Steps Recovery Center recognizes how vital the mind, body, and spirit are in their connection to the whole person. We take a holistic approach to treating crack addiction that includes treating the whole person, and find that it tends to be more successful, especially since addiction can affect every aspect of a person’s life. With a customized and individualized program, a holistic approach just makes sense. It affords an opportunity to meet the patient’s physical and psychological needs and allows them to engage physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Crack cocaine is a rough, mineral-like substance with an off-white color. This substance is created by mixing baking soda or ammonia into the powder form of cocaine. The mixture is then heated using a torch or lighter until it transforms into “rocks,” known as crack cocaine. Many users typically vaporize it using a glass pipe (usually called “stems” or “roses” because many of them come with a rose inside them) and inhale it. Others use soda cans or aluminum foil to heat it, making it more accessible. Some users even inject crack into their veins.
The reason this type of cocaine is known as “crack” is because of the cracking and popping sounds it makes when heated. Other names for this substance include:
Any use of crack, no matter how small, is abuse because it’s an illicit substance. Since users typically smoke it, the drug reaches the brain in seconds, producing an immediate and intense high. However, this high is short-lived and generally wears off in minutes.
The most common effects of crack use include:
Due to this drug’s potency, there is a high risk of fatal overdose from abusing crack. Even a person using this substance for the first time may overdose. Dilated pupils and sweating generally precede overdoses. A person who has overdosed in the past may exhibit aggression, anxiety, rapid heart rate, seizures, nausea, chest pain, hallucinations, and strokes. Moreover, individuals with kidney problems or high blood pressure face a greater risk of fatal complications caused by smoking crack.
Crack is far more potent than regular cocaine, making it highly addictive. An addiction to crack can develop rapidly, and some people become addicted the first time they try it. Because the high they feel is euphoric, yet short, they need to consume more of the drug to maintain the rush. An addiction to this substance can develop within days, and a person who is addicted will feel the need to use this drug to feel normal.
Furthermore, users become addicted because crack sets off excess amounts of dopamine in the brain, which is the happiness chemical. A habitual drug user may experience lower levels of natural dopamine production as their body becomes more dependent on crack. Intense cravings for this drug, coupled with the desire to avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, make it difficult to quit. People who are addicted to crack usually ignore the consequences caused by its usage, which can include deteriorating relationships, job loss, inability to stick to a routine, and legal trouble.
Simply stopping crack intake at home is both unrealistic and dangerous because a person needs to be carefully monitored during detoxification. A person who wants to break their addiction should stay at a treatment center where doctors can monitor the client’s vital signs, make sure they don’t relapse, and administer medication to help with cravings. An inpatient treatment center can also provide them with cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing to help them reclaim their life.