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Differences Between Crack Cocaine Dependence and Addiction

by | Last updated Jul 16, 2021 at 11:34AM | Published on Apr 7, 2020 | Drug Addiction, Stimulants Addiction

Crack Cocaine Dependence and Addiction

There are over 8.5 million people who have admitted to using crack cocaine in America at one point in their lives. Because of its high abuse and addiction possibilities, crack cocaine dependence is undoubtedly a public healthcare crisis.

But what is the difference between addiction and dependence? Generally, reliance on any substance is unhealthy. Let’s explore the key differences between addiction and dependence on crack cocaine and the psychological signs of both stages of addiction.

Dependence and Addiction Differences

When someone is dependent on crack, the neurochemistry of the brain changes quickly. The difference between dependence and addiction is that dependence on crack will create withdrawal symptoms when the doses decrease or stop. Addiction to crack is the psychological compulsion to use more of the substance. As a result, the urges lead to obsessive cravings and thoughts of the drug.

  • Dependence is a set of withdrawal symptoms that appear when a dose is lowered or stopped.
  • Addiction is a psychological compulsion, including cravings and obsessively thinking about obtaining the drug.
  • Addiction is typically present in people who develop a dependence on crack cocaine.
  • Crack is challenging to quit due to physical and psychological dependence.

Addiction is usually present in those who have a dependency to crack, but it can be physically dependent and not addicted. Cocaine dependence can develop in only a few months of binge use. Addiction develops more rapidly when a drug is smoked (like crack), which is why it takes several days for addiction to develop.

Thus, what makes crack so challenging to discontinue is the physical and psychological dependence that it creates. The fastest way to addiction is by smoking the drug, which is the most common method of consumption. Generally, smoking crack cocaine can start a habit within three days.

Physical and Psychological Signs of Dependence

When crack enters the brain, it increases the levels of dopamine. This amount of dopamine changes brain activity and signals the craving for more of the drug. Strong psychological dependency can occur with only one “hit” of crack, but mental dependence usually occurs within several days.

Generally, the euphoric high is short-lived, lasting around five minutes. Once the high feeling wears off, the crack user tends to get depressed and again experience the craving.

Symptoms of Crack Cocaine Dependence

The adverse effects of the substance can happen after only one. Don’t wait until dependence on crack creates various debilitating physical and mental health consequences before starting your recovery. To satisfy the criteria for the diagnosis of cocaine dependence, only 3 of the following conditions must be present according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

  • Developing a tolerance for the euphoric effects of crack.
  • Constant worries for obtaining and using cocaine.
  • Continuous use of crack despite adverse consequences.
  • People experience withdrawal symptoms.
  • Inability to reduce the number of crack cocaine users.
  • Job loss increased absenteeism or inability to find work due to their crack cocaine use.
  • Using crack in large doses when available.

Crack Cocaine Dependence Timeline

When smoked, it takes less than 10 seconds for crack cocaine to reach the brain. However, the high only lasts about five minutes. The rapid, intense experience leaves people wanting more, which leads to higher doses. It takes, on average, five months from the first use to develop dependence.

Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Abuse

Addiction to crack cocaine can have detrimental long-term effects on someone’s well-being. Most users may experience:

  • Cardiovascular problems may develop and include heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.
  • Malnutrition may also result from long-term use.
  • Cognitive deterioration.
  • Confusion, psychosis, or delirium.
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not present) are also common side effects.
  • Major depression, anxiety, and irritability are psychological disorders.

The phenomenon of withdrawal is also a sign of crack abuse. Generally, treatment for crack abuse may begin with detoxification. A detox treatment facility is a controlled environment where withdrawal from crack cocaine occurs in a safe setting. This period varies in length based on the amount and frequency of use.

Florida Crack Abuse Treatment

When using crack cocaine, all of the intensity of pleasure increases. If you or a loved one has an addiction or dependence on crack cocaine, you should seek help immediately. When someone tries to quit crack cocaine on their own, they can experience severe side effects that can be life-threatening.

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we strongly recommend joining our detox programs. Going through the detox process with medical supervision makes it safer and more comfortable, so people feel more ready to continue their recovery journey. Our Florida drug treatment center is always available to provide you and your family with more information about our comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, talk with our admission specialists today, and ask for insurance verification or discuss our low-cost drug rehab options. This call is one-hundred-percent confidential, and we’ll never force or push any treatments. We believe in offering tailor-made addiction program solutions that focus on your well-being and help you start walking down the gith path to long-term sobriety.

At one point in their lives. Because of its high abuse and addiction possibilities, crack cocaine dependence is undoubted a public healthcare crisis.

But what is the difference between addiction and dependence? Generally, reliance on any substance is unhealthy. Let’s explore the key differences between addiction and dependence on crack cocaine and the psychological signs of both stages of addiction.

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.
Medical Disclaimer:

Lighthouse Recovery Institute aims to improve the quality of life for anyone struggling with substance use or mental health disorder. We provide fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options, and their outcomes. The material we publish is researched, cited, edited, and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide in our posts is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be used in place of the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider.

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