Crack is a dangerous, highly addictive form of cocaine that carries a significant risk for both physical and psychological dependence. Because of its intense, euphoric high and affordability relative to cocaine and other substances, crack is a drug of choice for many individuals with addictive disorders.
Crack is the street name given to a freebase form of cocaine that is processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride.
Why Is Crack So Addictive?
Crack cocaine, like all central nervous system stimulants, increases the level of dopamine in the brain when introduced into the bloodstream. The release of dopamine, a natural chemical released by the brain, creates feelings of pleasure. The presence of crack cocaine causes excess amounts of dopamine to build up in the brain, which amplifies the feelings of pleasure, known as a state of euphoria or a “high.”
After repeated crack cocaine use, this neurological interference can create long-term changes in the brain’s reward system, such as building tolerance to the drug’s effects. This requires the user to take more frequent or larger amounts to achieve the same high. These changes developed from habitual use often lead to addiction.
Because crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in less than 10 seconds. This rather immediate and euphoric effect is one of the reasons that crack became enormously popular in the mid-1980s and continues to be the drug of choice for some. Crack is less expensive than cocaine, making it easier to attain and abuse than other drugs.
Treatment for Crack Addiction
Treatment for crack cocaine addiction must be all-encompassing to address the high potential of coexisting medical, neurobiological and mental disorders. Crack use may be a form of self-medication for an already existing, untreated mental health disorder. Its use can trigger or intensify mental health disorders due to its effects on the brain.
At The Ranch drug rehab, we approach crack addiction treatment from a biopsychosocial standpoint. We begin to heal the client physically while also addressing the psychological and emotional issues that perpetuate drug abuse. Clients complete medically monitored drug detox where any discomfort is attended to with evidence-based medications and 24/7 medical care. Thorough assessments determine any co-occurring mental health disorders and underlying issues, such as trauma, that contribute to addiction. Clients enter a comprehensive drug rehab program with a high crack addiction recovery rate that helps them learn healthier coping skills, explore and address the reasons behind their addiction, and discover a better life without drugs.
Ready to put this behind you? Call 888-503-0205 now for a free confidential assessment.