potent form of cocaine and has an extremely high potential for abuse and addiction. Sold in rock form, the drug acts quickly on the brain and the body and is typically smoked, as opposed to powdered cocaine, which is snorted, though it can also be injected. It produces intense euphoric effects almost immediately after inhalation, but this does not last long (around 15 minutes).
Due to the intensity of the experience and its short-lived nature, addiction to this substance can happen quickly. Crack cocaine addiction left unchecked can be utterly devastating to the user’s life and the lives of those around them. Without intervention, crack cocaine misuse can be fatal.
If you have been abusing crack cocaine, or you suspect a loved one may be, it’s essential to reach out to a professional for help and guidance as soon as possible. Treatment programs are available at Excel Treatment Center to help those addicted to crack cocaine begin their journey to recovery.
Crack cocaine is the crystallized form of regular, powdered cocaine and is the strongest form of cocaine. As per the Controlled Substances Act, cocaine is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means it has a high potential for abuse and is likely to cause significant physical and psychological damage. Sale or possession of crack cocaine can result in serious legal consequences, including hefty fines and imprisonment. It is a hazardous drug, and its effects are so intense and immediate that a user can potentially become addicted after just one use.
Crack cocaine use is prevalent and poses a severe health risk to those who use it. Statista reports that in 2018 alone, there were 15,000 reported cocaine-related deaths in the U.S. According to SAMHSA, during the same year, crack cocaine was reportedly used by around 750,000 people aged 12 and over.
Crack Cocaine Addiction and Co-occurring Disorders
As with many forms of substance use disorder (SUD), crack cocaine addiction often co-occurs with other types of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, according to the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. It is often the case that these disorders pre-existed or were underlying before the commencement of crack cocaine misuse. Even in cases where there was no apparent previous disorder, the abuse of crack itself can lead to the onset of a mental health condition, according to the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and other mood disorders can be challenging and can cause a person to seek even temporary relief from their symptoms. Crack cocaine, like other mood-altering substances, may be used by some to escape from the reality of their condition. However, the use of substances, particularly crack cocaine, to alleviate the symptoms of a mental health condition creates an extremely vicious cycle.
Because crack addiction can happen so quickly, a user might find that not only has their existing condition worsened, but they also now need to use crack to alleviate the associated withdrawal symptoms.
Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment
At Excel, we emphasize the importance of assessing our clients mental, emotional, and physical health before beginning any treatment program. By gaining insight into a client’s health and personal history, we can better understand how to approach their recovery and which treatments to recommend. We can then provide an individually tailored treatment program to suit the needs of the client.
We also understand how scary it can be to face a mental health condition without the right help. All of us are human, and, naturally, we would seek relief from our struggles when they become too much, though it is essential to realize that some of the ways we attempt to escape our problems only make them worse.
At Excel, we are committed to helping clients identify and resolve both substance misuse, and mental health issues, to ensure a greater likelihood of successful recovery.
What Are the Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Addiction?
Having an awareness of the symptoms of crack cocaine use and addiction can help you spot them in either yourself or a loved one. The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports that physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms of crack addiction include:
- One-to-one therapy
- Reduced appetite
- Shaking, tremors
- Burnt lips and fingers (from smoking a crack pipe)
- One-to-one therapies
- Sleep issues
- Itching and scratching
- Randomly disappearing for periods of time
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine?
There is no safe level of crack cocaine use. Over the long-term, crack cocaine use can cause significant damage to the user’s organs. Prolonged use of crack cocaine use also weakens the body’s immune system, which increases the likelihood of infection and disease. As outlined in the Journal of the National Medical Association, long-term health consequences of crack cocaine abuse include:
- One-to-one therapy
- Heart failure
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
- Sexual dysfunction
Crack cocaine abuse, and addiction can be fatal. It is vital that you reach out to a professional treatment provider as soon as possible if you or a loved one are suffering.
Support for Crack Cocaine Addiction Recovery
Without proper intervention, addiction to crack cocaine can cause lasting physical and psychological damage, according to the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The first step in treating crack addiction is breaking the body’s dependence on the drug. This is done through detoxification, where the body rids itself of toxic chemicals with the support of medical and psychological assistance.
Following detox, clients will still be subject to a range of challenging withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, severe depression, anxiety, and maybe, suicidal thoughts.
Medical assistance can help clients manage their feelings and experiences during detox and withdrawal, and behavioral treatment is essential to equip clients with the tools necessary to support themselves through this transition, and as they continue their recovery journey. Behavioral therapies are a collaborative effort between the client and therapist, and this is where the client can explore the ‘why’ of their addiction and gain a clearer understanding of their actions, deeper motivations, and feelings in a safe, judgement-free environment.
At Excel, various behavioral therapy approaches are used, including:
- One-to-one therapy
- Group therapy
- Family-based therapies
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Motivational incentives
Following primary treatment, those in addiction recovery must receive appropriate aftercare support. The weeks and months following detox and rehabilitation are a crucial time. Very often, clients will return to the situations and surroundings from which their addiction originated. At Excel, we arrange for comprehensive support following an outpatient treatment program. Aftercare involves the continuation of therapy and involvement in sober support groups to give the best possible chance of success.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to crack cocaine, please reach out to us today.