“Crack is whack,” said the late singer Whitney Houston in a 2002 interview when discussing her infamous crack cocaine use. Ms. Houston was right. Ten years later, she drowned, due to the effects of her crack cocaine addiction and heart disease.
Crack cocaine is an especially potent form of cocaine. It is a very common form of cocaine as well. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that in 2007, 72% of those seeking treatment for cocaine abuse were crack cocaine abusers, and likely to use other drugs or alcohol with crack cocaine. While crack cocaine addiction in California is a problem, life-saving assistance for this intense addiction exists.
Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Addiction
Since crack cocaine is a stimulant, it intensifies processes in the body and produces other intense effects. Some of the short-term symptoms of crack cocaine addiction include:
- euphoria (extreme happiness)
- strange, unpredictable, even violent behavior
- excitability, irritability, and anxiety
- panic, paranoia, or psychosis (a mental condition in which a person loses touch with reality)
- nausea and appetite loss
- increased blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, and breathing rates
- blistered and cracked lips known as “crack lip” (if smoking crack cocaine)
- craving for drugs
These side effects can occur quickly, but usually do not last for long. This prompts addicts to use more crack cocaine, which can provoke crack cocaine addiction.
Long-Term Signs of Crack Cocaine Addiction
Long-term crack cocaine use can cause dramatic changes in a person’s health, mental state, and behavior.
Some of the signs of a prolonged crack cocaine addiction include:
- weight loss and nutritional problems
- damage to lungs, kidneys, and liver
- tooth decay
- chest pains and respiratory problems
- infectious diseases (if injecting crack cocaine)
- sexual problems, impaired reproductive systems, infertility
- depression, exhaustion, or confusion
- psychosis or delirium
- irritability, anger, or mood changes
Using crack cocaine just one time can produce other dramatic effects: addiction and tolerance. That is, you can become very quickly accustomed to crack cocaine, which means that more of the drug is necessary to achieve the same effects. If they continue to abuse illicit drugs at high levels, this prolonged use can damage a person’s blood vessels and produce high blood pressure, leading to strokes, heart attack, and death.
Crack Cocaine Overdoses
Since crack cocaine produces short-term effects, usually a great deal is used in a short amount of time. This practice could lead to an overdose. Overdosing on crack cocaine can create its own problems.
Some of these negative consequences include:
- psychosis or agitation
- itchiness or cold sweats
- irregular heartbeat or stroke
- seizures, convulsions, or death.
These overdose symptoms can even occur even if a person uses crack cocaine just once.
Steps of Cocaine Addiction Treatment in California
Because there are so many negative side effects, it is a good idea to seek crack cocaine addiction treatment in California.
While individual treatments might vary, there are some steps that many inpatient rehab facilities share:
- During intake, doctors and other professionals examine patients and talk with them in order to develop treatment plans. Patients learn about rehab treatments and centers during this time.
- During detox, the medical professionals at rehab centers detox patient bodies by removing drugs and alcohol from the body.
- During rehab, patients participate in the treatment established in rehab. The treatments vary according to patients and centers.
- During aftercare, patients engage in treatment after they leave rehab centers for crack cocaine addiction treatment in California.
- Taken together, these steps can help addicts throughout the treatment process.
Detox of Crack Cocaine and Withdrawal from Crack Cocaine
Detox of crack cocaine is an important component of crack cocaine addiction treatment in California. Removing crack cocaine from the body is an excellent start to the healing process.
Removing crack cocaine from the body can produce its own problems, such as withdrawal. Crack cocaine withdrawal occurs when the body and the mind crave substances and miss the effects the substance once produced. Crack cocaine and other substances alter chemicals in the brain so that the brain and the body desperately desire these substances.
Withdrawal from crack cocaine can cause
- fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- muscle pain
- decreased motivation
- quick mood and behavior changes
- severe depression
These withdrawal effects are unpleasant. In the case of severe depression, withdrawal can be fatal, since this severe depression could lead to suicide. Rehab centers such as Monarch Shores can monitor addicts when they detox and withdraw from drug abuse to make sure they do not harm themselves or others.
Discovering and Treating Crack Cocaine Addiction in California
A good way to determine if a loved one is addicted to crack cocaine is to examine behavior. Are people behaving differently than they once did? Those who use crack cocaine or other substances might not be devoting the same amount of time to their families, jobs, schoolwork, or even hobbies they once enjoyed. Crack cocaine addiction in California could also encourage users to participate in riskier behaviors than they did before becoming addicted. They might steal, sell drugs, engage in prostitution, assault someone, or commit other crimes in order to obtain crack cocaine
Have you seen these changes in a loved one? Have you experienced these changes yourself? Crack cocaine abuse can be all-consuming. It can change bodies, minds, behaviors, and relationships. But crack cocaine does not have to destroy your life.
If you are looking for crack cocaine addiction treatment in California, consider calling Monarch Shores. Our counselors can help you pay for and arrange the treatment you need. Crack cocaine addiction might be an obstacle, but it is one we can help you overcome.