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Crack Addiction

Crack addiction has become one of the largest growing epidemics in the world today. Because of the instant overwhelming high that this drug brings over an individual when smoked, it is considered the most mentally addictive street drug in the world.  It wasn’t until the 1980’s that ‘crack’ was introduced to the drug world. Before this, the use of cocaine was either administered intravenously, or snorted it into the nose. It was then discovered that if you added a small amount of baking soda to the cocaine, and heat it, it then will make the cocaine more flammable and therefore able to be heated. The smoke is inhaled usually through a straight glass pipe. Crack is cocaine base that hasn’t been neutralized by an acid, which is why it is able to burn easily. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound produced by the rock as it’s heated.

The intensity and duration of cocaine's effects, which include increased energy, reduced fatigue, and mental alertness, depend on the route of drug administration. The faster cocaine is absorbed into the bloodstream and delivered to the brain, the more intense the high. Injecting cocaine or smoking crack produces a quicker, stronger high than snorting. On the other hand, faster absorption usually means shorter duration of action. The high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes, but the high from smoking may last only 5 to 10 minutes. In order to sustain the high, a crack user has to administer the drug again. For this reason, crack is sometimes abused in binges-taken repeatedly within a relatively short period of time, at increasingly high doses, thus leading to full fledged crack addiction.

Crack addiction has a variety of adverse effects on the body. For example, crack constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also cause headaches and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Because cocaine tends to decrease appetite, chronic users can become malnourished as well. Many crack addicts will go days without eating or drinking anything until their bodies shut down, and they “pass out”.

When a crack addict is on a binge, there is such an overwhelming sensation to stay high that they are willing to do anything to get more.  Men will rob and steal. Women will sell their bodies. There have even been reports of mothers and fathers prostituting their own children in order to get more crack. Crack addiction truly causes human beings to lose all sanity. Their only reality is getting more crack, any means necessary. Not eating or sleeping or bathing. Without help in a drug and alcohol treatment center, the crack addict is doomed to a miserable, empty life or death.

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