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Crack Addiction

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Drugs and drug addiction have been problems plaguing Americans from all walks of life for many years. The 80’s saw a resurgence of an old drug that had previously been used for medicinal purposes. Pure cocaine was used in the 1880’s as a local anesthetic for eye, nose and throat surgeries, and 100 years later it came back in a powerful and deadly way. Crack is a variation of cocaine, and it gained popularity in the general public because the effects were so similar to cocaine yet it was easier and cheaper to make and buy.

In the 1980’s, cocaine was considered the “yuppie” drug, because most of the people who used it were young, hip and rich. It was a staple at most of the infamous nightclubs of the time. But, only the rich and professional set could afford it. Out of that popularity grew a cheaper form of cocaine, crack. The difference between the two, besides the costs, is how they are taken and the length of time the user experiences a high.

While both crack and cocaine are powerfully addictive stimulants, the high with cocaine use lasts 15 to 20 minutes, whereas the high for crack lasts only 5 to 10 minutes. This makes crack an even more dangerous drug because the need for another high is more prevalent. The extent of crack use and abuse has only gotten worse since its inception in the 1980’s.

In 2005, 7.9 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying crack at least once during their lifetimes, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH.) This represents 3.3% of the population. This is an extraordinarily high number of people, especially when you consider the age that they are starting their crack use at. Drug use and abuse is starting at younger and younger ages, and causing a lifetime of suffering and pain to those who abuse the drug and the people who love them. With more and more people starting their drug use so young, there has also been a rise in the medical conditions that crack contributes to.

For more information or help finding the right drug treatment facility for you, call the professionals at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs 1-800-861-1768 or visit

The health effects of crack are serious, life threatening conditions and cause symptoms that can lead to a lifetime of poor health and even death. Because crack is a strong nervous system stimulant, it affects the cardiovascular system in very damaging ways. Crack use can constrict blood vessels, increase body temperature, increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, cause restlessness and cause irritability and anxiety. Because crack is smoked, the drug delivers large quantities of its byproducts to the lungs, which provides effects that are comparable to intravenous injections. This is also why the high comes on so quickly, and only lasts for such a short amount of time.

Hospitals are reporting crack-related emergency room visits at increasing numbers. In 2002, hospitals reported a total of 42,126 crack-related visits to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, who keeps track of these numbers in order to learn the scope of the problem. But, crack isn’t just causing a medical nightmare; much of the illegal activity that is reported can be directly attributed to crack use. Cocaine in all of its forms is a big problem for law enforcement. During the year 2003, cocaine and its derivatives, were the primary drugs involved in Federal drug arrests. And for crack specifically, the DEA made 3,842 arrests during 2003. It has also been reported that 95.2% of Federal offenders sentenced were sentenced for crack cocaine trafficking. It’s clear this is not just a problem for the drug abuser and their families; it is a problem for every person in society.

Crack Addiction Treatment

For the above reason, it is imperative to get the addict into treatment. Without rehabilitation treatment, those suffering from addiction are very likely to end up in prison or die. But before they do, society as a whole will be made to suffer the consequences of their drug use. There are many different options, when discussing rehabilitation and recovery. It is important that the crack addict along with their family and friends decide which method of treatment is best for them.

For those who can afford it and have the time, residential treatment centers have been proven very effective. The crack addict stays for an extended length of time while they receive medical attention, intensive counseling sessions, both one on one and in a group setting, and they get taught life skills so that they can better reintegrate into society once they are out. But, that isn’t the only option available.

Some treatment centers can be very costly, and unfortunately drug addiction is such a huge problem that centers that are less expensive very rarely have openings. That being said, out-patient, or day treatment centers that are less cost prohibitive, which the addict may consider as well. In these centers the patient goes in 5 to 6 days a week for 8 hour sessions at a time. They receive many of the same benefits as the patients in the residential treatment centers they just don’t spend the night. This has been proven to help get an addict clean almost as much as the lengthier more intensive programs do.

Crack cocaine, or Jelly Bean as it’s called on the streets, is a deadly drug. With it being so inexpensive to make and so cheap to buy it has lead to an explosion of use and abuse over the past 20 years. It is detrimental not only to the user, but to everybody who comes into contact with them. A crack addict can become physically violent while high on crack, and will do almost anything to get their hands on more when they are out.

For the safety and well being of the crack addict, and all of us in society, something must be done to stop this epidemic. The first line of defense is to get the addict help. Get them off the drug and into some type of recovery program before it is too late. Don’t wait until they kill themselves or somebody else.

For more information or help finding the right drug treatment facility for you, call the professionals at The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs 1-800-861-1768 or visit

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