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  • What Makes A Grateful Alcoholic?

    What Makes A Grateful Alcoholic?

    Recovering from alcohol addiction is by no means an easy process. Recovery is a life long process, and any recovering alcoholic knows that in order to stay healthy and sober it is necessary to constantly use the tools that they developed in treatment in order to fight the urges and triggers that are simply a reality in day to day life.

  • 4 Ways To Help The Most Desperate Addict

    4 Ways To Help The Most Desperate Addict

    Addiction is a disease that can be extremely difficult to recover from. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they are very likely to also suffer from conditions like depression and low self esteem, which can make it even more difficult to make the decision to seek help because an addict may not recognize their own self worth or realize that they deserve the chance to be happy and healthy again.

  • 5 Truths Of Addiction Treatment

    5 Truths Of Addiction Treatment

    When it comes time for someone to get off of an addiction and end the vicious cycle that it brings on, the best way to get started with this is to first go into a detox facility. In detox, the physical addiction will be remedied through the help of medications and care from the individuals who work there.

  • Buprenorphine A New Option For Heroin Addiction Treatment

    Buprenorphine A New Option For Heroin Addiction Treatment

    Opiate withdrawal is usually so intense that addicts find it hard to quit heroin or pain killers without the help of some kind of medication. In many cases, methadone has proven to be problematic as a medication for heroin addiction because it can become addictive.

  • Military Vets Susceptible to Prescription Drug Addiction

    Military Vets Susceptible to Prescription Drug Addiction

    Soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan have a high risk of facing issues with drug abuse when they return home. It is common for military veterans to experience symptoms of PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder, along with chronic pain due to combat injuries.

  • NYPD Now Equipped With Naloxone to Help Fight Heroin Deaths

    NYPD Now Equipped With Naloxone to Help Fight Heroin Deaths

    A new program has provided the necessary funds for New York Police officers to be equipped with a heroin antidote known as Naloxone. Recent increases in heroin addiction and overdose in the area have made it necessary for the NYPD to be specially trained and equipped for this crisis.

  • 5 Things You Should Know about Xanax

    5 Things You Should Know about Xanax

    Physicians frequently prescribe drugs like Xanax for people with panic disorder or symptoms of anxiety. Although it can be an effective medication for those suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety, Xanax is a drug that is commonly abused.

  • Chasing the Dream of Doing Cocaine Like A Gentleman

    Chasing the Dream of Doing Cocaine Like A Gentleman

    Drugs like cocaine are often considered to be a "gentleman's addiction". Cocaine is the type of drug that is expensive enough to be associated with high flying executives and high profile celebrities who can afford to make it a habit. Because of this image cocaine sometimes becomes glamorized by people who imagine that doing this drug makes you appear rich and powerful.

  • Is Treating Opioid Addiction With Suboxone A Safe Option?

    Is Treating Opioid Addiction With Suboxone A Safe Option?

    Physicians treating addiction to heroin or prescription opoids are usually able to see a better success rate when providing medication. Recovering from the abuse of a highly addictive drug like heroin can be too difficult for long time users who are attempting to quit "cold turkey".

  • Is Crack-Cocaine the Most Destructive Drug Ever?

    Is Crack-Cocaine the Most Destructive Drug Ever?

    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.

  • Teen Athletes More Predisposed To Prescription Drug Addiction

    Teen Athletes More Predisposed To Prescription Drug Addiction

    Recent studies have discovered that young teens participating in sports have a higher risk of developing an addiction to prescription drugs and especially opoid pain killers than those not involved in athletics. The issue is a much bigger problem for male teen athletes that are more likely to misuse prescription drugs than their female counterparts.

  • America’s Binge Drinking Problem

    America’s Binge Drinking Problem

    Excessive drinking is more common in the U.S. than we might realize as studies have shown a surprising amount of adults frequently binge on alcohol. As many as 38 million U.S. adults binge drink on a regular basis according to findings from a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Suburban Opoid Problem Contributing to Heroin Addiction

    Suburban Opoid Problem Contributing to Heroin Addiction

    Heroin abuse is no longer a problem reserved for the inner city or the poorest neighborhoods; now the typical heroin addicts are young white teens and adults living in the suburbs. Part of the reason for this shift is the rise in prescription pain killer abuse which can be a gateway to heroin addiction.

