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Why is Crack so Popular?


crack  cocaine

crack cocaine

Crack is also referred to as crack cocaine. It is the freebase form of cocaine that is smoked, instead of snorted like powder cocaine. Crack causes a very intense, immediate high by interfering with the body’s absorption of dopamine in the brain. This neurotransmitter is known as the feel-good chemical that is released during pleasurable activities such as sex, eating, and playing video games. Smoking crack increases the level of dopamine in the brain in the same way that cocaine does, by attaching to dopamine receptors.

When the dopamine receptors are filled up, the dopamine in the brain cannot attach to them. In this way, the level of dopamine builds up in the brain very quickly. In fact, the euphoric feeling of being high after smoking crack occurs only 5-15 seconds after smoking some of the drug because it enters into the bloodstream immediately through the lungs. The high wears off in only five to fifteen minutes, and when it does, the low is as low as the high is high, as the saying goes. So, the drive to smoke more crack can create an undeniable craving in some people and can even occur after only one time of smoking crack cocaine.

The Physical and Psychological Consequences of Smoking Crack

When a user comes down from smoking crack, he or she will experience the exact opposite of the original euphoric feeling that the drug produced initially. There will be an intense agitation, craving for more of the drug, and a sense of edginess. Many users also experience a deep depression.

Over time, this depression becomes more and more pronounced. Some users even begin to experience paranoia and suicidal ideation as the drug wears off. All of these emotional effects of coming down from crack are due to the lowered levels of dopamine in the brain when the circulating levels of this feel-good neurotransmitter begins to dissipate as the body withdraws from the crack.

The short-term physical consequences of smoking crack include rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, seizures, cardiac arrest, and stroke. Additionally, crack is often mixed with toxic chemicals that a user ingests when smoking the drug. These toxic chemicals can cause severe lung damage, shortness of breath, and brain damage. Long-term effects of crack use include damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart. Many regular crack users also end up so wired that they don’t sleep or eat enough, which can result in malnutrition and lower cognitive functioning.

Why Seeking Inpatient Treatment for Crack Addiction is Important

Crack addiction is hard to beat on one’s own. Both the body and the mind become very quickly addicted to crack. In order to stop smoking crack and withdraw safely from using the drug, being in a safe, supportive environment with ample medical attention is critical. A good medical team can help to stabilize a crack patient’s brain chemistry, which will help to stabilize both his or her emotional state and physical functioning.

When a crack patient enters an inpatient treatment program, the patient is also removed from his or her usual environment where all of the same stressors could continue to trigger cravings for the euphoria crack temporarily generated. An inpatient treatment center will also remove the crack user from his or her usual circle of acquaintances and friends, many of whom may also use crack. Removing an addict from the environment where the crack addiction started, and continued to be perpetuated, is critical to releasing the patient from the deeply ingrained psychological and physical clutches of the addiction.

The staff at a high quality inpatient treatment center that specializes in drug addiction will be able to address many of the physical symptoms of the withdrawal and detoxification process. An inpatient treatment facility will also offer substantial emotional support to the patient as difficult emotions and memories arise during the withdrawal process. Additionally, a patient’s nutritional needs will be provided for as well as a warm, safe place to sleep. Due to the intensity of the withdrawal process from crack addiction, a professional medical team is necessary in order to help an addict safely stop smoking the nefarious drug.

Crack cocaine is very popular because it is cheap, fairly easy to get, and produces a strong, immediate high. However, there is a high cost to engaging in smoking crack. The drug is very physically and psychologically addictive, almost immediately. The “crash” from smoking crack is severe. A crack smoker will crave more of the drug before the pipe even makes its way around the circle. Both the depression experienced by a crack smoker and the physical craving for more of the drug are very difficult to pull away from on one’s own. Seeking out a high quality inpatient treatment program will go a long way towards helping the user break the cycle of addiction.