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Crack or crack cocaine is a solid form of cocaine that is known for its powerful high and its high level of addictiveness, even more so than powdered cocaine.
Crack cocaine is derived from baking soda or a substance with a baking soda-like substance and is made up of about 70-90% cocaine and formed into crystals. Crack is known for its relatively low street price, its heavy presence in urban environments in particular and the distinctive “crackling” sounds it makes when being smoked.
Crack Addiction Symptoms and Signs
Crack cocaine, in fact, changes the chemistry of the brain. After just one use, a user can become addicted to crack cocaine.
Upon inhalation of crack, which is usually smoked in a glass pipe, it acts on the brain an amazing eight or so seconds later. The hard-hitting and fast-acting high is as short-lived as it is instant, lasting 10 minutes or less in most cases. The high and subsequent addiction come from the rush effect of the drug on a brain neurotransmitter known as dopamine. When released in the brain, dopamine causes feelings of pleasure. This intense high quickly crashes into depression. The user seeks out more of the high, and the only way to do so is to smoke more and more crack.
Crack causes the release of excessive and unnaturally high amounts of dopamine in the brain. Initially, the user may feel euphoric (high) and happy and then, soon thereafter, down and restless, causing them to need a re-dose almost immediately. This cycle can go on indefinitely. In addition, often crack addicts are addicted to other drugs and/or to alcohol.
Some signs and symptoms of crack addiction can include:
Crack overdose, which may often be part of this vicious cycle of crack addition, can lead, relatively quickly, to stroke, seizure, cardiac arrest, lung failure, coma, intense depression and/or suicide.
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