Crack cocaine is an illicit substance and one of the most highly addictive stimulant drugs currently available, right next to methamphetamine. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, crack cocaine works by increasing the amount of dopamine present within the brain and preventing dopamine from being recycled as it normally would. This leads to excessive dopamine build-up which ultimately enforces drug-seeking behaviors – the brain adjusts to a large amount of dopamine, and it is tricked into believing that without crack cocaine it cannot adequately function. This is partially why crack is so highly addictive.
The Crack High is Addictive
Additionally, the high that is produced by crack is extremely short-lived and typically dissipates within the first hour after use. In order to maintain the high, the user takes more of the drug almost immediately, which leads to a greater release of dopamine and a more quickly developing physical and psychological dependence.
Crack Cocaine and Relapses
This is to say that it is exceptionally easy to relapse when it comes to crack cocaine – this chemical substance is so highly addictive that getting off of the drug long-term can be difficult. However, relapse can be avoided with a solid and long-term aftercare program in place. This means that after medical detox and inpatient treatment are complete, the individual who has been suffering at the hands of crack cocaine addiction should continue on with a long-term program of recovery. Aftercare for crack cocaine addiction typically includes the continuation of a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, ongoing individual therapy, and whenever necessary, medication-assisted treatment.
The Power of Crack Cocaine Addiction
Even when a solid aftercare program is in place, relapse is common when it comes to crack cocaine. This is especially true when professional addiction treatment is not sought. At Evoke Wellness we understand just how addictive crack cocaine can be, and our dedicated team of medical and therapeutic professionals has extensive experience treating all symptoms relating to crack cocaine abuse and addiction. Because of the excessive dopamine release, psychological dependence tends to happen far more quickly than physical dependence. The cravings that go hand in hand with psychological dependence are truly what make quitting this drug so difficult. Of course, with the right treatment program, long-term recovery is entirely possible.
Crack Abuse and Addiction – Long and Short-Term Effects
There are a wide variety of symptoms and side effects that go hand in hand with short and long-term crack cocaine abuse and addiction. Some of the short-term effects commonly associated with crack addiction include:
- Increased mental alertness
- Hypersensitivity to sound, touch and sight
- Increased energy levels
- Increased sociability and talkativeness
- Increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Constricted blood vessels, which can lead to heart palpitations
- Extremely dilated pupils
- Restlessness and irritability
- Extreme anxiety, which can sometimes lead to paranoia and panic attacks
- Uncontrollable muscle twitches and tremors
Some of the long-term effects of crack cocaine abuse can include:
- Dental decay
- A lack of attention paid to personal hygiene
- The development of physical tolerance, meaning more than crack is required for the same results to be produced
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when crack use is suddenly stopped
- Extreme paranoia and panic attacks can ultimately lead to long-term psychosis
- Ongoing mood swings, marked by irritability and restlessness
- Permanent scarring on the mouth
- Permanent lung damage, and worsening symptoms of asthma when applicable
If you or someone you know has been abusing crack cocaine for any period of time, reaching out for professional help is extremely important. At Evoke Wellness we have extensive experience treating men and women of all ages who have been struggling with crack abuse or dependence.
Evoke Wellness and Crack Cocaine Recovery
Evoke Wellness is one of Southern Florida’s leading crack cocaine treatment centers, providing comprehensive and highly individualized care to men and women of all ages. For more information, reach out today. We will offer you confidential help and create a personalized cocaine treatment plan that offers the best chance at long-term recovery from crack cocaine abuse.