Crack is a type of cocaine that comes in pieces resembling white rocks. Unlike prescription drugs that can have legal uses—and cocaine’s legitimate medical use as an anesthetic—the crack form of cocaine is a completely illicit and recreational drug.
Crack cocaine can be smoked or injected to experience the rapid onset of effects. Crack use was common in the ‘80s, and there has been a more recent rise in crack substance abuse and addiction treatment that suggests its use might be increasing again.
Did you start using crack and become addicted to it? If you’re like many others, crack might not be as enjoyable as it was at first. Maybe you liked its effects when you started, but now it’s taking over your life in a bad way. But treatment can help. Professionals in a treatment program can help you as you get over the addiction and learn to live differently.
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How Does a Crack Cocaine Addiction Affect the Body?
If you use crack, you have probably experienced its effects that make you feel good. The main effect is euphoria, which probably makes you want to keep using the drug and to try to have that feeling again. However, you have most likely experienced that crack can also cause unpleasant effects such as insomnia, especially when you come down from the high. Crack addiction—and even periodic crack use—can put you in a cycle of highs and lows as you go after the high and then come down.
As with other addictive substances, crack cocaine affects dopamine, which is a brain chemical associated with pleasure and reward. Using crack encourages the brain to release dopamine, which leads to those feelings of euphoria. However, the effects of crack can be more difficult to handle than those of longer- lasting drugs, because the high starts within seconds and tends to last only up to 10 minutes. Once the high is over, you will most likely feel down, because your dopamine levels have dropped significantly, and then you’ll want more of the drug.
If you develop a dependency on crack, your brain and body will become used to receiving the drug and will rely on it for the release of dopamine. If you stop using crack, your brain will have to adjust to no longer getting the drug and start releasing the brain chemical on its own again. You may experience withdrawal symptoms during that transition time.
Crack Addiction and Withdrawal
It’s common to at first experience a pleasurable high with crack and then not be able to achieve that feeling again. People often take more of the drug to aim for the same high or to try to make it last longer. While there are people who are able to use crack only occasionally, many people develop an addiction to it. It is considered to have a higher risk of dependency than powder cocaine.
When you become addicted to a substance, it tends to become the focus of your life rather than people and activities you used to prioritize. It will end up leading you down a road of problems, whether it creates strife in your relationships, you get fired from your job or you spend all of your money on crack. These are just examples of the many problems addiction can cause in your life. But despite those problems, you might not want to quit, because using crack has become too engrained in your life. Or you might try to quit but the withdrawal symptoms make you go right back to using.
Treatment for Crack Addiction
You don’t have to stick with the problems and the dependency you’re experiencing from a crack addiction. You can break free of your crack use and find a way to live again without it.
There are different types of treatment for a crack addiction. An effective program will tend to include both a detox program and rehab treatment. In detoxification, you stop using crack “cold turkey” instead of tapering its use. Medical supervision helps to ensure your safety and comfort during this process, and professionals can provide medications to help manage difficult symptoms.
When you have effectively moved past the difficult symptoms of the acute withdrawal phase, you can benefit from a rehab program. This stage of treatment includes therapy and other components to help you figure out factors in your life that contributed to addiction and steps you can take to avoid going back to that way of life.
At Transformations Treatment Center, we are able to provide a detox program through our facility Summit Detox and an individualized rehab program. We take a holistic approach that addresses the different ways addiction affects your life. We also provide different tracks, levels and programs to help you with your unique situation. When you have completed your rehab program, we enter you into our aftercare program to check in and help you stay on the new path you have chosen.
You don’t have to let crack control of your life. You can take back your life from the grips of addiction and find a new way forward. We can help. Contact us today about an individualized treatment plan to fit your needs and goals.