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Article Summary


Crack cocaine is a form of cocaine which is made by putting the powder version of cocaine through a simple chemical heating process which makes it look like rocks. It is called crack because of the crackling sound that can be heard during this process. These little rocks of crack cocaine contain between 75 percent and 90 percent pure cocaine, although it is often cut with less expensive, often toxic, substances to enhance profit. Crack is the most addictive form of cocaine, and some even consider it to be the most addictive drug period. Crack is also one of the cheapest drugs and is widely available in every major city and just about every urban area of the country. Individuals who may have started out using powdered cocaine often wind up switching to the cheaper more addictive crack form of the drug for faster gratification and a more intense high that it offers. Put all of these factors together and it doesn't take long to understand why crack addiction is so prevalent and such a destructive element in society.

Crack Side Effects

Crack is most often smoked, because this method of administration reaches the brain almost instantly and produces one of the most intense highs imaginable. While powdered cocaine which is snorted can take up to 20 minutes to experience its peak effects, a crack high hits its peak within just a few minutes if not seconds of inhalation. So one can see why this would be the more preferred form of the drug and method of administration for individuals who want immediate gratification. Crack is a short-acting drug however, and the effects only last a matter of minutes. So crack users often go on binges where they repeatedly take the drug, for days on end in some cases.

Crack addiction has definitely taken its toll on users and society alike; with many crack addicts lose their homes and everything else in the course of their addiction. Someone who is addicted to crack will do anything to get the drug, and this often leads down a path of moral and physical decay. One's sense of what is right and wrong goes out the window when one becomes addicted to crack cocaine, and crack addicts become a shell of who they once were. Most will steal or sell their bodies and many end up in jail or dead.

While the most significant crack problem is in urban, poor areas of the country, crack cocaine addiction can happen to anyone, and even doctors, lawyers, athletes and celebrities have been known to become addicted to crack. It can be difficult to understand why someone would choose this lifestyle, despite all of the consequences it can bring. The problem is that crack is so addictive that even those who want to quit relapse because the drug just pulls them right back, and relapse rates among crack addicts are thought to be between 94% and 99% for those who don't receive treatment at an effective drug rehab facility.

Crack Addiction

Just like any other drug, crack addiction causes the individual to become addicted and dependent both physically and psychologically to the effects that are produced when taking the drug. Not only does a crack high not last very long, but users often feel terrible when coming down from the drug just a few minutes after. This often produces an overwhelming compulsion to seek out and use more of the drug right away despite other responsibilities and despite the consequences that this will bring. It no longer is a matter of willpower at this point, and it typically will not end unless serious measures are taken and with professional help.

Because of the dependence to crack that will develop very quickly, individuals will go through withdrawal almost immediately if they don't continue use. Crack withdrawal does come with some physical symptoms, but is in large part psychological in nature resulting in intense cravings to ward off the intense irritability, depression, etc, that occurs upon abrupt cessation of the drug when dependent which can last for months in the most serious cases. Individuals who begin detoxing from crack can count on going through a pretty intense withdrawal process but most will just give in and relapse if not in a rehab setting. This can be overcome however, and there are drug rehab facilities which specialize in treating crack addicts so that they don't suffer a relapse and wind up even worse than before. Because relapse rates are so high, so are risks of overdose. This is a very serious and probable outcome, so it is important that individuals addicted to crack receive this help before an overdose is a reality.

Crack Abuse Treatment

Chronic crack users will need an extensive and intensive course of treatment in an inpatient drug rehab facility if there is any chance for them to be freed from a life of crack addiction. At a drug rehab facility which understand and treats crack addiction, aggressive treatment methods are utilized which can help crack addicts overcome the intense psychological craving to use so that they have a shot at being able to live a drug free life. This is accomplished through rigorous counseling and behavioral therapy to help the crack addict develop coping skills and life tools which they can utilize to overcome any obstacles which may get in the way of their choice to live a drug free lifestyle.

Because of how powerful of a hold crack can take on a person, this will not typically be a fast process and there will be challenges along the way. But it is best to be in a professional treatment setting so that crack addicted individuals can have the support they need through this process and not feel alone. While it may seem impossible on one's own, many have overcome crack addiction and have seen that it is possible with effective treatment. While it is one of the toughest addictions to overcome, many drug rehab facilities prove that it is in fact possible every day.

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