Cocaine is a stimulant drug that directly affects the nervous system. It can be snorted, smoked, or injected and is highly addictive. Crack cocaine is a crystallized, highly concentrated form that is typically smoked. When an individual uses cocaine, they experience an almost immediate high. The increase in dopamine levels in the brain creates feelings of joy and euphoria and speeds up the nervous system. This intense rush is what makes the drug so addictive.
Those struggling with crack abuse often develop a physical and psychological dependence on the drug that can be difficult to overcome, exposing them to the health dangers of crack cocaine. However, with the right treatment and help, a patient can achieve sobriety and maintain long-term recovery. At Northpoint Washington, we provide addiction treatment for various substances, including cocaine. To learn more about our crack addiction treatment program, contact our team at 425.437.3298.
Understanding the Dangers of Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine consists of powdered cocaine combined with water and an additional substance, typically baking soda. Since crack is usually smoked, the drug takes effect more quickly and results in an intense, shorter high. The effects are usually instant and typically last about five to 10 minutes. Because of these heightened and shortened effects, those struggling with crack abuse often experience cycles of binging and crashing that can cause physical dependence.
Some of the potential dangers of crack cocaine are:
- HIV infection
- Hepatitis B infection
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Respiratory illnesses
- Memory loss
Continued crack abuse leads to significant impacts on physical, mental, and emotional health. Many do not set out to become addicted, but even one-time use can lead to substance abuse and struggles with addiction. Since it is most commonly smoked, the dangers of crack cocaine can arise more quickly and intensely as it reaches the bloodstream and brain much faster. The risk of overdose is also much higher for crack cocaine and can lead to convulsions, coma, and even death.
Signs and Symptoms of Crack Abuse
If you are worried a loved one is struggling with crack abuse, it is essential to get them professional help. Trying to quit crack cocaine by yourself can be extremely dangerous. Those looking to become sober must find a detox center where they can be monitored and receive treatment for intense withdrawal symptoms. Knowing the signs and symptoms of crack abuse plays a critical role in getting someone the help they need to quit and living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
The signs and symptoms of crack abuse are:
- Weight changes
- Chronic runny nose
- Erratic and extreme mood swings
- Changes in work or school performance
- Changes in appetite
- Unexpected financial problems
- Secretive behavior
- Increased heart rate
- Dilated pupils
Treatment for crack abuse is not easy. The dangers of crack cocaine are serious and can have drastic effects on your overall health and well-being. It is difficult to overcome the physical and psychological dependence on the stimulant. However, if you do not seek professional treatment, it will likely only lead to further complications for your physical and mental health.
A Crack Addiction Treatment Program at Northpoint Washington
At Northpoint Washington, our detox and inpatient treatment programs are designed to help our patients heal and learn the tools they need to maintain lasting sobriety. Some of the evidence-based programs we offer patients are:
- Drug and alcohol detox
- Drug and alcohol rehab
- Dual diagnosis
- Co-occurring disorders
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy program
- Group therapy program
- Family therapy program