Crack cocaine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. The intense euphoria it produces from dopamine flooding the brain makes it one of the toughest addictions to beat. In addition, the drug is so powerful it is hard for users to resist after only one hit.
May people who only try it once, can end up with a short-term or even long-term addiction. The best thing to do is to not every try it. You do not want to be someone who is addicted to crack cocaine, it will ruin your relationships. and your health.
Long-Term Effects of Using Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine has many short- and long-term effects, but the long-term effects of the drug can be devastating. Crack cocaine can affect several organ systems, including the brain, heart, and lungs.
Crack cocaine can cause long-term and, in some cases, irreversible damage to a person’s brain. It can kill brain cells and cause persistent changes to various neural pathways. Some of the damaging effects it can have on one’s brain can include:
- Movement disorders
- Seizures and strokes
- Brain aneurysm and hemorrhage
- Compromised dopamine production and activity in the brain
- Structural and functional brain abnormalities like worsened memory and attention span.
How Crack Cocaine Effects the Heart's Condition?
Long-term crack cocaine use can also cause extensive damage to your heart. It is associated with an enlargement of the heart wall, coronary atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries along with:
- Elevated blood pressure and heart rate
- Chest pain
- Increased risk of heart attacks
- Increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias
- Increased risk of sudden death
How Crack Cocaine Can Devastate Your Lungs?
Chronic crack cocaine use can also have devastating effects on a person’s lungs. Some of these effects could include:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up sputum and blood
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Air hunger
Long-term crack cocaine use can also cause severe mental health issues. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common, but it can also cause restlessness, irritability, paranoia, and even hallucinations.
Can Cocaine Rehab Help Me Get Back to Normal After Long-Term Use?
Once a person stops using crack cocaine, the body will start experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Detox from crack cocaine can last anywhere from 5 to 7 days. Once the acute detox is over, a person will most likely experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms or PAWS. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms can last up to 3 months or longer, depending on how long the person was in active addiction. Extreme fatigue, depression, and anxiety are just a few of the symptoms of PAWS.
When Does the Brain and Body Return to Normal After Chronic Crack Cocaine Addiction?
Someone who has suffered from a chronic crack cocaine addiction could take up to a year for their brain and body to return to normal. Studies have shown that crack cocaine can permanently damage a person’s brain.
Also, The National Institute on Drug Abuse says:
Former cocaine users are at high risk for relapse, even following long periods of abstinence. Research indicates that during periods of abstinence, the memory of the cocaine experience or exposure to cues associated with drug use can trigger strong cravings, which can lead to relapse. (NIDA)
Part of the healing process following any long-term addiction to drugs has to do with living a healthy lifestyle. Eating regularly and healthy, drinking plenty of water, getting exercise, and boosting your immune system can all help a person heal faster after long-term crack cocaine abuse.
Confidential Treatment for Crack Cocaine Addiction
Our addiction specialists are available 24 hours a day to help those struggling with crack cocaine addiction. Our experts have helped individuals with crack cocaine addictions for many years. The addiction to crack cocaine is tough to break, but you can achieve freedom from it. We are here to help you get back on track to a long-lasting recovery through professional support and guidance.