Crack Cocaine Symptoms and Warning Signs

Crack cocaine is a potent drug that can cause addiction after only one hit. Thousands of people nationwide struggle with an addiction to this powerful drug.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

    Call Now

    Treatment Center Locator

    Signs of Crack Abuse

    crack symptomsAlthough the effects of crack cocaine are intense, people who are addicted to the drug may be good at hiding it.

    People who are using crack usually exhibit overconfidence and hyperactivity.

    Other signs of crack abuse to look for include:

    • Frequent disappearances (to get high)
    • Dilated pupils
    • Aggressive behavior
    • Restlessness
    • Increased breathing rate
    • Uncharacteristic irresponsibility
    • Cracked or blistered lips from smoking out of a hot pipe
    • Burns on fingers

    The Alarming Availability of Crack

    Considering how destructive the consequences of the drug are, the availability and widespread use of crack can be surprising.

    Percentage of Students Reporting Easy Accessibility to Crack
    Grade of Students

    According to a survey conducted in 2010, children as young as 13 have been exposed to the drug. In fact, 23 percent of eighth-graders, 32 percent of tenth-graders, and 45 percent of twelfth-graders reported that crack was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain. Considering that one hit can spark a lifelong addiction, these numbers help illuminate the severity of the issue.

    Get started on the road to recovery.

    The Dangers of Crack Cocaine

    One of the greatest dangers of crack is its addictive potential. Crack forces a release of excess dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. As early as the first time you smoke crack, your brain has already started rewiring itself because it finds the resulting “high” pleasurable.

    Immediate Effects of Crack Abuse

    Due in part to the unpredictability of the drug’s contents, the effects of smoking crack can vary from person to person. Crack’s effects are both physical and psychological, and the severity increases the more a person smokes. Some immediate side effects of crack abuse include:

    • Aggression
    • Restlessness
    • Anxiety
    • Nervousness or paranoia
    • Seizures
    • “Coke bugs,” or the hallucination that bugs are burrowing under a cocaine or crack user’s skin
    • Stroke
    • Heart failure
    • Potential death from respiratory failure

    Long-term Effects of Crack Abuse

    The long-term effects of abusing crack can be detrimental. Long-term crack abuse can cause damage to most of the body’s vital organs, such as the liver, kidneys and heart. Additionally, crack cocaine users are more susceptible to infections because the drug compromises the immune system. The dangers of long-term crack abuse include:

    • Depression
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Infertility
    • Paranoid behavior
    • Respiratory failure
    • Kidney failure
    • Stroke
    • Heart attack
    • Death
    Background image

    Ready to get help?

    Connect with a compassionate treatment specialist now.

    Speak with an expert (855) 826-4464

    - OR -

    Let us call you
    (877) 746-0480

      Recognizing a Crack Cocaine Addiction

      Because of its potency and addictive quality, any amount of crack use should be cause for concern. Those addicted to crack put getting their fix above all else, including breaking the law. Knowing what to look for could save your life or the life of someone you care about. The symptoms of addiction as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes ignoring responsibilities to use and doing more than initially intended.

      Anyone exhibiting these symptoms may meet the clinical definition of crack cocaine addiction. If someone has four to five of the symptoms, their addiction is categorized as moderate. Anything more than six is considered a severe crack addiction. Learn more about diagnosing an addiction.

      Questions about treatment?

      Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

      • Access to top treatment centers
      • Caring, supportive guidance
      • Financial assistance options
      (855) 826-4464

      Intervention for a Crack Cocaine Problem

      Once it has come to light that someone is addicted to crack, the next step is to get them help. However, when a person’s brain has been reprogrammed to compulsively abuse crack, it isn’t always easy to convince them to start treatment.

      This is where an intervention can come in handy. Interventions are a good way to coax an addict into recovery.

      When someone addicted to crack is surrounded by people who care, he or she is more likely to accept treatment.

      Because people addicted to crack often exhibit violent or paranoid behavior, it may be beneficial to hire an intervention specialist. Learn more about staging an intervention.

      See how Jerry
      overcame his
      addiction.
      Jerry Lawson sitting in a chair

      Withdrawal from Crack Cocaine, Treatment and Next Steps

      Someone seeking treatment for a crack cocaine addiction will experience symptoms of withdrawal within the first few hours after their last dose. The brain’s dependence on crack causes these symptoms because it can no longer function normally without the drug.

      The symptoms of crack withdrawal are predominantly psychological. Symptoms include fatigue, unusual sleep patterns and intense cravings.

      Professional treatment can help addicts cope with the symptoms of withdrawal and make a successful, lasting recovery. Depending on the individual, treatment can range from outpatient therapy and support groups to an inpatient rehabilitation center. Treatment for crack addiction is a long road, but recovery is possible. Find out how you can beat the odds and take your life back.

      Get help today

      Don't go through the process of recovery alone. Get in touch with someone who can help.

      (877) 746-0480

        What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Beach House Center for Recovery?

        We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that AddictionCenter is compensated by Beach House Center for Recovery for the work AddictionCenter does in the development and operation of this site. Beach House Center for Recovery was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with AddictionCenter, based on the quality of treatment that Beach House provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Beach House Center for Recovery is a trusted provider with AddictionCenter.

        All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Beach House Center for Recovery. If Beach House Center for Recovery is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.

        Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

        (855) 826-4464

        Take control of your life

        Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

        • Access to top treatment centers
        • Caring, supportive guidance
        • Financial assistance options

        Call now:

        (855) 826-4464

        OR

        Have us call you:

        (877) 746-0480

          Where do calls go?

          Calls to numbers dedicated to a specific treatment center profile will be routed to that treatment center. All other calls will be routed to Beach House Center for Recovery.

          Rehab experts are available 24/7/365 to answer and return calls routed to Beach House.

          All calls are private and confidential.

          How do we choose our partners?

          About Beach House

          Beach House Center for Recovery is a leading drug and alcohol treatment center that combines the latest medical, clinical, and spiritual treatments to combat addiction.

          Find out more about AddictionCenter.

          A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.