“Crack” cocaine has more potency than regular cocaine because of its processing method. Cocaine becomes crack cocaine when someone processes it with ammonia or baking soda, causing it to gain more potent effects. This extra strength and the drug’s lower cost make crack cocaine even more addictive than regular cocaine. Crack cocaine treatment may be the only way to break free from the cycle of addiction.
If you think you or a loved one has a crack cocaine addiction, let Gateway Foundation help. Our crack cocaine drug addiction rehabilitation centers serve patients in Illinois.
WHAT IS CRACK COCAINE?
Crack cocaine is an especially potent form of cocaine that is produced by combining it with ammonia or baking soda. Once the mixture is boiled, a solid material forms which is cooled and broken into smaller pieces. This hard, mineral-like substance is crack cocaine.
Crack cocaine’s name comes from the cracking sound produced when the substance is heated. Other slang names for crack include:
Crack cocaine can be instantly addictive, with a single dose being enough to start users on the path to addiction. The drug has an intense stimulating effect, which typically causes users to feel a rush of euphoria, excitement and energy. A crack high can be delivered in as little as ten seconds. This massive dopamine rush can cause immediate cravings for crack. Another reason crack is so popular is that it’s relatively inexpensive.
CRACK VS. COCAINE
There are many differences between crack and cocaine:
- Appearance: Cocaine usually comes in a white powder form. Crack is sold in a rock form that is generally cream, tan, white or light brown.
- Cost: Crack is sold at a fraction of the cost of pure cocaine.
- Potency: Crack is the most potent form of cocaine, and it is far stronger than regular cocaine. As a result, those who are used to taking cocaine are at risk of a crack overdose because they don’t realize how much stronger the substance is.
- Delivery methods: Most users snort or inject cocaine. Crack is typically smoked because it only requires a temperature of 194 degrees to vaporize. Cocaine vaporizes at 370 degrees, making this method impractical.
- How quickly effects are felt: Because crack is smoked, its effects are nearly instantaneous. Users who snort cocaine take three to five minutes to feel its effects, and and those who inject it take about 15 minutes.
- Length of time felt: The effects of smoking crack only last about ten minutes, which generally leads users to binge its use. After snorting or injecting cocaine, the effects last upwards of 30 minutes.
HISTORY OF CRACK COCAINE
Like all forms of cocaine, crack is derived from the leaves of the coca plant. In the late 1970s, the U.S. drug markets were flooded with cocaine. In an attempt to make more money, drug dealers began transforming powdered cocaine into smaller chunks that could be smoked. It was cheaper to produce, easy to manufacture and simple for people to use.
Crack cocaine made dealers more money and started appearing in small batches throughout major U.S. cities in the early 1980s. Shortly after that, its use exploded across the country. Low-income areas were especially devastated. Because crack was cheap, fast and powerful, it became the drug of choice among impoverished populations.
Throughout most of the 1980s, crack addiction was considered an epidemic. Crime rose significantly as those addicted to the drug would participate in criminal activities to support their addiction. The government implemented tough drug laws, and prisons began filling with people addicted to crack. Sadly, much of the media hysteria was aimed at poorer African American communities living in urban areas.
By the 1990s, the crack epidemic came to an abrupt end. While many theories exist, no one is exactly sure why this happened. While crack use is far less common today than in the late 1980s and early ’90s, it continues to be manufactured and misused at high levels in the U.S.
BENEFITS OF SEEKING HELP FOR A CRACK COCAINE ADDICTION
A crack cocaine drug rehab center will support you through recovery with evidence-based methods. Treatment for cocaine addiction gives you a chance to:
- Work on your physical and mental health using positive behaviors
- Manage the symptoms of withdrawal while reducing your crack cocaine use
- Find community in other addiction patients and your treatment team
- Reconnect with friends, family and loved ones
With crack cocaine addiction treatment, you can achieve the life you envision. You get the opportunity to build a new life or get back the life you had before drugs.
WAYS THAT CRACK COCAINE ADDICTION AFFECTS THE BODY AND BRAIN
Cocaine acts as a central nervous system stimulant that impacts the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in your brain. These chemicals control thoughts and feelings related to pleasure, memory and decision-making. Crack cocaine can change how the brain’s reward system works and creates cravings for the drug. Some of the short-term symptoms of crack cocaine usage include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Abdominal pain
- Higher risk of heart attack or stroke
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Decreased appetite
- High blood pressure
- Constricted blood vessels
The effects of cocaine on the brain make someone who uses it susceptible to addiction and dependence. When someone becomes dependent on crack cocaine, they feel withdrawal symptoms when they reduce their usage or stop using it.
Withdrawal from cocaine can involve the following symptoms:
- Restlessness and agitation
- Increased appetite
- Slowed activities
- Vivid nightmares
- General discomfort
Without support from an addiction professional, it can become difficult to stop using cocaine because of its withdrawal symptoms. Crack cocaine drug rehab treatment in Illinois can help you manage these symptoms so you can commit to recovery.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN ADDICTION TO CRACK COCAINE
Addiction does not always seem obvious to someone who has it. You or someone you love may have a crack cocaine addiction if you notice these signs:
- Spending a large amount of time and money on getting and using crack cocaine
- Feeling unable to stop using crack cocaine or reduce the amount used
- Needing a larger amount of crack cocaine to feel the same effects as before
- Having difficulty managing work, relationships and other commitments
Clinics for addiction can screen you for crack cocaine symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan.
SERVICES AVAILABLE AT A CRACK COCAINE DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT CENTER
Every treatment center for crack cocaine addiction takes a different approach to care. The services you receive may include:
- Therapy: Individual and group therapy will give you a supportive space where you can manage the emotional aspects of addiction.
- Medication: Your addiction doctor may prescribe medicine that reduces your withdrawal symptoms and cravings to help you follow your recovery plan.
- Social support: Some treatment centers provide social services or referrals to organizations that can help you with life’s necessities.
Your experience with treatment will depend on the clinic you visit and your symptoms.
GATEWAY’S CRACK COCAINE DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAMS IN ILLINOIS
When you visit Gateway for crack cocaine addiction treatment, you benefit from these approaches to care:
- Treatment for underlying issues: We can help you address any health conditions that contribute to your crack cocaine use.
- Medical evaluations and services: Our medical team will assess your physical health and provide withdrawal treatment.
- Peer support programs: Group therapy and additional services will give you the chance to support and get support from fellow patients.
- Wellness development: As you go through recovery, our team will help you find and nurture the things that bring out your passion for life.
Our team combines emotional, social, and medical support to manage all aspects of crack cocaine addiction.
Gateway’s crack cocaine drug addiction rehab centers in Illinois help patients recover from substance use disorders. We have more than 50 years of experience providing evidence-based, compassionate treatment. To learn more about our services, contact our team online.