Crack cocaine has enormous abuse potential. Derived from powdered cocaine, crack use is a serious, deadly problem affecting thousands of people nationwide. Many who try crack become quickly addicted, chasing the first powerful high in vain. In fact, it can take as little as one hit of crack cocaine to rewire the brain, causing the user to crave more and more.
Those who are addicted to crack cocaine face an uphill battle when trying to get clean, particularly if they try to go it alone, without the help of a professional treatment facility. Going to drug rehab helps addicts overcome their physical dependence in a controlled, safe environment where they can also address the psychological aspects of their addiction. Doing so provides the best chances of long-term recovery.
If you or someone you love is addicted to crack cocaine, our experienced, multidisciplinary team at Silver Ridge is here to help. We provide treatment in a peaceful, discreet facility where recovering addicts can heal at their own pace, and we are proud to accept medicaid for those seeking treatment.
The Short-Term Effects of Crack Use
In the beginning, a crack cocaine user may intend to simply try the drug once. Then, the all-consuming euphoria hits and the user is tempted to take another hit, seeking more of the same pleasure. The high typically lasts for only 15 minutes, and users become addicted quickly while trying to maintain their high.
Short-term effects of crack cocaine use include:
- Loss of appetite
- Increased confidence
- Disturbed sleep
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Increase in risky behaviors, such as heavy drinking or unprotected sex
- Intense cravings for more crack
The Effects of Extended Crack Cocaine Use
Over time, the high that crack cocaine users experience isn’t nearly as pleasurable as it first was, prompting them to keep using just to prevent withdrawal. The side effects are serious and can derail the addict’s life from one of productivity and joy to one of suffering and destroyed relationships. The user’s attendance at work may become erratic or cease altogether as the addict becomes fatigued and depressed, searching for more and more crack cocaine.
Long-term effects of crack cocaine use include:
- Permanent damage to the brain’s pleasure center
- Liver, kidney, and lung damage
- Respiratory failure
- Involuntary tremors
- Chest pain
- Mood disorders
- Malnutrition and weight loss
- Tooth decay
- Severe depression
- Sexual dysfunction
Recovery Is Possible. Overcome Addiction with Our Help.
Crack addiction is serious, but not impossible to overcome. Starting addiction treatment for crack may seem unappealing, even shameful and intimidating. It is important to remember, though, that recovering alone is extremely challenging, and you shouldn’t have to face it by yourself. Many people have successfully maintained sobriety after seeking treatment, and it is possible for anyone to kick the habit if they are diligent in their treatment efforts and seek professional medical guidance.
The first step is admitting to having an addiction to crack cocaine, and taking steps to address it head-on. At Walden, we tackle recovery in a personalized drug treatment program with both group therapy and individual psychotherapy where we can address the struggle of addiction recovery. You can seek treatment at our locations in Southern Maryland, located in California, Charlotte Hall, Lexington Park, and Waldorf.