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Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Crack Addiction

Crack addiction is a serious condition that needs to be treated. Severe physical and psychological damage is associated with prolonged crack use. Once the addiction has been developed, recovery is very difficult without a proper treatment plan. Most of the addicts tend to hide their condition due to shame and regret so it becomes even harder to get them help. However, the deteriorating physical and mental health makes the drug addiction obvious after some time. If you suspect a loved one of being addicted to crack, pay serious attention to signs and symptoms to find out the truth. Get them the help they need.

Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Crack Addiction

Table of Contents:

  • 1.Signs of Crack Abuse and Addiction
  • 2.Long Term Health Effects of Crack Abuse and Addiction
  • 3.Using Crack During Pregnancy
  • 4.Sign and Symptoms of Crack Overdose

Signs of Crack Abuse and Addiction:

Crack is an extremely addictive drug that alters the structure and function of the user’s brain in such a way that it can only function normally in the presence of the drug. All it wants to have is drug and when the user does not take it, extreme cravings are produced. Drug addiction is a menace that affects every aspect of an addict’s life whether it is financial, legal or social. The addict often tends to steal money and other stuff to buy the drug. Some of the behavioral changes produced due to drug addiction include:

  • Loss of interest in activities the addict previously enjoyed
  • Skipping school or work quite often
  • Ignoring duties towards family/kids
  • Frequent fights with spouse
  • Exhibiting antisocial behavior
  • Falling grades at school
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Respiratory problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Black phlegm
  • Seizures

Noticing some of these symptoms in a loved one maybe an indicative of the fact that they are suffering from cocaine addiction.

Long Term Health Effects of Crack Abuse and Addiction:

Crack addiction has far reaching consequences. The user may take the drug for recreational purposes thinking that he can give up on it whenever he wants but ends up becoming addicted to it before he even gets a chance to do anything about it. From personal relationships to health and well being, everything is snatched away by the drug addiction. It is important to seek professional help to recover from this state before it is too late. A number of long term physical and psychological health effects and signs are produced by crack addiction.

Physical signs/health effects of crack abuse:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Tooth decay/ Dental problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Infertility
  • Chest pain
  • Lung damage
  • Respiratory problems
  • Malnutrition
  • Skin problems
  • Low Immunity
  • Addiction
  • Death

Psychological signs/health effects of crack abuse:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Disorientation
  • Problems with learning
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis

Using Crack during Pregnancy:

Crack is a very harmful drug to be used during pregnancy. For long term crack users, it is common to keep using drug even during pregnancy. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are more than 750,000 cocaine exposed pregnancies every year. Different problems experienced by women who use cocaine during pregnancy may include:

  • Migraine
  • Preterm birth
  • Complicated delivery
  • Low birth weight of the baby
  • Premature separation of placental lining from the uterus
  • Premature rupture of the membrane
  • Migraine
  • Very high blood pressure
  • Spontaneous miscarriage

In the 1980s, the use of cocaine reached to its peak value. Due to a number of pregnancies exposed to crack, it was feared that United States will have a generation of disabled children exposed to the dangers of crack. The study of these crack babies revealed that crack can induce following problems in the babies:

  • Low birth weight
  • Small circumference of the head
  • Cognitive problems in children
  • Memory impairment during adolescence
  • Problems concentrating during adolescence
  • Learning and language problems in adolescence

The scientists continue to study these crack babies as they age.

Signs and Symptoms of Crack Overdose:

Crack is a very dangerous drug and it is highly likely to overdose on it. Overdose occurs when too much crack is consumed at once. The body fails to metabolize the drug as fast as it is being administrated that results into toxicity. Crack overdose maybe accidental or intentional.

The risk of overdosing is increased a great deal when it is combined with another drug such as alcohol or heroin. The combination of heroin and cocaine is commonly referred to as ‘speedball’ and it can be extremely dangerous. These are the symptoms produced by cocaine overdose:

  • Extreme chest pain
  • Arrhythmia
  • Extremely fast or slow heart beat
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Low respiratory rate
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Coma
  • Death

If you suspect yourself or a loved one of having overdosed on cocaine, emergency medical care should be sought without any further delay by calling 911. Crack overdose is a very serious condition that can be fatal if proper treatment is not provided to the patient. The patient may be treated at the hospital by the doctors to remove any unabsorbed and even absorbed crack from the body. Treatment may also be provided to treat seizures, irregular heart beat and other conditions patient is facing.


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