Crack: Another Form of Cocaine
Crack is the freebase form of cocaine, which can be smoked, and is the most addictive type of cocaine.
Crack came to prominence in the mid 1980s. Mainly because of its affordability, it became hugely popular in lower income and impoverished neighborhoods of large cities, such as New York, Los Angles and Miami, where its use quickly turned into epidemic proportions and from which it rapidly spread across the nation.
It is entirely a “street drug” used only for recreational purposes and offers a quick, intense high that is short lived. The effects from smoking crack are delivered as quickly as injected cocaine, creating a fast “buzz” for the user.
Crack Addiction – It Happens Fast
For many people crack addiction comes on strong and fast and virtually consumes them and destroys their lives.
One of the earliest, and most famous, examples is Richard Pryor whose career, life, and health were all devastated by this toxic drug. Actor Robert Downey, Jr., now best known for his recurring role as Ironman in the movies, is another example of a star who had it made who then lost it all due to an addiction to crack cocaine. Other examples include Flava Flav, Ozzy Osbourne, Lawrence Taylor and, remarkably, Aaron Sorkin, who apparently was addicted to crack while writing and producing the TV show The West Wing, and Oprah Winfrey, who, in 1995, confessed to an addiction to crack when she was in her twenties.
Many of the people who become addicted are helpless and hit bottom, financially, physically, and mentally. Stories abound of people who became addicted after “just one hit”, or puff, of the drug.
Recovering from an Addiction to Crack
Addiction to crack is related entirely to the effects of euphoria and supreme confidence it provides the user.
The “high” from smoking crack lasts only five to ten minutes, pushing the user toward frequent abuse. This frequency, coupled with the questionable composition of some forms of the street drug, contribute to the decline in health of these addicted individuals.
Other effects, or side effects, include loss of appetite and of declining health, insomnia, paranoia, irritability, anxiety, depression, and even sudden death, which can occur on the first use of the drug or unexpectedly anytime thereafter. These deaths are most often the result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.
To recover from an addiction to crack is difficult and it is not at all uncommon for those who have gone through rehab to relapse. A long-term recovery program, beginning with residential care, is almost always necessary. Finding a program best suited to you or your loved one should be done with advise from an expert in the addiction recovery field.