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  • Crack Withdrawals

    Three days after discontinuation of repeated cocaine injections, nucleus accumbens neurons recorded in brain slices were less responsive to depolarizing current injections, had higher action potential thresholds, and had lower spike amplitudes.

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Crack Abuse

Crack Abuse In these contemporary times, the abuse of illicit and illegal drugs is becoming a more profound problem with each passing day. And while there are a wide variety of drugs that both the young and old are using in excess, abuse of crack can be particularly problematic given the negative physiological effects it has on the body as well as the fact that repeated use can foster addiction and endanger the user's health. By learning more about how crack negatively impacts an individual's mind and body, crack addicts can cease drug use and begin leading a more productive and powerful life.

Negative Effects of Crack

As many health experts know, crack is a form of smokeable cocaine which is generally used to attain feelings of euphoria. This sense of euphoria can be sensed almost immediately after inhaling the drug because it begins moving through the user's bloodstream. In using crack, individuals make themselves susceptible to a variety of negative effects. Some of them include:

  • Addiction
  • Sudden death
  • Interference with neurotransmitter activity
As many drug experts know, the addictive effect of crack consumption results from the fact that it generates feelings of euphoria. After this feeling is attained, however, it wears off quickly. When this happens, the user feels the need to smoke more of the drug. Not doing so engenders withdrawal symptoms including agitation, paranoia, restlessness, and irritability. In addition to fostering addiction, crack use can entail sudden death. This is the case because repeated use of the drug makes the brain more sensitive to it and can thus trigger fatal seizures. Finally, crack use meddles with the brain’s normal neurotransmitter activity. Specifically, crack enters the brain once it is smoked. When this happens, it interferes with the brain’s neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers which enable the nerves to talk with each other. The neurotransmitters that crack use precludes from being reabsorbed properly are norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and more.

Important Statistics

In addition to learning about the negative effects that crack use can have on the mind and body, it is important to gain a general awareness of how the drug is negatively impacting society as a whole. Here are some important statistics:

  • About .08% to 1% of teenagers will abuse crack at some point during high school.
  • About 14% of American adults have used cocaine.
  • One in 40 adults has used cocaine within the last year.
  • The biggest cocaine users are young men between the ages of 18 and 25. 8% of individuals in this age group have used the drug within the previous 12 months.
  • Crack can be up to 90% pure, making it 5 to 6 times stronger than the type of cocaine that one might normally buy in the street.
  • Today, low-level crack dealers and individuals who have dealt crack cocaine for the first time generally receive a sentence of 10 years and six months.
  • People make use of the internet for crack-related purposes. Terms like “smoking crack” and “crack cocaine pictures” rank amongst the top 30 search words or concepts online.

Interpersonal Effects of Crack Use

Oftentimes individuals devote careful attention to recognizing the negative effects that crack can have on the user's mind and body. While attaining this physiological information is important, however, it is also critical that the interpersonal effects of crack be explored and understood. The term "interpersonal" is appropriated to reference the relations between two or more persons. When an individual uses and/or abuses crack, the activity can result in a profound and generally negative shift in her or his relationships with others. One of the first relationships that crack use and/or abuse can have a negative impact on is the family. This is the case for many reasons, including the fact that crack use often entails the family having to spend time and money to attain rehabilitation services for the user. While family members may delight in their ability to help the user, the energy spent helping him or her attain the professional assistance needed can often foster resentment because it precludes them from living their own lives. In addition to straining one's relationship with family members because of time and effort spent in attaining rehabilitation services, crack users can negatively impact their relationships with mothers and fathers because of the dangerous environments the drug use leads them into. Specifically, people who use crack often find themselves willing to go into dangerous neighborhoods in order to attain and use the drug. This fact can entail a wide variety of negative consequences, including immersion in other forms of illegal activity that can result in arrest or the forming of relationships with people willing to engage in criminal activity. An example of such criminal activity would be offering sex in exchange for crack. When things of this nature transpire, the entire family's safety and livelihood are at risk. For this reason, family members may find themselves needing to separate themselves from the user in order to maintain a safe and healthy lifestyle for themselves. Relationships with family members are not the only interpersonal relationships that can be marred when an individual uses or abuses crack. Additionally, people who use or abuse crack can negatively impact their relationships with teachers or professors where they attend school. This can happen for a wide variety of reasons, including the fact that crack users may find themselves neglecting their schoolwork in order to pursue drug use. When this happens, the educator may become concerned and attempt to help the student, only to find that she or he becomes hostile given that the underlying factor precipitating poor school performance may be discovered.


Although crack use and abuse can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual's life, help is available. One of the primary ways that an individual can overcome crack addiction is through detoxification. The detoxification process is complex but essentially involves having the crack user weaned off the addictive substance in a controlled environment where she or he can be monitored by trained medical officials who know how to facilitate the procedure. While the detoxification process can incorporate various implementation strategies, one model could include evaluation, stabilization, and guiding the patient into treatment. With evaluation, the medical staff tests the patient in order to determine what substances are currently circulating through the bloodstream and in what amount. Medical officials will examine the patient to determine the potential for co-occurring disorders, mental and behavioral issues, and dual diagnosis. With stabilization, the patient goes through the detoxification procedure. The detoxification can take place with or without medication. In general, however, medication is used. During the stabilization process, the medical official explains what the patient should expect during the treatment and recovery processes. If appropriate, the patient's friends and family members may be brought near as a support system. In the third stage, the patient is guided into treatment that can address the psychological dimension of crack addiction. An example of such assistance would be a rehabilitation program.