It is stronger and has a more powerful effect than the powder form of cocaine because it is more concentrated and reaches the brain more quickly, but the high lasts a much shorter amount of time than powder cocaine. Crack is highly addictive, with users often becoming addicted after the first time they use it.
Crack started to become popular in the 1970’s. By the mid eighties, crack addiction had become an epidemic. This substance was much easier and cheaper to get than cocaine, not to mention more powerful and highly addictive. In 2010, an estimated 625,000 Americans aged 12 or older used crack. Although it isn’t nearly the epidemic today that it use to be, it remains a dangerous problem in our society.
Health issues associated with the use of crack:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Upper respiratory infections
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Weight loss
- Heart attack
- Respiratory failure
- Loss of sexual function
Some common signs of crack addiction include:
- Rapid speech
- Loss of appetite
- Skewed sleeping habits
- Dilated pupils
- Delusions and irrational behavior
Crack addicts are highly unpredictable. The addiction is so intense that most crack dependent individuals find themselves doing things they never thought they would do in order to maintain their addiction.
Increased use can result in more intense symptoms. Instead of providing an enjoyable high, the experience turns into a state of anxiety and irritability. Hostility, more severe bouts of paranoia and a complete personality change are common with repeated use of. Long term, regular use can even result in violence and other serious problems.