What exactly is crack? According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research,crack is the name given to cocaine that has been processed with baking soda or ammonia to form rocks (see the picture below). This illegal substance is known for making crackling noises when smoked; hence its name. Crack is identified as a stimulant that causes all of the dopamine in the brain to be released at one time, thus creating a happy, euphoric feeling. After frequent abuse, the user will become psychologically addicted and have may have emotional withdrawal symptoms when they stop using crack.
crackcocaine

          Crack is known for its highly addictive quality and bloom in the 1980s. Is it popular? Yes. Is this drug problematic? Incredibly. Crack use and abuse has many negative consequences. The Foundation for a Drug Free World (FDFW) stated that the short term effects of crack cocaine include: loss of appetite, increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature, contracted blood vessels, dialed pupils,  disturbed sleep patterns, nausea, hyper stimulation, violent behavior, hallucinations, irritability, intense euphoria, anxiety, paranoia, depressions, drug craving, panic, psychosis, and convulsions. In some cases, seizures and death (even after one use) has occurred.

 
          The photo below is a picture of the famous jazz singer Amy Winehouse who passed away in July of 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning. Winehouse reportedly used many drug, including crack. 
 
          Long term effects of crack use include high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, liver failure, kidney failure, lung damage, severe chest pains, respiratory failure, infectious disease (if injected), malnutrition, weight loss, tooth decay, auditory and tactile hallucinations, reproductive damage, infertility, severe depression, disorientation, psychosis, delirium, and addiction; according to the FDFW.

          Furthermore, Dr. Charles P. O’Brien from the University of Pennsylvania observed that those who first tried crack became addicted within six months to one year. Dr. O’Brien also inferred that even with treating over 100 crack patients, he “never had one who didn’t relapse at least once”. Additionally, Dr. O’Brien, estimated that “only a very small percentage, 25% or less of crack addicts remain drug free for even six months in treatment programs”.

          The 2007 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health showed that the national rate of people 12 years and older that have used cocaine in the last year was 2.1%. Although fewer people are trying crack for the first time, crack is still readily available on the streets. You may think that addiction won’t happen to you or a loved one, but there is always the uncertainty that it may.

            If you or a loved one is addicted to crack or cocaine, please get help right away. You can always call Inspirations for Youth and Families at (888) 757-6237. Our trained counselors will answer all of your questions for free.