The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that cocaine use alone costs this country between 50 and 100 billion dollars annually. Between 40,000 and 60,000 people die each year from using drugs like crack cocaine. Many of these deaths are attributed to “overdoses” or respiratory system failures, but the truth is that not enough research has been done on the long-term effects of cocaine addiction to draw a solid conclusion as to what exactly is causing these deaths. In order to understand why addicts are willing to risk their lives, one must first understand the allure of crack addiction.
Why can’t you just smoke crack on the weekends?
If only it were that simple. People who smoke crack typically can’t go a weekend without getting high because they’re either too depressed or anxious to stay sober for two days, and the craving is so intense that they’ll sneak away from their friends and family to buy more cocaine. It starts with smoking crack only on weekends, but as time goes on, the user needs it more often. After a month, you may start smoking crack every day after work and will do anything to get their next high. This is because crack is such a powerful drug, and the addiction to crack can cause painful withdrawals when you try to stop using it.
When someone smokes cocaine, they feel a euphoric rush that comes from a flood of dopamine in the brain. This can cause them to feel overly confident, energetic, and giddy. They also experience “dry mouth” (which is colloquially known as “cotton mouth”), paranoia, anxiety, irritability, and hallucinations. The high lasts only about 30 minutes per line, which means that people end up consuming the drug many times throughout the day if they really want to maintain that high.
When someone buys crack, they probably don’t have the money to buy a whole gram as their first purchase. Instead, they’ll likely buy a rock for about $10 and break it up into smaller pieces so that they can get more uses out of it. This means that the cost of a single high is quite expensive when you add up all the costs for one day (which could be four or five highs depending on how long they last). At $10 per hit, someone who smokes crack every two hours will spend around $1,800 dollars each month.
The Come Down
When cocaine leaves the bloodstream, users start to go through withdrawals. They fall into a slump and can’t seem to find the energy they once had. The depression, cravings, lack of motivation, and compulsion to smoke more cocaine make it difficult for people who are addicted to stay away from the drug.
Crack is an even more dangerous form of cocaine because smoking it causes a faster “high.” When crack enters the bloodstream through the lungs instead of the digestive system like snorting it, its effects are almost immediate. Within 10 seconds of smoking a hit of crack, you’ll start to feel the effects. When cocaine is snorted, it takes about 3-5 minutes to take effect. If someone who smokes crack gets too much in their system, they can stop breathing which could lead to brain damage or death. The use of other drugs like heroin or methamphetamine with cocaine can be even more dangerous because they amplify the effects of both drugs. This increases the chance of an overdose which can lead to death if left untreated.
The Dangers To Others
Because crack is so addictive, people who are addicted will do anything to get their next high. They may take money from their family members, pawn their belongings, or even break the law to get their next hit.
The Dangers To Yourself
Crack has left many people with permanent damage because of how quickly it affects the brain. It causes blood vessels in the eyes to narrow, causing permanent vision problems that are often diagnosed as “crack eyes.” The drug also causes heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and respiratory problems.
When someone who smokes crack stops using it, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that are similar to those of heroin or methamphetamine addicts. This means irritability, cravings, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, fatigue and generally feeling unwell for many months after they stop using crack. This addiction causes a great deal of harm to the people who use, those around them, and can really affect everyone that person comes into contact with.
It’s important that if someone you know is using crack or other drugs on a regular basis, you encourage them to get help from a doctor so they can overcome their addiction. In conclusion, crack is an addictive drug that can cause many problems for the user. The way it affects the brain and body makes it difficult to quit, let alone just smoke on the weekends. It’s important that if someone you know needs help overcoming their addiction, you encourage them to get treatment before more damage is done. If you or someone you love are struggling with a substance use disorder, don’t wait. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 833-610-1174.