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Crack Addiction

Crack/Cocaine is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. Crack is cocaine that has been transformed into a rock to be smoked. It is essentially cocaine that has been processed from powder into a smoke-able form. Once known as "freebase," crack is powdered cocaine that has been mixed with either ammonia or baking soda and water, and then heated to remove the hydrochloride. Because smoking crack induces such a fast rush or high, it is quickly absorbed and therefore extremely addicting.

Crack is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system and disturbs the reabsorption process of dopamine. Its physical effects are constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature. The faster the absorption of crack, the shorter its effects last. Some effects are, euphoria (a high), are hyper stimulation, mental clarity, and reduced fatigue. The high from smoking crack lasts about five to 10 minutes. When the user smokes more crack over a period of time, the less he or she will feel high, thus on the road to addiction.

Reported side effects include anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. Tolerance may develop, and many addicts say they try but fail to gain the amount of pleasure they had from their first hit. While users may experience tolerance, they might also become more sensitive to crack with continued use, but without raising their dose. During crack binges, users repeatedly use increasingly high doses and might become paranoid or irritable. In severe crack induced highs, users may experience psychoses or lose touch with reality. Crack can cause abnormal heart rhythm, heart attacks, strokes, seizures, chest pain, respiratory failure. Like cocaine , crack decreases appetite and its users can become malnourished. Crack and cocaine related deaths are usually the result of cardiac arrest, or seizure with respiratory arrest.


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