Crack cocaine earned its name because the substance emits a crackling noise when it is heated. Unlike cocaine, which is snorted or injected, crack cocaine is smoked and inhaled using pipes or screen filters.
It is said to be a more potent form of cocaine, hence it can be more addictive. Drug pushers apparently mix this with baking soda, water and ammonia, but when mixed with the wrong contaminants, this substance can be lethal.
Inhaling crack cocaine brings the same effects as regular cocaine, except that the intensity is higher and the “high” can only last between 10 to 30 minutes. Those who have been addicted to the substance for a longer period often chase the high with the help of cigarettes, liquor or alcohol, which makes this more dangerous.
Signs of a Crack Addict
The most obvious signs that indicate someone you know could be addicted cocaine include:
• Rapid speech patterns
• Irregular heartbeat
• Dilated pupils
• Profuse sweating
Long-term, the symptoms may include:
• Sleeping trouble
• Respiratory problems, such as coughing and shortness of breath
• Personality changes, such as irrationality and irritability
• Paranoia and delusion
• Disregard for personal hygiene
• Weight loss
Behavioral Manifestations of Crack
Crack Cocaine Addiction Signs
People often say to never trust an addict and there is a good basis for this. The substance can alter behavior, as it works its way into the brain and the nervous system, affecting the nerve cells. This causes the brain to communicate differently, and to depend on crack more to function well and derive pleasure.
As an addict’s dependency increases, it’s possible for him to do things he won’t likely do when he is sober. He may steal money to support the habit, or turn into a habitual liar in order to gain means to buy the drugs.
He may also become increasingly erratic in his ways, missing appointments and failing to take care of his physical hygiene, as his proper grasp of reality is slowly disoriented.
Other Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Addiction
Initial use of crack cocaine may make the person extremely happy. But as soon as the drugs wear off, fatigue and depression kicks in. The “high” is usually advantageous, in the sense that addicts become more productive. This is, however, only applicable for the first three ingestions, at least. But the next hitting sessions will no longer produce the same effects. The addict, meanwhile, will intend to seek more of this.
Each time the substance is injected could pose a huge risk. Because crack cocaine is so potent, and then mixed with other substances, the person could die with just one small dose. In other words, any time an addict would try to snort crack no matter how little or few it is, could mean their death.
There is hope for rehabilitation, however, as means for treating substance abuse problems is more advanced today. What’s important for loved-ones to remember is that staying away from the addiction is a difficult process, and an addict will need all the support he can get.