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Crack Cocaine

woman struggling with crack cocaine addictionCocaine, derived from the South American coca plant, is a potent stimulant and one of the most popular party drugs in the world. Cocaine is also an addictive and damaging substance. Crack cocaine results from cooking powder cocaine with baking soda or ammonia, which is then cooled down into “rocks,” which can be smoked. When smoked, crack cocaine provides a faster, more potent, and shorter hit than powder cocaine, has powerful effects on the user’s brain and is the most addictive form of cocaine. Cocaine use results in an excess of dopamine in the brain, giving the user euphoria, increased energy, and confidence. These effects do not last, leading to frequent reapplication of the drug and the need to take a larger dose to feel the same euphoria. When smoked, crack cocaine provides a hit that is faster, more potent, and shorter than powder cocaine. Frequent abuse of crack cocaine can result in disruption in what is called the reward pathway, the brain functions that control motivation, reward-seeking, and the perception of pleasure. Repeated disruption of this pathway can cause the brain to rely on crack cocaine; when natural rewards no longer generate pleasure, depression and distress can set in, alongside cravings for the drug. This cycle, combined with withdrawal symptoms that can start as soon as 90 minutes after the last dose, results in users becoming addicted to cocaine in a short period of time. If you or a loved one struggles with crack cocaine addiction, contact TruHealing Centers today. Our team of addiction specialists and therapists can help you get to the root causes of your addiction and begin the recovery process.

Signs of Abuse

Long-term crack cocaine usage results in physical symptoms that are present when an individual is high and persist after the cocaine high has worn off.

  • Interrupted sleep, insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Over excitement, agitation, aggression
  • Increased risk of heart attack or cardiac issues
  • Anxiety, paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Nosebleeds, runny nose
  • Irritability, extreme mood swings
  • Periods of increased activity followed by lethargy
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, hobbies, or other interests
  • Weight loss
  • Increased risky behaviors
  • Disheveled appearance, lack of attention paid to personal hygiene
  • Depression or mood disorders can appear or dramatically worsen
  • Burns, blisters on lips, from the hot pipe
  • Respiratory symptoms
a man meditates as he thinks about music in sobriety

Symptoms of Withdrawal

After a crack cocaine binge, there is a crash and subsequent depression that can last several days. During this depression, cravings for cocaine intensify due to the disruption of the brain’s reward pathway mentioned above.

  • Irritability, anger, agitation
  • Lack of energy, apathy
  • Anxiety, paranoia
  • Anhedonia, inability to feel pleasure
  • Interrupted sleep, insomnia, nightmares
  • Depression or mood disorders can appear or dramatically worsen

Crack cocaine is most often smoked, but can be mixed with a liquid for injection. Crack cocaine users might have some or all of following, common items used to consume cocaine. If you have noticed one or more of these signs of these signs and are worried that your loved one is struggling with cocaine, call us today.


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  • Hypodermic needles – used to inject liquefied crack cocaine
  • Spoons or bottle caps – used for cooking meth, liquefying it for injection
  • Shoelaces, rubber hoses, length of string or similar – used to “tie off,” restricting blood flow on one’s limbs to make veins pop out
  • Lighters/ candles – heat source used to melt the drug


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  • Steel wool, faucet aerator, drain screen, chore boy – used as a screen at the end of a crack pipe
  • Light bulb – improvised to smoke crack cocaine
  • Tin foil, aluminum cans – used to improvise a way to smoke crack cocaine
  • Glass pipes – used to smoke crack cocaine
  • Lighters, candles – heat source to smoke crack cocaine

Detox Process

At TruHealing Centers, our detox facilities offer medication-assisted detox for individuals facing acute withdrawal from cocaine, as well as inpatient and outpatient therapy programs designed to build the skills for long-term recovery. Because of crack cocaine’s effects on the brain’s reward pathways, any co-occurring mental health disorders must be considered when implementing a treatment plan. You will have access to trained professionals and addiction treatment resources to help you begin your recovery at every level of care. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine, reach out to one of our treatment professionals today.

Begin to Heal from Crack Cocaine Addiction at TruHealing Centers

At TruHealing Centers, we offer the full continuum of care, from intensive inpatient programs through several outpatient levels of care. Our team has extensive experience with understanding addiction. We believe, supported by evidence that a more extended stay in treatment sets patients up for a better chance at long-term recovery. Every individual who goes through our care gets an individualized treatment plan designed around their needs to treat the physical, mental and spiritual causes of substance abuse.

Learn more about how our TruHealing Centers team can help you or a loved one overcome crack addiction today by calling 833.631.0525 or completing our online form. We have addiction treatment resources that can help you get back on the right track. Don’t wait another day to begin your new way of life. Reach out to our TruHealing Centers team today.

a man meditates as he thinks about music in sobriety