Though more commonly smoked, crack cocaine can be snorted. Regardless of how the drug is used, crack cocaine is highly addictive. Crack use can cause mental health problems, cardiovascular complications, and sudden death. When snorted, a person faces additional risks carried by this invasive method of use. Snorting crack can harm the nose, even going so far as to cause permanent damage.
Occasional crack cocaine use is dangerous. However, the longer a person uses this drug, the greater the possibility of serious adverse health effects. Drug addiction treatment treats many of the physical, mental, behavioral, and social changes caused by crack cocaine use. If you’re considering seeking cocaine addiction treatment, please get in touch with us today at 888.601.8693.
What Is Crack Cocaine?
Crack cocaine is an extremely potent form of cocaine. Also referred to as freebase cocaine, crack is made by processing powdered cocaine with other chemical compounds. It results in a rock-like crystal that is yellowish to white in color. When used, crack is typically smoked. This process causes the drug to make crackling noises, hence the name.
Crack is a stimulant drug or an upper, which means that it speeds up a person’s central nervous system, causing important life-support systems to work faster and harder. This shift causes blood pressure, breathing, heart, and temperature rates to climb. Crack’s stimulant properties can also cause a person’s mental and emotional states to become erratic and unpredictable. Crack is the most addictive form of cocaine. While smoking the substance is one reason that crack is so addictive, crack in any form is still more addictive than powdered cocaine.
The Difference Between Snorting And Smoking Crack
When someone snorts crack, the drug takes longer to travel to the brain than it does when smoked. When a person snorts cocaine, it moves from the nose to the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart before it reaches the brain. When smoked, cocaine goes straight from the lungs to the heart and then to the brain.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the quicker an addictive substance reaches the brain, the greater the likelihood that a person will use it. This means that the sense of reward or pleasure experienced from smoking crack cocaine happens quicker than it does from snorting it. Despite this, snorting crack cocaine can and does lead to addiction.
Why Do People Snort Crack Cocaine?
Crack cocaine is used to create a high or euphoric state that is accompanied by surges of energy, happiness, and mental alertness. A person may snort crack cocaine instead of smoking it to try something different or because they do not have the necessary equipment, or paraphernalia, to smoke it. Snorting crack is also referred to as insufflation.
Some people may feel that snorting crack is safer or that it protects them from crack’s addictive properties. This is a dangerous misconception. While smoking crack does allow the drug to make its way to the brain more rapidly, snorting the drug still carries the risk of addiction, overdose, and crack-related adverse health problems.
Signs Of Crack Cocaine Use And Addiction
Crack’s stimulating properties can cause a person’s body and mental functions to quicken and change, often to the point of overdrive. As this happens, many of crack’s side effects are quite visible to an outside observer. Others, such as changes caused to vital life support systems, may only be apparent to the person abusing the drug.
Physical signs of crack use include:
- Dilated (widened) pupils
- Excessive energy
- Increased blood pressure, body temperature, breathing rate, and heart rate
- Intense cravings for the drug
- Little to no appetite
- Muscle twitches
Mental signs of crack use include:
- Extreme happiness
- Shifting moods
If crack use is suspected, seek help immediately. Prompt addiction treatment gives a person the greatest opportunity for a successful recovery, and it could save a life.
The Risks and Dangers of Snorting Crack Cocaine
Snorting crack causes a wide variety of short- and long-term physical and mental health problems. Crack releases large amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that creates the sense of reward and pleasure that fuels addiction. Because of this, crack addiction and tolerance can happen after a person uses the drug a single time.
In addition to addiction, crack cocaine can cause great mental instability. This can put both the person abusing the drug and those around them at risk. Mental problems caused by crack use include:
- Mood disturbances
- Severe depression
Crack cocaine use greatly stresses a person’s heart and cardiovascular system. Certain cocaine-induced cardiac complications can cause death. In addition to cardiac arrest, using crack can lead to various types of cardiovascular disease, including arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Additionally, crack cocaine use can expose a person to potentially deadly transmissible diseases, like hepatitis C and HIV. Recent research found that crack cocaine could encourage the progression of HIV to AIDS.
Crack Is Even More Dangerous When Mixed With Other Drugs
Cocaine is frequently mixed or cut with other substances, many of which themselves are harmful. A person may not be aware that these substances are present, a fact that can make crack cocaine even more dangerous and up the potential for deadly overdose. When snorted, certain chemical fillers may cause additional irritation to the nose. However, in the most severe of cases, cocaine may be cut with other potent and addictive drugs, mainly opioids.
Cocaine-related deaths were on a steady decline. However, over the past several years, these deaths have been on the rise. Experts believe this increase is quite likely due to potent opioids being laced into cocaine, such as heroin and fentanyl.
Getting Help For Crack Cocaine Addiction
Crack cocaine addiction treatment addresses the physical, mental, social, and behavioral effects of drug use. The exact combination of therapies used will vary from person to person and be dependent on a person’s level of addiction and life circumstances. While some people may find success in an outpatient program, inpatient drug rehab programs typically provide more intensive, supportive care.
Crack cocaine dependencies don’t always require a medical detox. However, should withdrawal symptoms become severe, this medically supervised care may be beneficial for a person’s safety. Withdrawal from crack can lead to depression, cravings, overdose, and suicide, a fact that makes medically supervised treatment even more imperative for certain individuals.
Since crack use can cause anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems, dual diagnosis treatment may be recommended to treat these co-occurring disorders. These programs treat both addiction and mental illness so that a person has the greatest chance of recovery success.
Recovery from crack cocaine addiction is possible.
Seek Treatment at Vertava Health
Vertava Health offers a crack cocaine addiction treatment center that offers both outpatient and inpatient programs. Our crack cocaine rehab programs are tailored to meet the unique needs of each person who walks through our doors. We provide holistic care that addresses all aspects of addiction and mental health. For instance, we offer a range of therapeutic programs, including:
- Individual and group therapy
- Family therapy
- 12-step program support
- Holistic therapies
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
If you or someone you love is struggling with crack cocaine addiction, please call Vertava Health at 888.601.8693 today. We can help you get on the road to recovery.