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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crack Cocaine and what it does to the addict

A woman smoking crack from a glass pipe.Image via WikipediaFirst and foremost you need to know exactly what crack and why, if you have someone you love that is addicted to it, why you are running out of time.
What is it?
Crack cocaine is a converted form of cocaine that reared it's ugly head in the 80's.
How is it manufactured?
By mixing water ammonia or baking soda and then boiling it a solid substance is formed. The solid is then dried and broken into rocks of crack. What makes it a volatile substance beyond the known facts is that it is cooked in a kitchen that could be contaminated, dirty and used for other lethal substances in addition to cocaine. A buyer of crack could end up dying after just one hit of this lethal drug especially if it is mixed with the wrong combination                                                                 of contaminants. Crack is often an off white rock looking substance.
A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks’.Image via WikipediaWhat does it look like and how is it used?
Crack most often will look like an almost white or yellowish chunk of rock like substance. Usually it is no larger than a pea. It is often smoked using makeshift pipes that are constructed out of small plumbing pipes, many times with a mesh screen filter, or even a piece of steel scouring pad in the pipe to sit the rock on top of. The addict will then light the rock and inhale the smoke it produces.
What are the effects once it is smoked?
When an addict smokes crack he or she inhales large quantities of the drug's smoke into their lungs, which in turn produces a very temporary state of euphoria. With continued use, the crack loses its effects and the user has to have more of it to achieve the same results. Many times the user will smoke crack and chase it with alcohol to extend or intensify the drugs effect. Many addicts will use a sharp instrument to clean the resins from the pipe and resmoke it once the rock is gone.
What are the symptoms of addiction to crack?
By the time  you realize your friend or loved one is suffering from addiction to crack, chances are they are well immersed in the hell of its use. Because it is family and friends tendancy to assume that it is something else, crack is not always the first suspected problem. There is a quick metaphorsis that will take place with your loved one. Here are the most obvious side effects and symptoms of their being addicted.
1. Sweating
2. Paranoia
3. Restless breathing
4. Restless sleep with unusual snoring and or breathing patterns, ie: respiratory problems, coughing and shortness of breath. There may be some trauma and lung bleeding.
5. Irregular heartbeat, chest pain and tightening, increased heart rate. If the addict is already a smoker of cigarettes and consumes alcohol, they are at even great risk of SUDDEN DEATH.
6. Personality changes- In ability to "be" anywhere for a long period of time. Nervousness, easily agitated, frequently going off into a room, bathroom, or somewhere private-to smoke and buy the drug. Violent outbursts, physically abusive  if they feel threatened or if you try to physically stop them or hold them back from smoking. Glassy eyes and irratic behavior. Inability to focus on conversation or most tasks they used to do. Loss of interest in things they used to love, including failure to take care of their personal appearance and hygiene.
Why it can kill you at any time..
Crack cocaine is so extremely lethal that any amount can deliver the deadly dose that ends the addicts life. An addict may try to placate friends and family by saying they will "cut down" on their drug use, be forewarned, a small amount is all that is needed. It is not necessary for the addict to have their "usual" amount, or a large amount to deliver death. The smallest dose, even of just the resin can send the addict into cardiac arrest and death is usually swift and imminent. Any day could be the last day.
Things  you should know..
Never trust an addict, they will steal, lie and manipulate. Your history together, love for them, or help you have given them will buy you no special treatment,or honesty. In the addicts eyes, you are either a tool to get more drugs, or an obstacle that must be eliminated from their lives. Their love of life, their own children and family will never be first and foremost as long as the addiction is allowed to flourish. Your addict will chose the drug over you, their children, friends and parents every time. If you aren't willing to fight for their recovery, you must prepare for their death.
To get help for your addicted friend or loved one as soon as possible, please go to for information on a treatment facility near you. If you are considering outpatient, please know this type of treatment is only mildly successful with a very early detection of drug use. Most full blown addicts need inpatient care.
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