Author: James Anderson

Cocaine Crack: What It Is, Side Effects, Risks & Withdrawal

what does crack do to your body

Treating a crack addiction may involve detoxification and therapy. Treatment may occur in hospitals, in therapeutic communities, or in clinical settings. It’s important to remember addiction is a chronic disease. It’s not a sign of weakness, bad judgement or other personal characteristics.

what does crack do to your body

The vaccine activates your immune system to create antibodies that attach to cocaine and stop it from making its way into your brain. But we need much more research into whether the  vaccine  is safe and effective over the long term. The FDA hasn’t approved any medicine to treat cocaine addiction. But there are a few medication options doctors are having some success with.

Cardiac Complications of Long-Term Crack Cocaine Abuse

This causes a depression that can only be relieved by more crack. Crack cocaine has serious health risks, which is why treatment is so important. Detoxing the body of the substance and attending psychotherapy can help people with their long-term recovery from crack addiction. Crack cocaine will have a variety of effects on a user’s body.

  1. Some of the side effects of cocaine depend on how you take the drug.
  2. Injecting crack increases the risk of transmissible or blood-borne infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C.
  3. If you use cocaine regularly or to excess, you may have long-lasting and serious problems with your physical and mental health.
  4. In the early 1900s, cocaine was a common ingredient in herbal remedies for all sorts of illnesses.
  5. Instead of using baking soda as you would with crack, you add ammonia to “free” the cocaine base from its natural form.

A person may also overdose on crack cocaine, especially if they mix it with alcohol or heroin. Dr. Tetrault explains that cocaine is sometimes adulterated with other drugs, such as amphetamines or synthetic opioids like fentanyl, which can make it particularly dangerous. A person can overdose the first time they use crack cocaine, or any time thereafter.

Crack Addiction Has Serious Risks

For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). You can receive 24/7 text support right away and at your convenience. There is no obligation to enter treatment and you can opt out at any time. Cocaine is a powerful drug that can cause serious side effects that can happen very quickly after you start using the drug. The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit, international drug education program proudly sponsored by the Church of Scientology and Scientologists all over the world.

Injecting crack increases the risk of transmissible or blood-borne infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. Medical complications will soon develop from using crack. Heart attacks, strokes, and seizures may occur even after just one or two uses and can lead to coma and sudden death.

Withdrawal can be difficult, so it may be best to do it with the help of a medical professional. Use of cocaine is less common in the U.S. than misuse of prescription painkillers (reported by 2.4 million people in the 2021 survey), or use of hallucinogenic drugs (2.2 million). In a 2021 national survey, about 4.8 million people in the U.S. ages 12 or older said they had used cocaine in the past year. The rate was highest in the age group (1.2 million people or 3.5%), followed by those over age 26 (3.6 million or 1.6%). To make cocaine, the leaves are chemically processed and treated to form a powder. A German chemist named Albert Neiman first isolated the drug from coca leaves in 1860.

Smoking crack can cause the drug to reach the brain faster than snorting powdered cocaine. As a result, the person experiences an intense rush, followed by a hard crash that can feel depressing and lead to intense cravings for more of the drug. Long-term use of this drug can increase the risk of overdose in a regular user for two reasons. As a person becomes more tolerant of crack’s effects, they’re more prone to increase the amount used. Also, some people will begin to experience sensitization.

A crack addiction can put a person at risk for serious health consequences, including death. Preventing the use of this drug is critical because even a single instance of use can lead to addiction or death in some people. Injecting crack cocaine can cause inflammation and infection in the veins and surrounding tissues. A person may develop track marks where the needle punctures the skin. Other infections that can become serious include cellulitis and skin abscesses.

Combined with the drug’s toxins, this could cause lung damage or aggravate a person’s asthma. An ER doctor will test for those conditions and try to treat them first. They may also use medication to treat other complications you have. At the same time, you might develop what’s called sensitization to the drug. That means it takes less of it to cause negative effects like anxiety and convulsions. Your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are higher if you use cocaine.

What is cocaine (crack)?

They may lose their inhibitions about doing things like spending lots of money on stuff they don’t really need. Coming down from the drug causes severe depression, which becomes deeper and deeper after each use. This can get so severe that a person will do almost anything to get the drug—even commit murder. And if he or she can’t get crack cocaine, the depression can get so intense it can drive the addict to suicide. Counseling and other types of therapy are the most common treatments for cocaine use disorder. Sessions with a trained therapist can help you make changes to your behaviors and thought processes.

Once a person is addicted to crack, they may experience withdrawal should they quit cold turkey or if they take a much smaller dose than they’re used to. For example, it affects the amount of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that sends messages between nerve cells in the brain. Long-term cocaine use dulls thinking processes and the ability to remember information.

If you inject it, you could develop tracks (puncture marks on your arms) and infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C. The treatment process often begins with detox, where the person is not allowed to consume crack and may experience severe withdrawal symptoms as a result. Crack is a freebase form of cocaine that is processed using water and either ammonia or baking soda, until it forms a rock crystal that can be smoked.