Cocaine is an extremely addictive and powerful stimulant drug. Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America where people have been chewing and ingesting the leaves for thousands of years due to the stimulant effects. Over 100 years ago, cocaine hydrochloride was isolated from the cocoa plant. This is the purified chemical responsible for cocaine. During the 1900s, numerous elixirs and tonics contained purified cocaine as the active ingredient.
These remedies were developed for the treatment of a wide range of illnesses. When Coco-Cola was first formulated, one of the ingredients was cocaine. The drug was also used as a pain blocker by surgeons prior to the discovery of synthetic local anesthetic. Since then research has shown this drug is extremely addictive in addition to altering brain function and structure with regular use. Cocaine was eventually classified as a schedule II drug.
This means the potential for abuse is very high. Cocaine can be administered by physicians for medical use including local anesthesia for specific throat, ear and eye surgeries. When purchased as a street drug, cocaine is a crystalline, fine white power often referred to as blow, powder, snow, C or coke. In many instances, the drug is cut or diluted by the street dealer using a non-psychoactive substance including baking soda, flour, talcum powder and cornstarch.
The additives increase the amount of the drug so the street dealers can make more money. Some dealers lace cocaine using other drugs including a chemical similar to local anesthesia called procaine or another psychoactive stimulant such as amphetamines. When cocaine is mixed with heroin, it is called a Speedball. There are two different chemical formulations of the drug misused. The first is a free base or a water-insoluble base. The second is hydrochloride salt.
The hydrochloride salt is snorted or injected by the users in a powder form. The base form of the drug is created by processing with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or ammonia and water. The drug is then heated to eliminate the hydrochloride to ensure the substance is smokable. The street name chosen for freebase cocaine is crack. The name comes from the crackling sound made when smoking the mixture. According to the NSDUH or the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the drug has been fairly stable since 2009.
As of 2014, the estimate was 1.5 million people 12 years of age or older were using cocaine. The current rate of usage is highest for adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Approximately 1.4 percent of all young adults have used cocaine in the last month. More than 14 percent of all adult Americans will try this drug a minimum of once during their lifetime. Cocaine is an illegal and extremely addictive drug. Since the substance is an upper, the user becomes more energetic, alert and glorious.
Cocaine creates a short-lived and intense euphoric feeling or a high. A fast high is achieved by injecting or snorting the powdery white substance. Crack and cocaine withdrawal is generally uncomfortable and often dangerous. If you have developed a cocaine or crack addiction or habit, asking for help is incredibly important.
Once cocaine has been diluted and boiled, the substance forms a hard rock. This is called crack cocaine or simply crack. The highly concentrated substance is smoked, harsher on your system and even more addictive than cocaine. Crack is more easily accessible and a cheaper option than cocaine. Many cocaine users quickly deplete their bank accounts before switching to cheap crack to get high. Both crack and cocaine are incredibly harsh on your cardiovascular system.
Addicts entering a rehab facility have a five percent greater fatality risk than the general population. A variety of long-term and different health issues are determined by the way you use crack and cocaine. If you snort cocaine, your nasal passage lining becomes irritated. The substance can eat away at your septum. This is the cartilage separating your nostrils. If you inject cocaine, the result is often an infection. This becomes even more dangerous if you are sharing dirty needles.
Injecting cocaine places you at high risk for illnesses of the blood including hepatitis and HIV. Once you are addicted to crack, the delicate tissues of your mouth and nose and your teeth can wear down. The irritation of your lungs can result in a dry and intractable cough. Upper respiratory infections can also develop. During the 1980s and 1990s, the availability of crack cocaine in the inner cities combined with the addictive nature of the drug resulted in an epidemic devastating entire communities.
Becoming addicted to crack or cocaine will destroy your relationships, health, career and finances. If you are suffering from a severe addiction, the result can be death. Abusing crack and cocaine for long periods of time can cause quick and massive spikes to your neural pathways and neurochemicals. If you attempt to stop using the drug without medical assistance, you can lose enjoyment and interest in activities you once enjoyed and suffer from severe clinical depression.
Unless you seek professional medical help, stopping drug use and living a sober life is nearly impossible. There are steps you can take to safely get through crack and cocaine withdrawal and live a healthy and sober life.
The crack and cocaine withdrawal timeline consists of three stages. The crash stage is stage one. The begins a few hours after the last time you used the drug and can continue for about three days. Once you begin stage two, you will experience highly intense psychological and physical cocaine withdrawal symptoms for several weeks. Stage two can last for as long as two months.
The third stage can last for several months or even years once you have stopped using crack or cocaine. Despite the smaller risk of severe complications, emotional withdrawal is extremely difficult. Unless you have outside support and help, there is a good chance you will be unable to stop abusing crack or cocaine.
