Addiction and Dependence on Crack
There are over 8.5 million people who have admitted to using crack cocaine in America at one point in their lives. The use of crack cocaine has become a worldwide public health problem because of its high abuse and dependence liabilities. But how dangerous can crack be and what is the difference between addiction and dependence?
Dependence and Addiction Differences
When someone is dependent on crack the neurochemistry of the brain changes. These changes can develop quickly. The difference between dependence and addiction is that dependence on crack will create withdrawal symptoms when the doses are lowered or stopped. Addiction of crack is the psychological compulsion to use crack, this turns into obsessive thinking and cravings.
Addiction is usually present in those who have a dependency to crack but it can be possible to be physically dependent and not addicted. “In fact, studies have shown that over 30% of people who have smoked crack experience dependence symptoms within 2 years of initial use. What makes crack so difficult to quit is the physical and psychological dependence that it creates.”
The fastest way to addiction is by smoking the drug, which is the most common way. Smoking crack can start an addiction within three days and can only take a few times.
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Physical and Psychological Dependence on Crack
When crack enters the brain it increases the levels of dopamine. This amount of dopamine changes the brain activity and signals the craving for more of the drug. “Strong psychological dependency can occur with only one “hit” of crack, but mental dependency usually occurs within several days.” The euphoric high lasts around five minutes. Once the high feeling wears off the user tends to get depressed and experience the craving.
Symptoms of Dependence on Crack
These symptoms are according to the American Psychiatric Association
- Isolation from friends and family from being occupied with finding cocaine
- Not able to reduce the amount smoked
- Tolerant of euphoric effects
- Job loss and unable to find work
- Using crack in large doses
- Continuing to use despite withdrawal symptoms
When using crack, all of the intensity of pleasures are increased. If you or a loved one has an addiction or dependence on crack cocaine, you should seek help immediately.