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Cocaine comes from the coca leaves commonly grown in South America. Cocaine hydrochloride is the purified chemical from the plant, and was isolated in the early 1900’s. Two forms of cocaine exist. Cocaine base, which is water-insoluble, and hydrochloride salt, which is water soluble. Crack became the street term for freebase cocaine as it makes a cracking sound when smoked. Crack cocaine addiction alters how the brain works and makes it very difficult to stop using without help.
Cocaine can be snorted, smoked, or injected. It then quickly gets into the blood and affects the brain. The primary immediate effect is a high from increased dopamine. Crack cocaine addiction results from physical dependence on the drug combined with a psychological compulsion to use more of the drug. Cocaine mainly interferes with the body’s ability to regulate dopamine. It causes the chemical to build up and over activate.
Dopamine is the chemical responsible for pleasure and movement. Once you experience the reward high of dopamine, it will usually be recycled back into the brain. Cocaine keeps this from happening, which causes the high. Of course, a high means that a low will follow. Eventually, the brain becomes dependent on cocaine and needs it to function normally. When the body doesn’t get cocaine at the expected level, it begins to produce withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine doesn’t have the acute symptoms of withdrawal that those addicted to benzos, opiates, or alcohol may experience. However, some risks still exist. Many cocaine users combine it with alcohol. These individuals will experience a particular risk of cardiac problems during withdrawal. Seizures remain a risk for both current cocaine users and those going through withdrawal. Mental issues associated with crack cocaine withdrawal include depression, suicidal thoughts, aggression, and paranoia.
Drugs with strong addictive reputations like cocaine may make people wonder if they can simply try the drug once. Can you end up with a crack cocaine addiction just by trying it once? The answer is yes. When someone uses cocaine for the first time, they immediately experience effects such as pleasure, increased desire to talk, less appetite for food, a feeling of mental alertness, insomnia, and increased feelings of sexual arousal.
Tolerance builds quickly, and trying the drug again typically results in less intense effects. This tends to encourage users to use more of the drug or use it more frequently in order to experience the initial rush. Risks during cocaine use include anxiety, paranoia, violence, rapid pulse, and high blood pressure.
Factors that influence how intense and how long the cocaine affects a person include dosage, purity, the method of use, other drugs involved, and the personal level of tolerance for cocaine.
Why do people decide to use crack cocaine? Some reasons include wanting a quick high, self-medication for other mental issues, enhancing work or athletic performance, and peer pressure. Unfortunately, all these reasons can quickly enforce a psychological need for the drug along with physical dependence.
Treatment for addiction to crack cocaine typically starts with a period of detox. Self-detox does not usually work. Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can promote relapse. Attending a quality drug rehab like Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida enables you to get medical detox treatment, as well as various addiction therapies.
Addiction treatment uncovers the underlying issues behind addiction as well as the triggers that encourage substance abuse.
Some of the services offered by the addiction rehab programs at Beaches Recovery include:
Don’t let crack cocaine addiction control your life. Instead, overcome your addiction at a quality drug rehab like Beaches Recovery. Call us today at 866.605.0532. Your new path to a sober life is before you.