Side Effects of Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine and crack are variations of the same drug, both originating from the extract of the coca plant. While the actual effects of both are very similar, there’s distinct differences between the two both in terms of addiction and side effects. It’s important to remember that there’s no distinction between the two when it comes to rating which is more dangerous when abused. They are both ultimately capable of causing physical, mental and physical damage within the user as well as severely alter a user’s normal behavior that typically results in strained relationships, finances and ability to have a stable life overall.

 

Differences Between Crack and Cocaine

Both drugs can be used similarly, though cocaine tends to be more often sniffed or snorted while crack is typically smoked so many of the side effects are related directly to how they are ingested. People using cocaine tend to damage their nose, specifically their septum, as one of the medical side effects are constriction of blood vessels. Prolonged use doesn’t allow the nose to repair damage from the loss of blood to the septum tissues leading to serious issues up to and including physical collapse of the septum and nose. Since crack is more often smoked, this specific risk is replaced by issues with inhaling crack smoke, which is constricted blood vessels in the lung and air passages. Users will notice a shallowness of breath during this directly after inhaling. Because the smoke passes through the mouth, it’s known to contribute to tooth decay. Bowel decay has also been seen to appear in crack addicts which has its own myriad of symptoms that punctuate this internal damage to the user.

Both versions have the same effect of triggering dopamine release in the brain, a neurotransmitter known to trigger feelings of pleasure. Cocaine’s effects of euphoria from it’s use tend to last longer with generally 20-30 minutes being about average. Crack use typically generate these effects for 5-10 minutes, though the feeling can be more acute due to its general higher potency. Crack and powder cocaine can negatively affect behavior during the ‘high’, though crack use tends to lead to more violent behavior than cocaine. After the ‘high is gone, each form has its own level of depression that sets in immediately afterward which is part of the vehicle that begins addiction to each. A user feeling the ‘come down’ will have a desire to return to the high by using the drug again.

 

Get Help from Cocaine or Crack Addiction in St. Louis

addiction treatment servicesBeing addicted to crack or cocaine is a struggle that can be near impossible for a user to quit alone. Addiction centers like Northbound have counselors and specialists who understand the effects and use of substances like these who work with patents to safely become sober from them. Call (866) 311-0003 to speak to a counselor about treatment options if you or someone you know suffers from addiction to cocaine or crack. Our rehab center in St. Louis is ready to help return control where it belongs, out of the hands of drug use.

 

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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