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What Is Crack Cocaine?
Crack Cocaine, more commonly known as simply Crack, is Cocaine that has been processed with baking powder or ammonia to increase its potency. After it has been processed, it appears as a yellowish-white rock. Dealers can break this down into smaller portions that can be smoked or snorted, though it is most often smoked. First developed in the 1970s, Crack Cocaine is 75% to 100% pure when compared to regular Cocaine. The high comes on faster and more intensely, but it also passes faster.
The effects of Crack Cocaine are the same as Cocaine, with the increased intensity as the one exception. The process that turns powdered Cocaine into Crack Cocaine purifies the substance and increases its potency. Smoking Crack, also known as Freebasing, allows for a faster delivery system than snorting, making the process even stronger and the high shorter.
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Effects of Crack Cocaine
When someone smokes Crack, they are likely to feel its effects almost immediately, which often means euphoria, energy, and confidence. However, the effects of withdrawal can also be felt after the first time. The following short-term effects induce a powerful hangover, but the intense high keeps people coming back. The side effects can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Elevated body temperature
- Contracted blood vessels
- Increased rate of breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Bizarre, erratic, sometimes violent behavior
- Hallucinations, hyper-excitability, and irritability
- The illusion of bugs burrowing under the skin
- Intense euphoria
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Intense drug craving
- Panic and psychosis
- Convulsions, seizures and sudden death
Overdose, permanent damage, and addiction can all happen from the first time someone tries Crack Cocaine. However, while some may conclude that they can grow accustomed to these effects over time, they actually open themselves up to more dangerous possibilities like:
- Damage to blood vessels of the ear/brain
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Severe chest pains
- Respiratory failure
- Infectious diseases and abscesses if injected
- Malnutrition and weight loss
- Severe tooth decay
- Auditory and tactile hallucinations
- Sexual dysfunction
- Reproductive damage and infertility
- Disorientation and confused exhaustion
- Mood disturbances
- Increased frequency of risky behavior
- Delirium or psychosis
- Severe depression
- Tolerance and addiction (even after one use)
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Dangers of Crack Cocaine
Cocaine comes with a high cost, literally. The drug’s high cost has earned it the label as “the rich man’s drug.” Crack, on the other hand, is considerably cheaper. Given its strength and relative low cost, it became popular in low-income areas and among teens, who could now afford this drug they had likely only heard about before. This further increased the danger of it being used and addictions developing.
Because of Crack’s increased potency, the dangers are also increased. After someone smokes Crack, no matter the amount, they could experience:
- Heart attack
- Respiratory (breathing) failure
All of these issues are severe and could result in sudden death.
Get Help With Addiction to Crack Cocaine
Crack Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and that grabs many users from their very first time. This also makes it one of the hardest substances to recover from. Because of this, it is highly advised not to give up the drug alone. There are treatment centers around the country that have collectively helped thousands of people recover from their addictions. Many treatment centers offer crack cocaine detox programs to help their patients begin their recovery from crack cocaine addiction.
If you, or someone you love, struggles with an addiction to Crack Cocaine, try reaching out to a dedicated treatment provider today.
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