Symptoms of Crack Addiction

cooking up crack

Crack addiction has its own unique symptoms. This is because the drug is abused in a different pattern from other drugs.

Learn More About Crack Addiction Signs, Withdrawal, and Treatment Options

Unlike heroin or other narcotics that must be taken on a steady, daily basis, crack is usually abused in binges with days of not using in between.

A binge is a session of almost continuous use while partying. These binges can last for days with no sleep. This is the reason that crack houses became popular – addicts needed a private place where they could use for hours or days at a time. During binges, addicts have to repeatedly consume the drug to maintain the high – without privacy, the behavior would be obvious.

Binges are followed by crashes – periods of extended sleep and recovery.

Between binging sessions, users can sometimes lead fairly normal lives and keep a job. This is until the binges become frequent enough that other responsibilities fall by the wayside. At this point, crack is no longer a sometimes enjoyment, but a permanent and unwelcome part of the addict’s life.

Other symptoms of crack addiction

Money budgeted for other things is used to buy crack. During a binge, more money than intended is spent keeping the high going.
Behaviors once thought over the line become just something to do to use crack: lying, manipulating, or concealing activity.
Users can get to the point where they will commit illegal and immoral acts to get or extend a crack high.
Damaged relationships
One of the many things sacrificed to a crack addiction are relationships with loved ones.
Crack addicts believe in the myth of, “Just one more, and then I’ll stop.”
Bizarre behaviors
Crack captures the mind to such an extent that active users become focused solely on the drug. They may paw through the carpet, looking for any whitish speck that might be an overlooked rock. They may burn their fingers to the point of blistering by overheating an empty, glass crack pipe trying to get a last hit. They scorch their mouth and lungs inhaling hot air, even when it is devoid of any drug. Paranoia is common.
Weight loss, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, restlessness.
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