Crack Addiction

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Crack Addiction

Crack is a crystal form of cocaine and is a powerful drug made from the leaves of the coca plant.

It is a highly addictive drug, and smoking crack cocaine produces intense euphoria that lasts between five and fifteen minutes.

Once you experience the initial euphoria, you can become fixated on using it again, and abusing crack can begin to dominate your life, causing devastating physical, mental, and social damage.

If you are struggling with a crack addiction, it may feel like a life without crack is impossible. But with the proper support, anyone can recover from addiction and rediscover the joys of a sober life.

At Cirque Lodge, our individualized addiction treatment program combines behavioral therapies, experiential therapies, and support groups to provide the most effective treatment for you. Our rehabilitation program aims to heal the whole person, and we also identify and treat any co-occurring mental health conditions or social issues that may underlie your drug use.

Our exclusive treatment facilities, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, are the perfect place to reconnect with your mind, body, and spirit and begin your journey to lifelong recovery.

Crack Addiction Overview

How Is Crack Cocaine Used?

Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine that comes in white or off-white rock crystals.

The consistency ranges from a softer wax-like substance to hard and brittle plastic.

You usually smoke crack through a pipe and inhale the vapor. Absorption via the lungs is almost as fast as injecting, and you experience an almost immediate rush of intense euphoria that lasts around five to fifteen minutes.

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What Is the Difference Between Powder Cocaine and Crack Cocaine?

Chemically, there is very little difference between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.

Crack cocaine is a ‘freebase’ version of powder cocaine. This means that the cocaine component is freed from the hydrochloric salt from which it is bound.

In the 1980s and 1990s, lawmakers and public opinion considered crack cocaine to be much more addictive and harmful than powder cocaine. The sentencing for drug possession reflected this, enforcing the same penalty that you would receive for 100g of powder cocaine for just 1g of crack cocaine.

However, several scientific studies have questioned the extent to which crack cocaine is more addictive than powder cocaine. They argue that there are higher addiction rates among crack users because they are more susceptible to becoming dependent on the substance. The demonization of crack cocaine and its harsh sentencing instead results from racial biases intending to persecute the overwhelmingly black demographic that use crack cocaine.

Currently, there is no conclusive evidence on whether or not crack cocaine is more addictive than powder cocaine. There remains, however, an 18:1 disparity in the sentencing of the two substances in United States law.

Why Is Crack Addictive?

Crack cocaine causes a build-up of dopamine in your brain, and addiction usually results from a psychological dependence on the substance.

When you smoke crack, the drug quickly reaches your brain, flooding it with dopamine. This chemical produces feelings of pleasure and happiness, and this flood of chemicals results in a very intense rush of euphoria.

Because of the intense euphoria crack induces, you can quickly become psychologically dependent on the substance. Crack cocaine can become the most important thing in your daily life, with damaging consequences.

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Signs and Symptoms of Crack Addiction

It can be difficult to notice a substance use disorder in a friend or your loved one.

The stigma attached to substance abuse often causes people to hide their addiction. 

There are, however, signs and symptoms which may indicate crack addiction. If you are worried you or your loved one may be addicted to crack cocaine, please contact us immediately. Our compassionate team can answer any questions you may have and guide you through the next steps.

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Red eyes
  • Excessive sweating
  • Burns on fingers or lips
  • Quick or deep breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Visible arousal
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Psychological and behavioral symptoms may include:

 

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Aggression
  • Changes to sex drive
  • Restlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Obsession with seeking and using crack

Short-Term Effects of Crack

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, short term effects of cocaine may include:

  • Narrowed blood vessels
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain and nausea
  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy
  • Alertness
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness, anxiety, or erratic and violent behavior
  • Panic attacks, paranoia, or psychosis
  • heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Coma

Long-Term Effects of Crack

Repeated use of crack cocaine over time can cause long-term damage to your health. It can affect your vital organs and weaken your immune system.

Long-term effects of crack abuse may include: 

  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Lung damage from smoking
  • Respiratory failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Susceptibility to infections
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Death

Dangers of Crack Cocaine Addiction and Abuse

Crack cocaine abuse can be devastating for the user’s mental and physical health, and repeated use of crack over a long period can cause irreversible damage to your vital organs.

The secondary consequences of using crack can also be devastating. Research has found that among some crack users, homicide and HIV are the leading causes of death.

Crack addiction can lead to serious injury while you are using the substance or as a result of violence associated with the buying and selling of the drug. It may also increase the risk of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

Because of the short duration of the high, users often use large amounts of the drug and can spend hundreds of dollars on crack in one day. This can result in significant financial difficulties, which may ultimately lead to criminal activity.

Crack Addiction Treatment

Treatment for crack addiction can be a life-saving experience.

At Cirque Lodge, we offer a holistic healing experience that focuses on all aspects of your addiction. We aim to treat the whole person, including any co-occurring disorders and relationship struggles you may have.

Our treatment program combines various treatment approaches, including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, experiential therapy, support groups, family therapy, and dual diagnosis.

In behavioral therapy, we identify thought and behavioral patterns that cause your addiction and help you develop skills to overcome them. During experiential therapy, you will reinforce these skills by taking part in enriching practical activities such as horse riding and a high ropes challenge.

Family therapy and support groups help you develop healthy relationships with your friends and loved ones, who can provide you with continued support in the coming years. When you leave the center, we provide you with an individualized aftercare plan, and we connect you with local or online meeting networks to help you on the journey ahead.

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Cirque Lodge offers a combination of experiential, behavioral, and group therapies to provide a holistic and enriching treatment experience.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, please contact us today. We can help.

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3114 E Ida’s Road
Sundance, UT 84604

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