  • The Major Symptoms of Percoset Use and Abuse

    The Major Symptoms of Percoset Use and Abuse

    Prescription drug abuse has been a problem for the U.S. since the 1990s and has nearly reached the point of a national crisis. Currently, there are seven million Americans who take prescription drugs for non-medical reasons and the majority of those are abusing pain killers.

  • Breast Cancer Tied to Alcohol Consumption

    Breast Cancer Tied to Alcohol Consumption

    Alcohol and especially chronic alcohol abuse is known to cause a myriad of health problems including cirrhosis of the liver and heart disease but few people realize how much of a connection there is between alcohol and certain types of cancer. Alcoholism is not traditionally considered a major cause of cancer but studies actually show a clear link to the disease especially in the case of breast cancer.

  • 5 Tips To Help A Heroin Addict Get Into Treatment

    5 Tips To Help A Heroin Addict Get Into Treatment

    Few things are as frustrating and terrifying as having a loved one who is suffering from heroin addiction. Most people are aware that heroin is highly addictive and that using heroin presents a number of very serious health risks.

  •  Is Teen Culture Now A Drug Fueled Culture?

    Is Teen Culture Now A Drug Fueled Culture?

    Almost every parent of a teen worries about their child getting involved with drugs or alcohol use. Teens have always been the population most prone to peer pressure that may lead to experimentation, and teens are also the people that may be most at risk for some of the dangers associated with drug or alcohol use.

  • South Africa Looking to Cut Down on Alcohol Advertisements

    South Africa Looking to Cut Down on Alcohol Advertisements

    The government of South Africa has made efforts to combat the nation’s significant problem with alcohol abuse by proposing a ban on liquor advertisements. The Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages bill that would ban alcohol ads throughout the country still remains under consideration with much debate as to the impact it would have on the community and the economy.

     

  • U.S. Senate Proposing New Bills To Fight Heroin Addiction

    U.S. Senate Proposing New Bills To Fight Heroin Addiction

    As heroin addiction and abuse continues to devastate both individuals in small cities and those in large metropolitan areas, many doctors and teachers and therapists are turning to law enforcement and government officials for answers as to what may be an effective means of minimizing and ultimately eliminating the use and abuse of this deadly drug.

  • The 5 Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

    The 5 Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

    There is little question that prescription drug use is on the rise in the United States. The rapid increase in the number of hospitalizations and and deaths related to prescription drug use and abuse has led many parents, doctors, and law enforcement agents to search for possible ways in which the tide of prescription drug addiction can be stemmed.

  • The Glamorous Side Of Cocaine Hides The True Effects

    The Glamorous Side Of Cocaine Hides The True Effects

    Cocaine is a very dangerous and addictive drug that carries with it a number of quite troubling side effects. Although many people are aware of the fact that cocaine is a dangerous drug, the drug is somewhat unique in that it carries with it a somewhat glamorous image.

  • Alcohol Not Being Sold At University Of Georgia Football Games

    Alcohol Not Being Sold At University Of Georgia Football Games

    The University of Georgia has recently implemented a new plan for designed to manage alcohol consumption and reduce the number of injuries and incidents caused by alcohol consumption at its football games with a new plan that has been coined the “Gameday Gameplan.”

  • How To Show Gratitude In Sobriety

    How To Show Gratitude In Sobriety

    The life that one lives under the tyranny of an addiction is one filled with stress, pain and isolation. Addictions are in no way beneficial to those who are in their grip, and for someone to get out of them they seem to have to have no other option.

  • How To Spot Prescription Drug Addiction

    How To Spot Prescription Drug Addiction

    Prescription drug addiction is fast becoming one of the most rapidly growing diseases in the country. Prescription drugs are highly habit forming and there is no such thing as a “typical” prescription drug addict.

