Crack (or crack cocaine) is a more potent and short-lived form of cocaine. Crack is the freebase form of cocaine; it is processed from cocaine into small rocks that can be mixed with water, baking soda, or ammonia. Its name derives from the cracking sound it makes when heated up. It is a central nervous stimulant that targets the pleasure center of the brain and causes an immediate high. Crack excites the neurotransmitter dopamine, the body’s pleasure chemical, causing rapid tolerance and immediate effects. It is categorized with Alcohol, Cocaine, Heroin and Marijuana as recreational drug.
The most common way to use crack is to smoke it. It can also be mixed with other drugs, which is especially harmful to the body. Once smoked, it produces a euphoria that lasts only between 10 and 15 minutes, yet the side effects may remain after the high wears off.
Side Effects of Crack
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
- Decreased appetite
- Muscle spasms
- Drug dependency and cravings
Addiction and Overdose
Crack is the most addictive form of cocaine. After the initial euphoria wears away, users are left feeling paranoid and restless, craving more of the drug. As drug dependency may lead to withdrawal symptoms, people continually smoke crack to eliminate any symptoms or to experience the euphoria and extend the high.
Although tolerance increases the more the drug is used, it increases the possibility of taking in more than the body can handle, leading to overdose. Overdose symptoms could be serious and life-threatening. Signs of overdose on crack may include:
- Extreme confusion
It is important not to take any of the above signs lightly as these health risks could be potentially fatal. Call medical help immediately.
A drug rehabilitation facility may be the most beneficial alternative for people suffering from crack addiction. The facility has medical professionals to help people realize that the addiction is the problem. It is imperative to get necessary help and rid yourself of the addiction before any life-threatening health risks occur due to excessive crack use. The recovery period is a process, but one that is well worth it.