How Harmful Is Crack Cocaine?

Many people with no experience of drugs may be wondering ‘what is crack cocaine?’. They have heard of cocaine, but then they have also heard of crack cocaine, and many are confused about whether these are one and the same or if they are two completely different drugs.

Most are familiar with the powder form of cocaine that they see in the movies or on their television screens. However, crack cocaine is a crystallised form of the drug that is heated and smoked. Crack cocaine comes in solid crystals or blocks, and it tends to be a pale yellow, white or rose colour. The reason it is known as ‘crack’ cocaine is that it makes a faint popping or cracking sound when it is heated up.

The Dangers of Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is one of the most powerful and addictive illegal drugs currently available. It is much stronger than regular cocaine, and it gives users an intense and almost immediate high. Nevertheless, the effects of crack cocaine wear off very quickly. In most cases, the high will not last for longer than fifteen minutes, which means that most users are tempted to take more of the drug to prolong the high. The more crack cocaine a person takes, the more his or her body will become ‘used’ to the presence of the drug. This means that, over time, he or she will not experience the same effects from the same amount of crack as before.

When this happens, the individual will need to take higher amounts each time, which eventually leads to addiction. Addiction tends to occur very quickly in those who smoke crack cocaine, with some individuals developing an addiction after just one use.

Crack cocaine is an inexpensive form of the drug, meaning that it is a highly abused drug. Nonetheless, there are many dangers to both mental and physical health in those who abuse it.

The Short-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine

Those who have ever wondered ‘what is crack cocaine?’ may be horrified to read about how dangerous and addictive it is. This is a very severe drug that causes a number of both short- and long-term effects. It has an almost immediate effect on the body, but because it is so addictive, those who smoke it are unable to stop.

Crack cocaine is very powerful, and as soon as a person smokes it, it begins to have a devastating effect on the body. It will accelerate the central nervous system, and it can place a tremendous amount of stress on the heart. Those who smoke crack cocaine may notice that their hearts begin to beat very rapidly after they take the drug. They may also notice their muscles becoming tighter. Blood pressure will rise and along with the rapid heartbeat, can lead to a stroke or heart attack.

The immediate physical effects of crack cocaine include a dry mouth and dilated pupils. Crack cocaine users may have more energy than usual and will usually become very talkative. They will appear restless and sweaty, probably losing their appetite. However, crack cocaine also affects a person’s mental wellbeing. It can lead to over-confidence, aggression, depression, and paranoia. It is not uncommon for those under the influence of crack cocaine to become angry and defensive and pick fights with others.

They may also experience confusion and hallucinations. Some users feel as though their skin is crawling, and they may become obsessed with scratching at imaginary bugs on their skin.

The Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is very dangerous and can result in many physical and mental health problems. The longer a person smokes crack cocaine, the more likely he or she is to develop respiratory problems. These can include shortness of breath, coughing, and eventual lung damage. Long-term crack cocaine use also causes heart, liver, and kidney disease. Those who abuse the drug are also likely to have a weakened immune system, which could lead to a number of infections.

As crack cocaine users rarely eat or sleep, mental and physical well-being will be negatively affected. Many crack cocaine addicts will suffer from malnutrition, and they will appear gaunt and ill most of the time. Mental health is also severely affected, with addicts often displaying paranoid behaviour and aggression.

Addiction to Crack Cocaine

Since the come down from crack cocaine is so severe, users tend to want to avoid this by taking more of the drug. Crack cocaine users experience severe cravings for the drugs, and they will do almost anything to get their hands on it.

As their crack addiction progresses, their lifestyle and relationships will be negatively affected. All they will be able to think about is the drug and their need for it. Nothing else will matter. Those who are unable to get their hands on the drug will suffer severe bouts of depression that can make them feel suicidal.

Crack cocaine has a detrimental effect on those with the addiction and the people in their lives. The addiction becomes so intense that the affected person may neglect important aspects of his or her life. The individual will lose all interest in things that he or she previously enjoyed, and it will have a devastating impact on relationships. Those with a crack cocaine addiction will become so desperate for the drug that they will lie, cheat and steal from the people they love, and they will often be unable to take care of their home and work responsibilities.

Crack cocaine addiction leads to relationship troubles, job losses, financial struggles, and homelessness.

Help for Addiction

So if the question of ‘what is crack cocaine?’ is one that you have ever pondered, know this – crack cocaine is one of the most powerful and addictive drugs out there, and one that can destroy lives. If you or someone you love is affected by this drug, contact us here at Recovery.org.uk today.

We are a free referral service and have a team of professional, dedicated staff working hard to help those affected by addiction. We provide comprehensive assessments to clients as well as referrals to suitable treatment providers based on the individual’s needs and circumstances. For more information on how we can help, contact us immediately.

 
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