Effects Of Crack Cocaine
The short term effects of crack cocaine can be felt upon users initial hit of crack. The individual begins to feel the effects of crack cocaine immediately; they experience an increase in energy, temperature, mental alertness, heart rate, constricted blood vessels, as well as a decrease in appetite. These temporary effects of crack cocaine are as short lived as the users high. Because crack cocaine is smoked causing it to travel through the blood up to the brain much faster than cocaine which is snorted, the user experiences these short term effects more intensely. The duration and intensity of these short term effects of crack cocaine are based on the amount of crack cocaine that is used.
The long term effects of crack cocaine affect the user physically, mentally, and emotionally. An individuals long term effects from crack cocaine vary from person to person depending on their length and intensity of abuse. In general, the long term effects of crack cocaine include restlessness, mood change, irritability, auditory hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and eventually and rather quickly, addiction.
Smoking crack cocaine combines the efficiency of intravenous administration with the relative ease of intranasal (in the nose). Facilitated by the large surface area of the lungs' air sacs, cocaine administered by inhalation is absorbed almost immediately into the bloodstream, taking only 19 seconds to reach the brain. However, only 30 to 60 percent of the available dose is absorbed due to incomplete inhalation of the cocaine-laden fumes and variations in the heating temperature.
Crack smokers achieve maximum physiological effects approximately two minutes after inhalation. Maximum psychotropic effects are attained approximately one minute after inhalation. Similar to intravenous administration, the physiological and psychotropic effects of inhaled cocaine are sustained for approximately 30 minutes after peak effects are attained.
a quarter (22%) of the cocaine emergency department mentions in 2000 are attributed
to crack cocaine. During this year, there were 39,266 crack mentions in hospital
emergency departments around the U.S.
Early Use and the Effects of Crack Cocaine
- Magnification of pleasure, euphoria
- Alertness and in some cases - hyper-alertness
- Increased and sometimes a (grandiose) sense of well being
- Decreased anxiety
- Lower social inhibitions: more sociable and talkative
- Heightened energy, self-esteem, sexuality and emotions aroused by interpersonal experiences
- Appetite loss; weight loss
Compulsive Use and the Effects of Crack Cocaine
- Extreme euphoria - "mental orgasm"
- Impaired judgment
- Hyper sexuality
- Hyper vigilance
- Extreme psychomotor activation/agitation
- Anxiety; irritability; argumentative
- Transient panic
- Terror of impending death
- Poor reality testing; delusions
- Extreme weight loss
Physical Effects of Crack Cocaine
- chronic sore throat
- shortness of breath
- lung cancer
- emphysema and other lung damage
- respiratory problems such as congestion of the lungs, wheezing, and spitting up black phlegm
- burning of the lips, tongue, and throat
- slowed digestion
- weight loss
- high incidence of dependence
- blood vessel constriction
- increased blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- brain seizures that can result in suffocation
- dilated pupils
- rise in blood sugar levels and body temperature
- disability from drug-induced health problems
- suppressed desire for food, sex, friends, family, and social contacts
- heart attack
Emotional/Psychological Effects of Crack Cocaine
- sadness and depression
- loss of interest in appearance
- loss of household valuables or unexplained vanishing cash due to the expense of the drug
- extreme paranoia
- intense craving of the drug
- schizophrenic-like psychosis with delusions and hallucinations
Crack Cocaine and Pregnancy
- increased incidence of still births
- increased incidence of miscarriages
- premature (often fatal) labor and delivery
- in males, the cocaine in crack may attach to the sperm causing damage to the cells of the fetus.
- babies exposed to cocaine experience painful and life threatening withdrawal, are irritable, have poor ability to regulate their own body temperature and blood sugar and are at increased risk of having seizures.
Effects of Crack Cocaine on the Fetus
- seizures or strokes
- cerebral palsy
- mental retardation
- vision and hearing impairments
- urinary tract abnormalities
and learning disabilities