Crack cocaine (also known as crack) is one of the most addictive illegal substances. There is a chance that addiction will develop after the first use. The adverse effects of crack cocaine usage can cause major issues with one’s physical and mental health.
It’s not uncommon for crack cocaine users to lose control of their lives. Psychological dependence begins when it induces intense cravings. Once tolerance has been established, the user needs larger doses more frequently to experience the effects of crack cocaine.
The long-term effect of crack cocaine can have a serious negative impact on a person’s life and can even be deadly over time. Although we don’t live in a drug-free world, and there’s always the risk of a relapse, addiction treatment can help to prevent some of the long-term effects of crack cocaine.
If you require more information about the effect of crack cocaine on the body or need help overcoming addiction, get in touch with Crestone Wellness today!
What Is Crack Cocaine?
The crystalline form of cocaine known as “crack” is less pure and is smoked as opposed to snorting. To create it, cocaine powder is dissolved in water with baking soda. After being heated and dried, this combination becomes a solid that is then broken up into smaller pieces.
These little pieces are heated until they liquefy, at which point users inhale vapors through a pipe. Smoking crack results in a nearly instantaneous pleasure, which is why many seek out the benefits of crack cocaine. The crackling sounds produced while the pieces are heated gave rise to the name crack cocaine.
Powder cocaine is typically more expensive than crack, which is why it is often referred to as “the rich man’s drug.” Crack cocaine in crystal form, on the other hand, is much cheaper, making it more accessible. It is one of the most addictive drugs, causing intense cravings, which lead to crack addiction.
Cocaine Effects on the Brain
Cocaine is a stimulant and has an impact on the central nervous system. It provides a boost of energy like all other stimulants do. Your awareness is then increased, giving you a drug-induced “high.”
Increased Dopamine Levels
When a user smokes crack, it causes dopamine levels to rise, a chemical produced naturally on a regular basis. Your brain cells receive small amounts of dopamine that signal feelings of satisfaction or pleasure.
However, when you smoke crack, dopamine floods the brain, but it then has nowhere else to go. As a result, your brain cells will not be able to communicate with one another effectively because of the excess dopamine in your system.
The Development of Crack Addiction
Your brain gradually becomes less responsive to dopamine as a result of drug use. This means that greater doses of cocaine are required to elicit the same effects.
Long-term Effects of Crack Cocaine Addiction on the Brain
Dopamine overexposure over an extended period will harm the brain’s structure. Because of this, prolonged use of cocaine might result in neurodegenerative problems such as seizure disorders.
Moreover, the glucose metabolism in your brain is also slowed down by crack cocaine usage. Your brain’s neurons may start to die or function more slowly as a result.
Are There Any Effects on the Physical Health Caused by Crack Use?
The truth is that crack addiction can lead to various short- and long-term effects.
Although the short-term effects of crack, which are often as mild as dilated pupils, euphoria, and paranoia, are typically mild, extended drug use can have more serious consequences.
What Are the Short-term Effects of Smoking Crack?
The consequences of crack cocaine use are first euphoric because it raises dopamine (the feel-good chemical) levels in the brain. Compared to powder cocaine, the exhilaration from crack cocaine is more rapid and powerful.
Typically, it will last up to 10 minutes. After that, there is a depression, commonly referred to as a “comedown,” that is worse than it was prior to taking the drug.
Let’s take a closer look at the short-term effect of crack cocaine on the body.
This is one of the immediate effects of crack cocaine usage. Typically, the euphoria is intense and accompanied by increased awareness, a sense of superiority and fearlessness, as well as a decrease in inhibitions.
After the euphoria subsides, crack users may experience depression and rage. They might turn aggressive, uneasy, and paranoid.
These emotions tend to cause users to immediately crave another “hit.”
Users experience certain physical effects when they use crack cocaine. This includes the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Muscle spasms
- Increased body temperature
With prolonged use, the risks of more serious effects of crack cocaine, such as heart attacks, become more real.
What Are the Dangers of Long-term Crack Cocaine Addiction?
Crack cocaine addiction can cause lasting physical effects, and in some cases, it can even cause sudden death. Here are common long-term effects of crack cocaine use:
Nutritional deficiencies. Appetite loss and sleep deprivation can result in nutritional deficiencies.
Respiratory problems and lung damage. Because of the method of intake, users are more likely to experience respiratory issues. The smoke damages the lungs and induces coughing, bleeding, and shortness of breath.
Reproductive damage. Infertility and/or sexual dysfunction are common in both women and men.
Dental issues. The short, extremely hot inhalation pipe causes lip burning since it is so hot. Additionally, the smoke comes into contact with their teeth, which increases the risk of severe enamel decay.
Cardiovascular effects. High blood pressure can cause significant cardiac damage (increasing the risk of a heart attack), liver damage, kidney failure, and irreversible damage to blood vessels.
Brain damage. Excess dopamine in the brain can also starve brain cells, causing permanent damage to neurological tissue.
Are There Any Treatments Available to Crack Cocaine Users to Counteract the Effects of Crack Usage?
The truth is that we do not live in a drug-free world, and while it may be challenging for addicts to recover, addiction treatment has proven successful in many cases.
At Crestone Wellness, we are committed to helping you prevent the harmful side effects of crack cocaine and will support you at every step of your journey to recovery.
Contact Crestone Wellness
If you or someone you love is addicted to crack cocaine, you need to know that help is available. We will provide the treatment and detox therapy necessary to make a full recovery. At Crestone Wellness, we take a holistic approach, improving the chances that users won’t turn back to drug use.