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The Effects of Crack Use

Relatively inexpensive to make, and smoked rather than snorted or injected – crack cocaine production and use rose to prominence in the 1980s.

Relatively inexpensive to make, and smoked rather than snorted or injected – crack cocaine production and use rose to prominence in the 1980s.

Since it first appeared during the 1980s, crack cocaine has made its mark on users. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, part of its popularity is due to the fact that almost anyone can make it, provided that he or she has the right tools, and it is less expensive than equivalent drugs. Producers make the drug by mixing cocaine with ammonia, baking soda and water. As the water dissolves, dried crystals, known as crack cocaine, form.

Users typically snort or inject powdered cocaine, but people who use crack smoke the substance. Smoking the drug is more dangerous than injecting or snorting it because it reaches the bloodstream faster. Some of the potential dangers associated with using crack include lung damage, respiratory problems, and increased blood pressure. Get help before you suffer any of these potential dangers. When you call us at 1-800-943-0566, we can pair you with a top-rated detox center that will help you change your life.

Crack Effects Quiz question 1

Credit: Howcast

Short-Term Effects of Crack

The first time a person uses crack, he or she feels an initial high. Users sometimes describe this as a feeling unlike anything else in the world. It only takes one use before a person can suffer an addiction to crack. Once the person feels that initial high, he or she keeps trying to recapture that moment again and again. Even though the individual might spend months or years trying to recapture that feeling, it only happens during the first use.

Physical and mental effects of crack cocaine

  • Euphoric “rush”
  • Alertness
  • Excited state
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety (source)
  • A faster onset of effects than cocaine
(source)

Potential for crack cocaine addiction

  • Crack use is associated with a higher rate of long-term use than cocaine. (source)

Crack Effects Quiz question 2

Crack cocaine gives the user a euphoric feeling, and may result in a loss of appetite. Getting high on crack can make the person feel like he or she is the strongest and most beautiful person in the world. Some users even claim that they cannot explain what the crack high is like because no words can describe it. Essentially, the drug makes the user feel like he or she is better than anyone else.

Crack Effects Quiz question 3

Side Effects

The fleeting high from smoking crack can be supplanted by side effects such as paranoid thought and the phenomenon known as ‘formication’, which is the sensation of bugs crawling under or on the skin.

The fleeting high from smoking crack can be supplanted by side effects such as paranoid thought and the phenomenon known as ‘formication’, which is the sensation of bugs crawling under or on the skin.

While users claim to feel euphoric or high when using crack, there are some specific side effects of crack. According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the initial high gives way to negative thoughts and feelings. That high can last for a few seconds or a few minutes before the person begins feeling depressed and paranoid. You might find yourself thinking that someone is trying to get into your house, that someone is following you or that others are trying to attack you.

Crack Effects Quiz question 4

Some users also experience a problem that abusers refer to as “coke bugs” or “crack bugs.” This is a type of delusional thinking that makes the abuser feel like bugs are crawling on or below his or her skin. The user might have long scratch marks on the surface of his or her skin, caused by the drug abuser scratching the skin to get rid of the bugs.

Videos on crack cocaine

Long-Term Effects of Crack

One long-term effect of crack is crack lip. The hot temperature of the crack pipe pressed against the lip can cause blistering, bruising, and cracked lips that are generally sore. The constant motion of sucking on the pipe can also affect the teeth. People who smoke crack for months can develop broken teeth or teeth that look yellow and black, which occurs as the enamel and teeth decay. Smoking around others is also dangerous because the ammonia used in the creation of the crack creates harmful fumes that hover in the air around the smoker.

Crack Effects Quiz question 5

Long-term users of crack cocaine have an increased risk of developing respiratory problems. A user might have breathing problems, develop a persistent cough and suffer lung damage. Crack also affects the kidneys, heart and liver. People who use crack regularly neglect their ordinary lives, focusing more on the drug than anything else. The drug reduces appetite and makes it difficult for the person to sleep, which can lead to sleep deprivation and malnutrition. To help a Crack addict, call our helpline at 1-800-943-0566 for more information.

Lasting health effects of crack cocaine

  • Paranoia
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Lung damage
  • Malnutrition
(source)

Crack Effects Quiz question 6

Crack Dependency

People of any age and gender can become dependent on crack. Crack dependency occurs because users continue building a tolerance to the drug. WebMD.com statistics show that one in 40 adult males use some form of cocaine every month, and more than 10 percent of all adult Americans used some form of cocaine. The pleasurable or euphoric short term effect of the drug can turn a user into an addict after using it just once.

Typical legal penalties involving crack cocaine

  • Crack cocaine is classified by the DEA as a Schedule II drug. (source)
  • Trafficking in a Schedule II drug such as cocaine base (crack) can carry a federal sentence of up to 40 years imprisonment. (source) State penalties for possession of Schedule II drugs can include prison sentences of up to 15 years. (source) (source 2)
  • The effects of crack cocaine can be a factor in impaired driving, leading to DUI charges. (source)
  • Crack cocaine convictions carry an average sentence length of 115 months, compared to an average of 87 months for cocaine. (source)

Mugshots of crack cocaine-related arrests

Effects of crack cocaine withdrawal

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Craving for more crack
  • Psychosis
(source)

Crack Withdrawal Treatment

Inpatient treatment centers are a better choice for crack abusers because these centers keep the user away from the drug and anyone using it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 6 percent of high school seniors regularly use powdered cocaine or crack cocaine, making it a drug that affects both teens and adults. If you need help find rehab centers for yourself or someone you love, you can call us at 1-800-943-0566 any time of the day, giving you a safe and anonymous way to find treatment facilities in your state.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-855-506-6675.

Close The Effects of Crack Use
  • What are the effects of crack abuse?
  • Which of the following is not true about crack cocaine?
  • Which of the following is a short-term effect of crack abuse?
  • What characterizes a "come down" from crack?
  • Of the following choices, which is a long-term effect of using crack cocaine?
  • What part of the body does crack cocaine affect?
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