  • 5 Facts You Need To Know About Heroin Withdrawal

    5 Facts You Need To Know About Heroin Withdrawal

    Heroin is one of the most addictive and destructive drugs out in the world today. If someone does not overdose from it, then they are sure to catch some kind of disease such as AIDS, HIV, or Hepatitis C from the fact that it is common for heroin users to share needles without cleaning them or getting new ones.

  • 5 Consequences Of Binge Drinking

    5 Consequences Of Binge Drinking

    Binge drinking is defined as any time that an individual drinks to excess or consumes enough alcohol to make them seriously impaired. What constitutes binge drinking may vary quite a bit from person to person, but it is generally agreed that the average man is said to have engaged in binge drinking if he has consumed more than five drinks in two hours and the average woman if she has had four or more.

  • 5 Facts About America’s Problem With Prescription Drug Addiction

    5 Facts About America’s Problem With Prescription Drug Addiction

    The rate of addiction to prescription painkillers across the United States throughout the population is greater nowadays than all illegal drug addictions combined. More people than ever are getting hooked onto things like prescription painkillers such as Dilaudid, OxyContin, Methadone and morphine

  • 5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Cocaine

    5 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Cocaine

    When chewed, the leaf of the coca plant gives you a high. This is what cocaine comes from. It is found in Central America, and thousands of years ago, the ancient Aztecs and Incas used it to get their hearts racing and blood flowing as they lived in high mountain regions where the air is thin.

  • Overall Health Risks Of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

    Overall Health Risks Of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

    The abuse of prescription drugs in today’s world has risen to the levels of an epidemic. All told, the amount of people who abuse prescription drugs surpasses that of people who use every type of illegal street drug like meth, cocaine and heroin combined.

  • Is Cocaine the Ultimate Party Drug?

    Is Cocaine the Ultimate Party Drug?

    A drug like cocaine is often viewed by users as a recreational or party drug that they would prefer to use only on certain occasions. People look for a drug like cocaine to enhance their party experience because it is a stimulant that offers a short burst of intense energy and a feeling of euphoria.

  • Dangers Of Recreational Cocaine Use

    Dangers Of Recreational Cocaine Use

    Cocaine is one of the most addictive and dangerous substances out in the world of illicit substances today. Whether used on a daily basis or from time to time, the effects of cocaine on the body and on the mind can be extremely damaging.

  • What Today’s Heroin Addict Looks Like

    What Today’s Heroin Addict Looks Like

    When it comes to the heroin abuser, most people imagine someone who is destitute, maybe homeless, not necessarily of any specific ethnic background, and poor. 

  • Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley Finds His Bottom

    Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley Finds His Bottom

    The life of someone who is a famous musician can be a turbulent one. Everyone knows the cliche that is the "rockstar life", with heavy drug use and drinking, life on the road, promiscuity, so on and so forth.

  • Breaking Down Prescription Drug Addiction On A National Level

    Breaking Down Prescription Drug Addiction On A National Level

    The abuse of prescription drugs has become the biggest drug abuse problem in Western Culture today. It has been estimated that within the United States alone, more than 15 million people abuse prescription drugs- more than the combined number who reported abusing cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants and heroin.

  • Energy Drinks And Alcohol A Deadly Combination

    Energy Drinks And Alcohol A Deadly Combination

    It seems every month there is a new type of drink coming out in the bars across the country. They are usually some new combination or hybrid of something mixed with alcohol for better taste or more potency.

The Truth About Crack Cocaine

History of Crack Cocaine

In 1997 the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, via NIDA, estimated that there were 604,000 crack cocaine users in the United States.

Powdered cocaine is cooked into a more concentrated version, referred to as a rock, that is then smoked as crack cocaine. While the smokable form of cocaine emerged in the mid-1970s, full use of the drug did not reach dangerous, and epidemic, levels until the early-1980s.

