Crack and cocaine are both derived from the coca plant native to South America. While at first, this plant showed promise for medical advancements, throughout the years, the production of these drugs has only led to the consequences that follow addiction. Now, both forms of the drug are illegal. But, many still struggle with cocaine and crack addiction in all areas of the U.S.
Cocaine and Crack– What’s the Difference?
Many are confused about the difference between crack and cocaine. Really, the only distinction between the two is production. While cocaine is a white powder that is either snorted or injected, crack is a hardened, crystallized substance. Crack is made by boiling water and baking soda and cooking cocaine. So, they are essentially the same drug, but in different forms and with different applications.
What are the Effects of Crack and Cocaine Use?
Just like other illicit and dangerously potent drugs, crack and cocaine both provide short and long-term effects. Short-term effects of both drugs include:
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Heavy breathing
- Hyper activeness
While the short-term effects may be what a user is trying to obtain, the long-term effects are not. Eventually, with continued use, the long-term effects of cocaine and/or crack start to catch up to users. And, they’re never pretty. In fact, they are a combination of both aggravating physical and psychological side effects. The effects of long-term cocaine and/or crack abuse may include:
- Heavy cravings to use
- Respiratory problems
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease and/or failure
- Mood swings
- Development of mood disorders like General Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Depression
- Infertility in males
- Seizures which can result in stroke and/or death
Cocaine and Crack Addiction
The human brain consists of receptors which are utilized to send messages which help to release naturally produced chemicals. It just so happens that the human brain includes receptors that are specifically designed to respond to cocaine/crack. This means that when these drugs are used, the brain responds by releasing naturally produced chemicals. These chemicals are what produced the euphoric effect drug users experience when administered. But, because using these drugs interferes with the body’s natural process, these chemicals are eventually not released unless the drug is administered. This phenomenon is known as dependence. And, the potential for developing dependence with cocaine/crack use is extremely high for even first time users.
Once dependence forms, addiction is close behind. Characteristics of a crack or cocaine addiction include experiencing negative side effects of drug use but continuing use regardless. The life of a crack/cocaine addict is one that experiences negative consequences repeatedly, but this does not discontinue drug use. Fortunately, for those who are experiencing dependency or addiction to crack/cocaine, rehabilitation is successful in helping to obtain a lasting recovery.
Treating Crack and Cocaine Addiction at Asheville Recovery
When an individual who is dependent on crack or cocaine ceases to use, withdrawal symptoms occur. This happens because the body is used to the presence of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms can be both physical and psychological. While physical withdrawal symptoms may only last days or a week at most, the psychological withdrawal symptoms of detoxing from crack and cocaine can last months. This is why it’s imperative that individuals addicted to crack or cocaine receive professional assistance.
Throughout treatment, individuals dependent on crack and/or cocaine can learn to develop relapse prevention techniques that combat the psychological withdrawal symptoms of the drug. And, those in treatment learn to discover and combat the real underlying causes of addiction whether they be traumatic circumstances of the past, concurring mood disorders, or a lifestyle imbalance.
Ready for Help with a Cocaine or Crack Addiction?
If you or a loved one is experiencing cocaine or crack addiction, there IS help available to you TODAY. You don’t have to wait to get your life back from drug addiction. If you would like to speak with an experienced staff member at our treatment facility, you can call today for a confidential conversation at 866-315-8998.