New Jersey Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

At Absolute Awakenings, we are aware of the serious health-related threats that crack cocaine addiction poses to men, women, and families. Start Healing Today.

What is Crack Cocaine?

Cocaine is one of the most addictive stimulants known, abused for the intense euphoric high it produces, but crack cocaine, one of its variations, is even more addictive and far more dangerous. “Crack” cocaine is made by mixing cocaine powder and baking soda, which is then boiled, dried, and broken into small rock-like pieces. When these pieces are heated for smoking, they make a crackling noise, giving crack its name.

Crack cocaine is far more potent than cocaine in its powdered form. It’s highly concentrated and because it’s smoked, it gets into a person’s system more rapidly. A person may become addicted to crack after just a few uses.

New Jersey Crack Cocaine Treatment at Absolute Awakenings

Crack Cocaine Abuse in New Jersey

In most instances, this specific chemical substance is used by men and women who are experiencing poverty or members of the lower class, seeing as it produces a powerful high and the street value is generally low. Throughout the state of New Jersey, crack cocaine abuse has become a major issue. According to the International Drug Intelligence Center’s New Jersey Drug Threat Assessment, crack cocaine poses the most serious drug threat to the entire state.

The report suggested that somewhere close to 40 percent of all treatment center admissions in the state of New Jersey in 1997 were directly linked to crack cocaine. 67 percent of crack cocaine users in the state of New Jersey reported smoking the chemical substance – the remainder snorted it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed around 15,000 high school students between 1991 and 1999, and they found that there was a significant increase in the number of crack cocaine users. Over the past two decades, these numbers have only continued to increase. 

What Does Crack Cocaine Do?

Like all forms of cocaine, crack causes the brain to release a flood of dopamine, a specialized neurochemical that produces feelings of pleasure and well-being. When crack is smoked, its initial high takes place in under a minute, peaks within 3 to 5 minutes, and fades in 30 minutes to an hour. 

The comedown from crack hits rapidly, causing depression, anxiety, and irritability. During a crash, a person may become very fatigued and sleep for hours. People who use crack even just a few times also feel powerful cravings to use it again.

Signs of Crack Cocaine Addiction

People typically don’t start off abusing crack. Usually, they transition to it from another substance, such as regular cocaine. Crack is much cheaper than cocaine in its powdered form and provides a more intense but shorter high, with a more uncomfortable crash

The most common signs a person is using crack cocaine abuse include the following:

  1. Presence of crack paraphernalia. Crack is smoked from a glass pipe with a bulb at one end, but items such as glass bottles, soft drink cans, and plastic water bottles are also used. Objects that have been used to smoke crack will have burn marks on them.
  2. High energy levels. A person using crack will immediately experience a huge burst of energy. This energy burst lasts less than an hour and will collapse into a crash, in which a person will become depressed, irritable, and anxious.
  3. Mood swings and anxiety. A person abusing crack will swing from euphoria to anxiety, restlessness, and irritability within the span of a few hours. 
  4. Aggressive or violent behavior. Violent behavior is unfortunately common in about 50 percent of those who use crack cocaine. 
  5. Changes in a person’s sleep routines. People who abuse crack have brief periods of high energy levels and bursts of activity, followed by intense fatigue. When a person is on the “up” side of crack intoxication, they need little sleep, but when experiencing a “crash,” may sleep much more than usual.
  6. Poor oral health. Smoking crack wrecks oral health, causing tissue damage to the lips, gums, and lining of the cheeks. A person’s gums will recede from their teeth and their tooth enamel will become weak and possibly crack.
  7. Weight changes. People typically rapidly lose weight when using crack.
  8. Paranoia. Crack use often leads to paranoia, which in turn fuels erratic, bizarre behaviors.
  9. Blisters. Burned lips and blistered fingers result from smoking a crack pipe, which gets very hot.
  10. Skin sores. A person using crack may experience formication, a form of tactile hallucination in which it seems as if insects are crawling under or on their skin.
  11. Respiratory problems. Coughing and shortness of breath are typical outcomes.

The long-term effects of crack cocaine include:

  • Cardiovascular damage. Crack addiction can cause lasting damage to all blood vessels, including the large coronary arteries and cerebral arteries. 
  • Kidney failure and liver damage
  • Respiratory system damage. The smoke from crack cocaine is erosive to tissues in the lungs and respiratory tract, causing bleeding in the lungs, throat, and nasal tissues. 

Crack Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

If you or someone you love is addicted to crack, there is help available. At Absolute Awakenings in New Jersey, we provide residents of New Jersey and all surrounding areas with the comprehensive crack addiction treatment they need and the quality clinical care they deserve. Absolute Awakenings follows an evidence-based approach to treating substance abuse disorders. Every person we serve receives individualized care based on their unique needs. To learn more about our program of crack addiction recovery in New Jersey, call us today. Our recovery specialists are waiting to assist you or a loved one in your fight against crack.

References

Antoniazzi RP, Palmeira RV, Schöffer C, Dos Santos BZ, Zanatta FB, Feldens CA. Use of crack cocaine increases tooth loss. Am J Dent. 2021;34(6):317-321.

Crack Cocaine Fast Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs3/3978/index.htm 

Facts you should know about crack – IDHS 4706. Illinois Department of Human Services. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=33604 

How many people use cocaine? Drug Policy Alliance. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2022, from https://drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/cocaine/how-many-people-use-cocaine