In 1981, a large shipment of cocaine made its way from Colombia to the Bahamas and then onto the United States. Instead of selling the powder cocaine as it was, dealers decided to cook it into rocks that could be sold in smaller doses for just $2.50 a hit. This price for crack cocaine was an  80% reduction from the going rate of powdered cocaine in the U.S.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the first crack cocaine labs existed all over Southern Florida, and the drug’s use then rapidly spread across the country. Crack cocaine use was prevalent in clubs, freebase parlors, crack houses, and via curbside distribution in cities and towns nationwide. In New York City, young, white, male professionals were abusing crack cocaine along with middle-class teenagers and young adults in New Jersey, Long Island, and Westchester County.

With a low price and a quick high, crack cocaine use was gaining in popularity.

In 1986, crack cocaine use had reached epidemic proportions. People of every race, ethnic background, age, gender, and socioeconomic status were abusing this dangerous drug. In the early-1990s, crack cocaine was linked to the spread of HIV and AIDs, gang violence, crime, and alarming rates of addiction.

In 1997 the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) National Household Survey on Drug Abuse estimated that there were 604,000 crack cocaine users in the United States. Since the drug is so highly addictive, these users are the ones who progressed to abuse of and addiction to crack cocaine.

In 2004, 50% of all women who were being treated for crack cocaine addiction were 35 years of age and older, and 42% had been using the drug for more than 10 years. Further, 72% of all people seeking treatment for cocaine abuse or addiction used the drug’s crack version as opposed to the drug in its powder form.

If you, or someone you love, is smoking crack cocaine, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731. Change is possible with the right help!

Crack Cocaine and the Brain

Crack tastes like more, that’s all I can say. You take one hit, it’s not enough, and a thousand is not enough.
- Disclosure of a 32-year-old crack cocaine addict.

Neurobiology is the study of the human nervous system. Neurobiologists seek to discover how cells organize into functional circuits within the brain to control behavior and to process information. Scientists throughout the last several decades have worked to understand how drugs affect this circuit.

Crack cocaine has been found to be active on the brain’s limbic system that regulates pleasure and motivation. When first used, cocaine stimulates a release of dopamine, a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, reward, arousal, cognition, and motor control. A quick buildup of dopamine, without a real need for it, creates a sense of euphoria, or a pleasurable high, in its users. The positive effect also breeds an intense craving for more cocaine.

Whether smoked, snorted, or injected, crack cocaine quickly enters the bloodstream and is taken right to the brain, flooding the system with dopamine and affecting the three main parts of the limbic system: the nucleus accumbens, important memory centers (the hippocampus and the amygdala), and the frontal cortex.

Neurobiologists have found that this process is operated by a set of switches, so to speak. The “on” switch wants more of something when pleasure is experienced, and the “off” switch alerts the brain of satiation, or enough of whatever flipped the “on” switch. Repeated use of crack cocaine alters the natural functioning of these two switches. The “on” switch becomes overactive, constantly signaling the desire for more crack cocaine, and eventually overpowering the “off” switch. When the message is more, over and over, without a followup message that enough has been used, crack cocaine use progresses to abuse, and onto addiction.

This 32-year-old recovering crack cocaine addict shows the behavioral choices resulting from an impairment of the brain’s “on” and “off” switches:

Crack tastes like more, that’s all I can say. You take one hit, it’s not enough, and a thousand is not enough. You just want to keep going on and on because it’s like a 10-second head rush right after you let the smoke out and you don’t get that effect again unless you take another hit.

The feeling of euphoria felt while smoking crack cocaine ends quickly and is replaced with depression, paranoia, harsh mood swings, and anxiety. The brain’s chemistry cannot automatically resume control after the effects of crack cocaine have altered the way circuits communicate, and when the “on” and “off” shifts have been hijacked for an extended period of time.

While the cycle of crack cocaine addiction is difficult to break, there is treatment for every stage of the drug’s abuse. By calling Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731, you can find the set of programs that is right for you, or for someone in your life. Call today!

