Crack cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs around. On top of that, this drug is highly addictive.

Unfortunately, many people do not know much about the history and effects of crack cocaine. That’s why we prepared this comprehensive guide.

What Is Crack Cocaine?

We’ve developed a solid guide to crack cocaine. Before we go any further, though, it’s important to establish exactly what crack cocaine is.

Definition

Simply put, crack is a crystallized form of cocaine. Whereas cocaine normally comes in the form of a white powder, crack may be in crystals or blocks of various different colors.

It should also be noted that crack is more dangerous to use and abuse than cocaine. This is because this drug can be up to 100 percent purity and drug users often underestimate exactly how potent their experience will be.

How Is It Taken?

The most common way of using crack cocaine is to heat it up and then smoke it. This is actually where the name “crack” cocaine comes from, as the act of heating the drug produces a kind of cracking sound.

One reason that users tend to smoke crack cocaine is that the drug reaches their brain quicker than it otherwise would. This produces a high that is a double-edged sword for users.

The high itself is very intense due to how the drug is consumed and its overall potency. However, the experience is very brief, with most experiences lasting 15 minutes or even less.

It’s possible for users to snort crack as they would snort cocaine. But, this experience is less popular among drug users.

Other less popular ways of using this drug include injecting the drug directly into the body, although this is much more difficult than the other methods we’ve reviewed.

Who Takes It?

Another good question that many have is who exactly is using crack? As it turns out, the standard crack demographic is very different from the standard cocaine demographic.

Relatively speaking, cocaine costs more than other drugs do. Those who use cocaine tend to be affluent enough to afford the drug, which is especially true for those who regularly abuse the drug.

By comparison, crack is far cheaper than cocaine. That makes it a popular drug of choice for those with a lower socio-economic status.

Because of the economic factors, there is an age difference between the drug demographics. Cocaine users tend to be in their 30’s or older, whereas crack users tend to be in their teens or 20’s.

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A Brief History of Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine was invented sometime during the 1970s. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the drug became popular.

The development of crack occurred because of economic concerns. The high import of cocaine in the 1970s resulted in a lower price due to the large supply. However, crack was an opportunity to sell something new to more people.

Crack soon rose in popularity throughout the United States. This culminated in a period between 1984 and 1990 that is often referred to as the “crack epidemic.”

Sadly, the popularity of crack grew and eventually expanded to other continents. This led to areas like the United Kingdom experiencing their own crack epidemic during the early 2000s.

Consequences of Crack Cocaine Use

Crack cocaine has powerful effects on both the body and the mind. It’s important to understand what these effects are in case you ever need to treat yourself, a friend, or a loved one.

Obviously, a single symptom that you or a loved one is experiencing may not necessarily be due to crack cocaine. However, experiencing more than one of these symptoms during or after using the drug should be considered a major warning sign.

Effects on the Mind

  • Violent behavior
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Intense anxiety
  • Extreme panic
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation
  • Extreme apathy
  • Constant craving for crack cocaine

Effects on the Body

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased breathing
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea
  • High blood pressure
  • Respiratory failure
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Addiction to the drug

Arguably, the most dangerous effect that crack cocaine has is an addiction to the drug itself. And it’s very easy to get addicted, with some users saying their addiction grew after the first time using the drug.

Another way of viewing the effects that crack cocaine has on your body and mind is in terms of duration. Specifically, some of the effects are short-term while others are long-term.

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Short-Term Health Effects

  • High body temperature
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hyperstimulation
  • Seizures and other convulsions
  • Major paranoia
  • A feeling of bugs crawling inside your body

Long-Term Health Effects

  • Brain damage
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Multiple infectious diseases
  • Frequent chest pains
  • Tooth decay
  • Delerium
  • Malnutrition

Hovering over all of these possible effects is death itself. In extreme cases, users may experience sudden death after smoking crack cocaine. First-time users are particularly vulnerable to this threat, so keep in mind that trying crack cocaine even once can be lethal.

Keep in mind that there is never a bad time to seek treatment for addiction to crack cocaine. Even some of the long-term effects can be healed or undone by getting the correct treatment from trained professionals.

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Using Crack Cocaine With Other Drugs

Unfortunately, crack cocaine is a drug that is often mixed with other drugs. Users do this to experience unique and more intense highs, although combining drugs like this is often dangerous to the minds and bodies of users.

What Drugs Are Commonly Used With Crack Cocaine?

One popular combination of drugs is to mix marijuana with crack cocaine. Another popular combination is to mix crack cocaine with heroin.

Other drugs have also been mixed with crack cocaine over the years. Generally speaking, the likely “mixing” drug for a region depends on what the most popular drugs are for that area.

As we said before, crack cocaine is relatively cheap in terms of drugs. That is why it’s popular to mix it with other substances, as users can experiment with different results for very little money.

The popularity of mixing crack cocaine with other drugs is one reason that many people caution that marijuana is not always harmless. Drug users have no way of knowing if their marijuana has been laced with something more dangerous until they smoke it. This means risking addiction as well as all of the health effects mentioned earlier.

Treating Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crack cocaine is a highly dangerous drug and one that is intensely addictive. If you or someone you know may be addicted to crack cocaine, be sure to contact Northbound Addiction Treatment Services today.

We will help you or a loved one find the right treatment program to get them on the road to recovery. We will also work with the insurance provider to lessen the financial burden.