Crack is a form of cocaine that hit the street in the mid-1980s. It was developed to offer a cheaper alternative to powdered cocaine, since at the time cocaine was too expensive for the average drug user. The draw of a cheap and highly effective drug started its spread throughout the country and a media frenzy ensued. While crack cocaine doesn’t receive the media attention that it did back in the 1980s, it is still a significant problem especially in lower income neighborhoods.
Crack cocaine is found in rock form which is then smoked with rudimentary paraphernalia. Crack is made by mixing powdered cocaine with ether or water and baking soda. The mixture is then boiled, leaving a solid. The solid is divided into individual rocks which are then smoked.
How It Works:
Crack is extremely addictive. Like cocaine, crack affects brain function and the central nervous system causing the average person to become addicted very quickly. Users are particularly susceptible to addiction because some evidence shows that when smoked, cocaine becomes even more addictive. Crack users often lose their families, friends and jobs in their pursuit of the next high.
Because crack is a form of cocaine, it possesses many of the same mental and physical side-effects. The drug affects the brain and central nervous system and during and after the extreme high can cause anxiety, panic, seizures and many other physical and mental problems. Crack shrinks the blood vessels and as a result, the heart and circulatory system become strained. Consequently, crack use can shut down vital organs which in turn can kill users shortly after they consume the drug. Because it is smoked, crack addicts may have serious lung problems that cause short and long-term respiratory issues and even death. Crack addicts will also be prone to aggressive and violent behavior.
How It Is Treated:
Crack addiction is treated through detox and longer-term treatment. Crack addicts will experience significant withdrawal, as the drug is flushed from their bodies. Addicts will need to complete a 30, 60 or 90 program to treat the psychological disorders behind their addiction. Over the long-term, crack addicts will need to enter support program to help ensure that they do not return to their former habit.