Monday, 15 October 2012

The Effects and Symptoms of Crack Use

“I did cocaine for about a year and a half, then it led to crack”
Corey Haim

What Is Crack Cocaine?
Crack or crack cocaine is a form of cocaine. It has not been neutralized by an acid to make cocaine hydrochloride, the pure form of the chemical. Crack comes in a rock crystal form that can be heated and inhaled or smoked. It is called 'crack' in reference to the cracking sound it makes when it is heated. Crack cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant.
Crack cocaine is made by mixing water ammonia or baking soda and then boiling it until 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. The original cocaine comes from a paste made from the leaves of the South American coca plant.
Crack cocaine is almost always smoked or freebased. Freebasing involves heating the crack until it liquefies and inhaling the vapours through a pipe. The vapours are absorbed by the lungs, producing an immediate euphoric high.
Street Names for Crack Cocaine include 24-7,Beat, Candy, Cookies, Crumbs , Crunch & Munch, Devil Drug, Dice, Electric Kool-Aid,  French Fries, Gravel, Grit,  Hail, Hard Ball, Hard Rock, Hotcakes, Ice Cube , Jellybeans, Nuggets, Prime Time, Rock(s), Scrabble, Sleet, Snow Coke, Tornado and Troop.

What are the effects of Crack Cocaine?
Crack is a readily available form of cocaine. Cocaine is used because it produces euphoria, is a stimulant, suppresses appetite, and can be used as a pain reliever.  Crack is highly addictive, possibly even more than other forms of cocaine.
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 re-smoke it once the rock is gone.

What are the symptoms of Crack use?
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 tendency to assume that it is something else, crack is not always the first suspected problem. Here are the most obvious side effects and symptoms of their being addicted.
Ø  Sweating
Ø  Paranoia
Ø  Restless breathing
Ø  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.
Ø  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.
Ø  Personality changes include:
ü  Inability to remain anywhere for a long period of time
ü  Nervousness and agitation
ü  Violent outbursts and physically abusive if they feel threatened
ü  Glassy eyes and erratic behaviour.
ü  Inability to focus on conversation or most tasks they used to do.
ü  Loss of interest in things they used to love
ü  Failure to take care of their personal appearance and hygiene.

Why Crack 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.

“I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t sleeping. All I was doing was cocaine. I stayed awake for about two weeks, locked in my bedroom. I went down from a 142 pounds to 110 pounds.”
Andy Gibb

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