Statistics on Crack Cocaine Use

9% of all teenagers in the United States have used crack cocaine at least once.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), each year in the United States, nearly 6 million people use crack cocaine. The DEA reports that 40-50% of the world’s crack cocaine consumption takes place in North America and in 2004, people within U.S. borders spent over $36 billion on the drug.

Crack Cocaine Occasional Use Versus Addiction Rates

While the total number of actual crack cocaine abusers and addicts is difficult to establish, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) estimates that, in 2004, there were 445,000 hardcore users and 2,155,000 occasional crack cocaine users in the United States.

The Drug Use Forecasting (DUF) program, however, suggests that there are 3,103,000 hardcore crack cocaine users in the U.S. The DUF creates its statistic by compiling data from surveys of men and women as they are arrested in various city jails. Questions are asked and a urinalysis drug screen is administered as part of the study.

Cost of Crack Cocaine

The retail cost of crack cocaine, with an average purity of 57%, is anywhere between $50 and $200 per gram ($90/gram on average), and the wholesale price, with an average purity of 84%, ranges from $12,000 to $35,000 per kilogram ($23,000/kilogram on average).

When sold as crack cocaine rocks, in sizes from one-tenth to one-half of a gram, a dealer can get anywhere from $10 to $20 per rock. The high is quick, and the desire for more crack cocaine is almost instantaneous, so the average crack cocaine addict spends about $186 every week. Therefore, a lot of crack cocaine is smoked to add up to the $36 billion spent on the drug in a single year.

Demographics of Crack Cocaine Users

The 2006 Monitoring the Future study, conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), published that 9% of all teenagers in the United States have used crack cocaine or cocaine, at least once. The 2007 version of the study reported that, of all high school seniors, 3.2% had used crack cocaine at least one time.

6.9% of those between the ages of 18 and 25 have used crack cocaine within the last year.

“The first time I smoked crack cocaine, when I put the glass pipe up to my lips, it made my lips burn, it made them numb, and the smell of smoking rock cocaine or crack is gross; it is the smell that you’ll never forget. I felt glazed over and I felt like I escaped and I could just float.”

For anyone who expresses the desire to “just try” crack cocaine, it is important to be educated on the risk being taken. Even when the first experience was unpleasant for this 27-year-old female, she still went on to use crack cocaine again, and shared the story of her first time using the drug while in rehab after progressing to the point of crack cocaine addiction.

If you, or someone you know, is using crack cocaine on any level, making the call to Recovery Now TV, at 800-281-4731, could save a life.

Polydrug Use: Crack Cocaine with Other Mind-Altering Substances

When any psychoactive drugs are used together, the risk of each drug is greatly increased. Crack cocaine is highly-addictive and unpredictable in how it affects the body, so when another set of chemicals is added, a polydrug user is risking his or her life.
A friend was freebasing heavily, and he started going into convulsions and throwing up blood. It was real awful. I was really scared and I thought he was going to die. Me and my other friend, we just kept freebasing...and then when he came out of it, he started freebasing again.

Crack cocaine is a very dangerous drug. The potential side effects of its use often end in death because of an unexpected overdose. The example above, the disclosure of a 16-year-old female crack cocaine abuser, shows a case of a young man who is lucky to be alive.

When any psychoactive drugs are used together, the risk of each drug is greatly increased. Crack cocaine is highly-addictive and unpredictable in how it affects the body, so when another set of chemicals is added, a polydrug user is risking his or her life.

Often a drug user will “shop around” for a drug of choice, trying many different categories of mind-altering substances. Some people prefer the feelings of “uppers”, or stimulants like crack cocaine, cocaine, amphetamines, meth, or prescription versions (Adderall, Ritalin). For other people, the feelings provided by a “downer”, like alcohol, prescription painkillers (Vicodin, OxyContin, Norco), or prescription anti-anxiety medications (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin) seem to better fill a need.

In those times of discovery, looking to fill a bottomless void that a substance can never truly fill, many drugs are often used at once. To heighten the effects of a benzodiazepine, like Xanax, for example, a user will often combine the pills with alcohol. Two “downers” are depressing the central nervous system and the risk of respiratory and heart failure has more than doubled with the combination of these two drugs.

