Most illegal drugs can have devastating effects on individuals and communities that see a high rate of addiction, but crack-cocaine is a particularly destructive substance that is dangerously addictive. When crack was widespread in the 80s and early 1990s, it destroyed many inner city communities that are still recovering from its effects.
Although the drug has been replaced by other more popular substances in many of these areas, crack remains a prevalent illegal drug that is addictive enough to make people lose their jobs, families and end up on the street. Crack has and continues to wreak havoc on the body, minds and lives of people that become addicted to it.
A Highly Addictive Drug
Crack cocaine first appeared in the 80s and it wasn't long before the drug spread its influence throughout disadvantaged neighborhoods that fell for its addictive effects. The drug offers a short-lived, intense high and is simple and relatively inexpensive to make. Because of its easy access, its popularity grew to epidemic levels and widespread started to take its toll on many urban communities.
Crack cocaine is addictive because it provides a strong feeling of euphoria the first time someone uses it. A user will feel more confident, stronger and better than they ever have before. It is this indescribable euphoria that can make someone completely hooked on crack even after their first use.
This intense high may only last a few minutes or even seconds before it gives way to negative thoughts and feelings caused by withdrawal. Coming down off of the drug can lead to some painful and frightening experiences of depression and paranoia.
People going through the immediate withdrawal may believe that they are being attacked or someone is trying to get into their home. They may feel as though bugs are crawling on their skin causing them to scratch their skin and develop sores all over their body.
Effects of Crack on the Body and Behavior
People that smoke crack cocaine can start to experience the long term effects of addiction and develop health problems as well. They have an increased risk of developing respiratory problems and might have trouble breathing with a persistent cough. Crack cocaine causes lung damage as well as damage to the kidney, liver and heart.
It can also lead to sleep deprivation and malnutrition because users tend to lose their appetite and have trouble falling asleep. Users of crack can become so addicted to the high that they leave behind everything else in their life. They can lose their jobs and even have children taken away by police because of their substance abuse.
People often end up homeless and living on the street because they have spent all of their finances on fueling their addiction. The extreme destruction that crack caused to people and communities actually led to a decrease in the demand for the drug since the 90s. Many of the cities that saw the worst level of abuse are still recovering as the drug continues to affect families that are seeking treatment for addiction.
Crack cocaine can be one of the most addictive drugs in existence with people developing a dependency within only a few uses. It causes intense cravings and people end up using enormous amounts of the drug because of its short lived effects. After only fifteen minutes after first trying crack cocaine, a user already wants more.
The drug can be stressful and damaging to a person's physical health and their mental state as well. It can destroy families and ruin people's lives when they develop an addiction. The only way to avoid the destruction of crack cocaine is to get professional help to recover from its addictive effects.