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Crack Cocaine

Information

Crack is a freebase form of cocaine, a crystallized form of cocaine, that is often smoked. When bought off the streets, it is usually cut with other ingredients. The purer forms of crack may appear as dirty white, small rocks with rough edges, plastic that is brittle, or in a crystalline form that will snap if broken. Crack is heated and smoked. It has its name because it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated.

Crack is a drug that alters the chemistry in the brain bringing a sense of euphoria, elevated confidence, decreased appetite, elevated energy, staying up for not only excessive hours but often several nights in a row, and with each successive use, the individual begins craving more crack, which leads to addiction.

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Crack cocaine smoke

The Use of Crack: Effects

Some effects to look for if you suspect someone in your family or a friend is addicted to crack: dilated pupils, an increase in body temperature and heart rate, and the rise in blood pressure.  Many people using crack will exhibit paranoia.

Helping Someone with a Crack Addiction

It may take several attempts to convince a loved one or friend that they need help. They don’t see their use of it is out of control. It is often harder for the addicted person to realize they have a problem. Unfortunately, it takes longer for the individual to accept than for those involved in their lives.

There may come a time when you need to draw the line. That is a hard fact in addiction and hard to accept for many people. The family members have to choose not to enable the addict further. Letting the crack addict hit bottom is one way of doing it. Another is calling on a professional addiction interventionist in order for the addicted to seek help for their addiction

Crack, Short Term Effects


    • A sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate
    • Dilated pupils
    • Constricted peripheral blood vessels
    • Hyper-stimulation
    • Intense euphoria
    • Increased rate of breathing
    • Anxiety and paranoia
 
 
    • Decreased appetite
    • Aggressive, paranoid behaviour
    • Depression
    • Intense drug craving
    • Sudden death (Death, after one use has occured)
    • Tolerance and addiction, even after just one use

Crack Cocaine, Long-Term Effects

Prolonged freebasing causes several problems, including:

    • Severe depression
    • Aggressive, paranoid behaviour
    • Irritability and mood disturbances
    • Delirium or psychosis
    • Tolerance and addiction, sometimes after one use
    • Auditory and tactile hallucinations
  •  
    • Brain seizures
    • Respiratory failure
    • Sexual dysfunction (both sexes)
    • Reproductive damage and infertility (both sexes)
    • Stroke
    • Heart attack and heart disease
    • Death

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