Cocaine is often used with heroin, in a speedball, or added to a joint and smoked with marijuana. When cocaine is used with alcohol, the goal is to reduce the effects of cocaine. In other words, when someone has smoked too much crack cocaine, alcohol will interfere with the stimulatory effects and bring that user “back down.”

As this 36-year-old female recovering crack cocaine addict shares, the desire to balance out the effects of crack cocaine, first with alcohol, and then with heroin, another “downer”, was not effective:

Crack was my drug of choice. I would have a drink to mellow myself out. If the drink wouldn’t do it, I would go get me some heroin and snort it. It would make me come down, but it would be a whole different high and it would make me feel sick because I don’t do heroin!

When crack cocaine is being abused alone or with another drug, coma, overdose, and death are all too common. To find out how to stop polydrug use, call Recovery Now TV at 800-281-4731.

Crack Cocaine Overdose

I have seen a friend go through overdose. His skin was gray-green. His eyes rolled back, his heart stopped, and there was a gurgling sound that is right at death; and I had to bring him back and that’s enough to put the fear of God in anybody.

In 2004, the use of crack cocaine played a part in 25% of all emergency room visits in each of the major U.S. cities. (Cocaine was a factor in 41%.) The likelihood of a crack cocaine overdose is extremely high because each person’s body reacts differently, and even when tolerance has developed and the body needs more of the same drug to achieve the desired effects, just one-fiftieth of a gram can cause an overdose.

While pharmaceutical drugs are equally as dangerous when abused, and the body’s reaction cannot be predicted, each pill contains a certain amount of each chemical. Crack cocaine is not created in a lab where each “dose” is carefully calculated and those making crack cocaine aren’t working with a controlled formula. Each rock of crack cocaine a person buys is, therefore, different in chemistry and might be the dose that the body adversely reacts to without warning.

Crack cocaine overdose feels like impending death, though is not always fatal. A 36-year-old crack cocaine addict shares an experience with a nearly fatal overdose:

I almost did too much and I felt after I did it, I felt my knees buckle and I fell on the toilet stool, you know. And I was just shaking, like in a convulsion, you know. And if my buddy wasn’t there to grab me and put me in the shower, I don’t know what would’ve happened.

While this man was lucky, not every case of a crack cocaine overdose has this result. Each year, it is estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 people overdose on crack cocaine and die within five hours of exposure to a lethal dose of the drug. Additionally, many more people die immediately, or within 40 minutes of the toxic dose. Studies shows that death often occurs the following morning after hours of central nervous system depression that leads to impaired respiration and coma.

The initial toxicity of a crack cocaine overdose can cause seizures, hypertension, hyperthermia, stroke, and tachycardia, or irregular heartbeat. Cocaethylene, a chemical that remains in the blood and in certain parts of the brain after crack cocaine use, is reportedly causing heart seizures or death the day after heavy drug use. This process is even more likely when crack cocaine and alcohol are used together, where the alcohol is causing even further central nervous system depression where breathing and heart functioning are dangerously impaired.

Another, more realistic, example of what happens during a crack cocaine overdose is this experience:

I have seen a friend go through overdose. His skin was gray-green. His eyes rolled back, his heart stopped, and there was a gurgling sound that is right at death; and I had to bring him back and that’s enough to put the fear of God in anybody.

When the level of toxicity is more than the body can handle, seizure, coma, and death are the effects. 2% to 10% of all constant cocaine and crack cocaine abusers experience drug-induced seizures that either cause stroke, hemorrhage, or fatality.

Crack cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs available. Casual use rarely stays that way; the progression to abuse and addiction are inevitable with this powerfully addictive drug. If you, or someone you love, is using crack cocaine at all, it is time to interfere and stop the progression before life consequences are beyond repair.

By calling the team at Recovery Now TV, at 800-281-4731, you can learn more about crack cocaine addiction, and find programs that will help you, or your loved one, stop using this awful drug. Call today and save a life!