How to Recognize the Signs of Crack Use

How to Recognize the Signs of Crack Use

Crack cocaine is a stimulant that acts very fast and is very powerful in delivering a euphoric high that speeds up some mental processing and can increase physical functioning. But, one of the problems with crack cocaine is that it is so fast acting that the high only lasts for minutes, but the craving for more is extremely intense and could last much longer. The result is that all of the addict’s increased focus and bursts of energy becomes trained on an objective – obtaining more of the drug in order to maintain the high. 

It is easier to recognize the signs of crack use once a person has entered the final stages of addiction. But it is also much harder to convince addicts to change their lifestyle and seek help when they are in the grips of an active crack addiction. The earlier you recognize the signs of crack cocaine use, the earlier the addict can reach out for help. Stopping the abuse cycle and beginning the steps to lower dependency is imperative to get sober.

Early Signs of Crack Use

All addictions will have stages of progression that begin with experimental use and progress to using the drug for recreational purposes – that is, only smoking crack for pleasure and for no reason other than to experience the high. For crack users, this phase can pass rather quickly as the drug user will begin to exhibit early signs of crack addiction:

  • Physical reaction to the thought of using – irritable bowels, unable to relax, jittery nerves, and loss of appetite
  • Mental and emotional reactions to the thought of using – unable to focus or think clearly, becoming short-tempered or anxious, and losing interest in family, hobbies or social activities.
  • Work and financial irresponsibility – spending or borrowing more money, missing days from work, and not paying bills on time.

Late Stage Signs of Crack Use

These later stages of crack use will find the addict out of control financially, physically, socially, and emotionally. Serious consequences are often a motivator for the addict to seek help as they are quickly reaching “rock bottom”. The problem at this stage is that behaviors become riskier and the repercussions can be far-reaching, such as losing a job, relationships, or freedoms. Other repercussions include:

  • Intense cravings
  • Absenteeism
  • Extremely depressed
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Theft or manipulation
  • Aggressive outbursts
  • Major weight loss
  • Crippling insomnia
  • Increased tolerance
  • Financially bankrupt
  • Social isolation
  • Mental confusion

If you or a loved one is experiencing the early or later signs of crack use, it is critical to seek help as soon as possible. An increase of illegal and/or violent behavior can lead an addict to prison or a premature death.

Categories: Health

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