While you are in the crash phase, you will feel restless and irritable with a noticeable increase in your appetite. You will feel lethargic and have difficulty sleeping. During this stage, you might begin to experience the first symptoms of either dysphoria or depression. Your cravings for the drug will become intense during the second stage.
You may have issues with concentration and memory while continuing to feel lethargic and irritable. There is also a chance you will experience symptoms similar to the flu such as aches and pains. At this point in your recovery, monitoring is necessary for any signs of suicidal thoughts, self-harm and depression.
The majority of individuals going through crack or cocaine withdrawal and detoxes have their symptoms peak and then subside in one to two weeks. If you have been abusing other drugs as well or been addicted to crack or cocaine for a long time, the symptoms of stage three can persist for months or even years. If this happens, you will experience consistent intermittent cravings. There is a good chance you will be diagnosed with major depression.
Due to the intense and painful nature of these symptoms, you have a greater chance of relapsing as a recovering addict if you do not have medical assistance and outside intervention. Some individuals going through withdrawal from crack and cocaine experience powerful hallucinations or delusions. If you are not in a supervised and safe environment, the risk of causing harm to someone else or yourself increases.
Some people experience potentially dangerous and painful side effects while withdrawing from cocaine and crack. The risk of psychological or physical harm substantially increases. Cravings for both cocaine and crack are persistent and intense. If you attempt to quit cold-turkey at home without supervision, there is a risk you will be hurt. To alleviate your withdrawal symptoms and cravings, it is very easy to relapse when in a home environment.
If you are abusing other drugs as well, you may begin to use more in your attempt to stop using crack or cocaine. To decrease some of the side effects of withdrawal, you might start to abuse alcohol as well. If you begin developing depression or have any mental health issues, the care you need is not accessible at home. All of these risks are significantly decreased when you stop using crack or cocaine while in a medical detox facility.
There are legal and safe medications available physicians can prescribe to help with uncomfortable symptoms. Therapists are available if you experience thoughts of suicide or feelings of depression. Your access to cocaine, crack or any other potentially harmful substance is eliminated when you are in a detox facility. When you have the supervision and care of medical staff, the risk you might relapse is significantly reduced.
If you are struggling with a crack or cocaine addiction, reach out to us right now. We can help you overcome your challenges and begin laying the foundation for your recovery.
To help you go through crack and cocaine withdrawal, you can be given safe replacement drugs by doctors. When you taper off of the drug properly and safely, the risk of experiencing extremely severe symptoms is decreased. If you experience insomnia, physicians can administer short-term sleep aids to help you sleep. You will receive monitoring for severe medical complications. Although this is rare, it can happen during the process of withdrawal.
There are several concerns regarding your safety during withdrawal from cocaine or crack. You can have intense hallucinations or become deluded. If you have an untreated mental health issue, this becomes more likely. As many as half of the individuals in rehab centers are self-medicating with either alcohol or drugs due to a mental health disorder. When you stop abusing cocaine or crack, the risk of suicide or depression is high.
This is because both crack and cocaine significantly spike your dopamine levels. Dopamine is a natural chemical produced in your brain that makes you feel good. When you stop using the drug, your dopamine levels will crash. In some cases, your levels will not recover. When this happens, the result is severe depression.
If you do not receive supervision or help from trained doctors and therapists, your depression from cocaine or crack abuse and withdrawal can remain unnoticed. In the United States alone, nearly two percent of all deaths are the result of suicide.
When you enter a detox facility, you will be administered a replacement drug to help you break free of your addiction to crack or cocaine. You will be assessed for underlying mental or physical health issues and the concurrent use of any other drug. While in the crash or acute phase of withdrawal, you will receive monitoring for any severe physical health issues. You will also receive safe medication for insomnia or aches and pains.
You will receive encouragement to eat, rest and recuperate. Your appetite is suppressed by crack and cocaine. The majority of individuals entering rehab are underweight and undernourished. When you enter the second stage of the process, you will be monitored by the staff for emotional and physical side effects. A recovery plan for ongoing maintenance is created by social workers, doctors, therapists and your family.
You will receive encouragement to participate in therapy sessions to formulate plans with doctors and therapists to help prevent a relapse. Both crack and cocaine are highly addictive and dangerous substances that destroy your emotional and physical health. The effects of abusing these drugs significantly increase your risk of suicide, self-harm and depression. If you need help for abuse or addiction to crack or cocaine, contact a rehabilitation specialist today. Asana Recovery can help you need to live a healthy life free of drugs is available.
Crack and cocaine addiction can bankrupt you of your life. Contact Asana Recovery today to gain freedom and a new sense of living.