Updated on February 6, 2024
3 min read

Crack Addicts

Key Takeaways

Signs & Symptoms of Crack Addiction

Crack users can experience a wide range of symptoms if they become addicted. Some of the most common signs of crack addiction are:

  • Extreme bursts of energy
  • Inflated confidence and sense of self-importance
  • Escapism
  • A quick, fleeting sense of euphoria (due to the influx of dopamine)
  • Bouts of being hyper-focused
  • Bouts of depression and anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Intense cravings for more crack

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Side Effects of Crack Addiction

Crack artificially depletes your body’s energy, reducing the need for food and sleep. Mood changes commonly occur as well. 

Injecting cocaine with unclean needles increases one’s risk of contracting hepatitis, AIDS, and other infections. Crack addiction also leads to short- and long-term side effects.

These side effects can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.

Short-Term Effects

Short-term effects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Nausea
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Bizarre behaviors
  • Mood swings
  • Dilated pupils
  • Appetite loss

Long-Term Effects

Long-term effects include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Dental damage
  • Damage to lips and mouth
  • Cardiovascular issues like heart attacks and strokes
  • Seizures
  • A severe decline in cognitive ability
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Uncontrollable muscle tics
  • Involuntary tremors
  • Hyper-aggressive behavior
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Depression
  • Apathy
  • Death

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Dangers & Risks of Crack Addiction

If you become addicted to crack, you can become more paranoid, angry, and aggressive. This puts you and those around you at risk.

Aside from the severe long-term side effects of crack addiction, you can fatally overdose on crack. Another serious concern is that crack can be contaminated with other drugs. This can lead to infections.

Crack addiction can also lead to serious consequences such as:

  • Legal problems
  • Financial problems
  • Neglecting work, school, or other social responsibilities
  • Social isolation

Addiction Treatment Options for Crack Cocaine

Currently, there aren’t any U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications to treat crack cocaine addictions. But there are a few treatment options that can cater to your needs. 

Here are some treatment options to explore:

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How to Help Someone With a Crack Addiction 

If you or someone you know is struggling with a crack addiction, help is available. Consider reaching out to a treatment facility or seeking support groups. Your loved one doesn’t have to navigate the journey to a drug-free recovery alone.

The key is to be supportive without being an enabler. This means:

  • Allowing them to face the consequences of their actions
  • Not making excuses for them
  • Not defending their bad behavior
  • Not giving them money to fund their addiction

What is Crack?

Crack is the “rock” form of cocaine. It is a powdered “hydrochloride salt.” Low doses can give you a quick burst of euphoria.

Crack can lead to increased:

  • Energy
  • Sensory awareness
  • Alertness
  • Self-esteem

Crack is created by combining cocaine with baking soda and water (often with other fillers). This makes it a solid that gets broken into chunks. People smoke crack with a crack pipe, which creates a crackling sound, hence its name. 

Cocaine vs. Crack High

Crack takes effect immediately with an intense and rapid euphoria called a “flash high.” This happens in less than 10 seconds and lasts about 3 to 5 minutes.

On the other hand, cocaine peaks within about 15 to 20 minutes when it’s snorted. When injected, it produces an effect within 30 seconds, peaks in 5 minutes, and lasts about a half hour.

Crack Cocaine Crash

Once the effects of crack end, an unpleasant comedown or “crash” typically follows. This is due to the high concentration of the drug in the bloodstream.

Side effects include:

  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Cravings

A crash can last longer than the original high. This is because the body needs time to recover from the side effects of the drug. This can cause you to use the drug repeatedly, leading to addiction or dependence.

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Updated on February 6, 2024
7 sources cited
Updated on February 6, 2024
  1. “Crack Addiction Rehab in Maryland.” Walden, 13 Jan. 2021, pyramidwalden.com/treatment-support/drug-addiction-rehabilitation/crack-addiction-rehab/.

  2. “Crack Addiction Rehab in PA: Silver Pines Treatment Center: Hazleton.” Silverpines Treatment Center, 19 May 2020, www.silverpinestreatmentcenter.com/addiction-treatment-programs-pa/addiction-treatment-services/crack-addiction-rehab-in-pa/.

  3. George Mason, www.gmu.edu/resources/facstaff/facultyfacts/1-2/cocain.html.

  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “How Is Cocaine Addiction Treated?” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 11 June 2020, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-treatments-are-effective-cocaine-abusers.

  5. “Straight Talk – Crack.” CAMH, www.camh.ca/en/health-info/guides-and-publications/straight-talk-crack.

  6. “The Difference Between Crack and Cocaine.” Agape Treatment Center, 31 Aug. 2020, www.agapetc.com/what-is-the-difference-between-crack-and-cocaine/.

  7. “What Is Crack? – Effects & Symptoms of Crack Addiction.” Cirque Lodge, 13 Dec. 2018, www.cirquelodge.com/addiction/crack/.

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