Crack is one of the most commonly abused drugs in United States. Crack is a varied form of cocaine made by adding baking soda or ammonia into powdered cocaine which dries up to look like rocks named as crack cocaine. Cocaine is a powerful brain stimulant that is highly addictive. Crack addiction is one of the most challenging drug addictions to recover from. This form of cocaine is named as crack cocaine because of the cracking or popping sound that is produced when it is heated. A number of birth defects are developed in the baby if crack is used during pregnancy. So crack abuse is a matter of public health concern.
Crack is a modified form of cocaine. It is a widely used illicit street drug in United States that looks like an off white mineral. Crack is more dangerous than cocaine because of the immediate and stronger high feeling it produces. Also, it is a purer form of cocaine. The usual cocaine snorted by the users is often cut with sugar, flour, boric acid and other substances.
The use of the crack reached its peak value during 1980s and the users were referred to as ‘crackheads’. Though the use has decreased a great deal ever since but still the number of users is significant enough. The recovery from crack is a very difficult task that needs proper treatment in a rehabilitation center.
Crack is a damaging drug with no therapeutic use. Since it is bought and sold on the streets, a number of nicknames are given to it by the dealers and users. Some of the common street names associated with crack include:
If a loved one is heard taking one these names in a suspicious conversation, they are probably using this drug.
Unlike cocaine that is commonly used by snorting, crack is smoked. The pieces of crystallized crack cocaine are placed on the glass pipes to smoke. These glass pipes are short with a bulb at one end where the drug is placed. The user holds a lighter beneath the bulb to heat the drug. Once properly heated, the drug gives off vapors that are inhaled by the user. Some people even use empty soda cans and aluminium foils to heat it. Crack produces a very strong and quick high that starts to show its effects within seconds.
Crack is a notoriously addictive substance. It is one of the most difficult drugs to give up on. It is a brain stimulant the speeds up the production of a neurotransmitter, dopamine. Dopamine acts on the parts of the brain that are related with happiness and euphoria so when it is released in high amounts, the user feels high.
Naturally, the dopamine that is attached to brain receptors is removed by dopamine transporters after some time. However, in the case of crack, the drug binds with transporters and keeps them from detaching dopamine from receptors. It results into prolonged feelings of happiness and euphoria that are regarded as the high felt after consuming drug.
When the effects produced by the drug finally start to fade away, the user feels exactly opposite of what he felt during the high – low, lethargic, drowsy and sad. But the feelings produced during the high phase are strong enough to keep the user taking the drug over and over again. When the use of crack is prolonged, tolerance is developed. It means it takes much higher amounts of the drug to produce desired effects. Tolerance is one of the early signs of development of dependence. After that, if an effort is made to quit the drug, severe withdrawal symptoms appear that make the process of giving up on drug very difficult.
The time taken for addiction to develop varies from one person to the other. Some people start experiencing symptoms even after a single use while the others can go a long way before they start to become an addict. The factors that determine the time taken to develop the addiction may include:
Although crack abuse has decreased a great deal as compared to past few years but it is still a significant problem in United States.
If a loved one is suffering from crack addiction, it is important to get them help without any further delay or the results can be deadly,