Crack cocaine addiction

Crack is a type of cocaine that can be extremely harmful to both your short and long-term health. It can increase your risk of experiencing heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory problems and can negatively affect your relationships. The more you use crack cocaine, the more likely you are to develop an addiction, which can happen rapidly due to the drug’s highly addictive nature.


Crack addiction - rock of crack cocaine

What Is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant developed as a new way to smoke freebase cocaine. Made by dissolving powdered cocaine in bicarbonate and water, white rocks are created, yellow or brown depending on impurities.

Smoking crack cocaine causes a shorter and more intense high than powdered cocaine and therefore makes the substance increasingly dangerous.

Is Crack Cocaine Addictive?

It is a well-known fact that cocaine has a high risk of addiction, and when it comes to crack cocaine, the risk is even greater. But why is this the case? The answer lies in the intensity and duration of the high that crack cocaine provides you.

Crack triggers a short but intense rush of dopamine which is highly addictive. Once you’ve experienced that rush, your brain will crave it repeatedly. As you need to use crack more often to maintain that high, it inevitably makes it more addictive than its powdered counterpart.

The more you use crack cocaine, dependence develops as your brain gets used to the high. Your brain produces less dopamine and relies on the substance to feel happy and normal. Once dependence has developed, you can experience both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug.

It is crucial to understand that crack cocaine addiction is a condition that affects the brain and causes you to lose control over your substance use. Due to its highly addictive nature, addiction can develop rapidly, leading you to compulsively seek out and use the drug despite the negative consequences.

Crack cocaine addiction can drastically change your behaviour, often leading you to do things you never thought you would. However, it’s important to remember that our professional help and support is available to help you overcome this hurdle.

Risk Factors for Crack Cocaine Addiction

It is unfair to blame someone for their crack cocaine addiction. It’s vital to approach the matter with empathy and understanding, and providing support and resources for those struggling is critical. Some examples of risk factors include:

  • Childhood neglect and other forms of abuse
  • Family history of substance misuse – genetics and environmental factors such as normalisation of substance misuse at home
  • Peer pressure and bullying – the risk of developing a substance use disorder increases if substances start being used at a young age
  • Mental health problems including depression, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Previous substance use disorder – if you have been addicted to a different substance, you are more likely to develop an addiction to crack

Signs of Crack Cocaine Addiction

Understanding the signs of crack cocaine addiction can help you access help in time. However, people often try to hide their symptoms from their loved ones and even themselves, making it difficult to spot all the signs.

Here is a list of all of the important signs to look out for when it comes to addiction to crack cocaine:

  • Erratic behaviour, including risk-taking such as driving under the influence and unprotected sex
  • Secretiveness
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Problems maintaining relationships
  • Getting into legal problems
  • Lack of control over crack use
  • Trying to quit crack and not managing to
  • Using more crack cocaine than intended for a longer period than intended
  • Continuing to use crack despite negative effects on relationships and physical and mental health
  • No longer doing activities that were once enjoyed, instead prioritising crack use


Crack addiction - relationship problems


Physical Health Effects of Crack Addiction

Taking crack cocaine can lead to intense and euphoric highs; however, it’s important to be aware of the dangerous physical and psychological effects that addiction to the drug can have on you.

Short term effects:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Convulsions
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased risk of heart attack, stroke, seizures, and respiratory failure causing sudden death in extreme cases
  • Crack lip – blistered lips from the hot pipe


Crack addiction - muscle spasm


Long-term effects:

  • Respiratory problems such as shortness of breath, coughing, and lung damage
  • Increased risk of infectious diseases
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Loss of appetite that can lead to malnutrition
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Tooth decay

Is There Help Available for Crack Cocaine Addiction?

It can be difficult to accept that you have a crack cocaine addiction and to take the first step to seek support. You may be weighed down by the stigma which surrounds addiction. If you are thinking of seeking support, that’s great! This is an important and courageous step.

At Oasis Recovery, we help you make the most of your courage and will support you with your recovery journey every step of the way. Our holistic crack addiction treatment is proven to help people who are abusing crack cocaine and continue to support them throughout their recovery journey. The process also involves the important stage of detoxing from crack cocaine.

We believe in the importance of healing all aspects of your being so that you have the best chance of recovery. If you are ready to get help, please contact us to learn more about our crack cocaine treatment options we offer.