Can You Recover from Crack Cocaine Addiction?
Crack cocaine is the crystallized form of cocaine. It starts in powdered form but it is cooked down until it is a crystal, or rock, a form that is more potent. It typically comes in solid blocks or crystals that vary from a yellow color to pale pink, or white. Crack cocaine is heated and smoked in a glass pipe. It is called crack because of the popping or cracking sound that it makes when it is heated up.
Crack cocaine is the most potent and purest form of this drug and works much faster and stronger on the body. When it is smoked, it reaches the brain almost instantaneously so the effect is intense and nearly immediate, but the high is very short-lived only lasting for around 15 minutes.
Although in the past, there were waves and phases of a “Crack is Whack” mentality in the country, that is definitely over and today more and more people are becoming addicted to crack cocaine. Searching for where to turn, how to get professional help, and how to start the process of recovery are not always easy tasks.
It can seem almost insurmountable to recover from crack cocaine addiction at first, but don’t despair. We have the information and resources to get the process started for yourself or a loved one.
More Information on Crack Cocaine Addiction
Addiction to crack cocaine can happen much quicker than the powdered form because of its strength, often even after just one use. That is how powerful and addictive crack cocaine is, and the hold it has on a person is difficult to break on your own. According to information provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center:
Individuals of all ages use crack cocaine—data reported in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that an estimated 6,222,000 U.S. residents aged 12 and older used crack at least once in their lifetime. The survey also revealed that hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults use crack cocaine—150,000 individuals aged 12 to 17 and 1,003,000 individuals aged 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.
What Causes Crack Addiction to Begin?
Crack addiction, like many other addictive substances, targets the brain’s “feel good” chemical called dopamine. When this neurotransmitter is triggered it is responsible for reward pathways, behavior, attention, memory, and motivation. Typically this neurotransmitter attaches to certain receptors in the brain that signal pleasure and reward. When a person smokes crack, it attaches to the dopamine neurotransmitter and disables it from removing any dopamine.
This causes a buildup of dopamine and intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria. When a crack high wears off the person will feel very irritable and lethargic so the associations between crack and pleasure in the brain become a force that is close to impossible to break when the right steps aren’t followed.
How to Recover from Smoking Crack Cocaine
A crack cocaine addiction can be very hard to break, but it is not impossible and recovery is possible to anyone that wants it. Crack addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. With that said, treatment for this addiction should be meticulous and handled with care to achieve long-term recovery and sobriety. The first step in any successful recovery is treatment at a medical detox facility. It is the most efficient and the safest way to manage the withdrawal symptoms that come along with ridding your body of this drug. Doctors and addiction experts will be able to minimize and physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with crack cocaine withdrawal.
Once the detox process has been completed, getting involved in one of many rehab options is the best course of action. While in rehab, you will learn the underlying causes of your addiction, ways to manage cravings for the drug, and how to handle any triggers in the real world. This is generally done with a combination of group and individual therapy where you can talk about your addiction with others that understand what you are going through while you remain in a safe space free from drugs.
If you or a loved one is battling with the disease of crack cocaine addiction, know that recovery is possible to anyone that wants it. You don’t have to continue in your life of addiction, pain, and misery. There is so much more to life than that and you can regain your freedom from the grips of addiction.