While Crack Cocaine Initiates Have Dropped, this Drug is Still Ruining Lives

young man smoking crack

Between the mid-1980s and 2002, hundreds of thousands of Americans started using crack cocaine each year. This number finally began to decline and by 2010, fewer than 100,000 people were starting to use crack cocaine each year. This is one of the best things that could happen in this country because of the ravages created by crack, both to the body and to the user’s life.

The changes that occur in the life of a habitual crack user are rather staggering.

Crack symptoms include:

  • Cardiac and vascular damage
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Stroke
  • Stomach perforations
  • Birth defects
  • Lung problems including what’s called “crack lung”: scarring, difficulty breathing, severe pain, cough
  • Risky sexual activity including unprotected sex or prostitution especially among women

Plenty of Mental Damage Occurs, Too

Mental ravages include deep depression as the brief high of crack cocaine wears off, paranoia, mania and compulsive behavior. One type of compulsive behavior noted was the searching for misplaced pieces of crack rock. One study of 41 crack addicts found that the average time spent searching for lost crack rocks was 90 minutes.

Delusion, agitation, violence and suicidal or homicidal thinking were noted among crack users. While some of these symptoms are also associated with powder cocaine use, with crack users, the symptoms tend to be more intense.

Each month, about a million and a half people use cocaine, with as many as three-quarters of crack users reporting that they smoke it.

Crack Symptoms Can Be Relieved Through Effective Rehab

Once a person stops using crack, it does not mean that all the damage done by the drug immediately heals. Recovering from addiction takes time and work. But the payoff is worth it when a person learns to live a drug-free life and accordingly, stays sober after graduation from rehab. A short, 28-day rehab is unlikely to make this much change on a person who has been abusing crack cocaine for the past few years. Many simple life skills have been lost during that time. The addicted person feels guilty about the things they have done, whether it was harming someone else or just contributing to their own decline. There is a terrible loss of personal integrity and also the depression that normally occurs after stopping use or crack cocaine.

The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program provides recovery even from an addiction as severe as crack cocaine. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long-term program with a way of restoring integrity and self-esteem and methods of teaching a person the life skills he or she has lost. That is what Narconon centers have been offering for more than forty-five years. Narconon reviews from families state that they have their loved ones back after losing them to addiction.

The Narconon New Life Detoxification Program is a big step forward in recovery. This intensive detox program uses a low heat sauna, generous nutritional supplements, moderate daily exercise and strict supervision to help each person flush out old drug toxins. A trained staff member at Narconon reviews every day’s progress to make sure the program is done properly.

As drugs have a natural affinity for fats, the residues of drug use tend to become lodged in fatty tissues. When these residues are flushed, each person recovers much of his or her ability to think clearly again. Emotions are more like they were before drug use. Many people say that the sharp cravings for cocaine either greatly reduce or go away. This is a key point of a long-lasting sobriety.

Find out how someone you care about who is struggling with crack cocaine addiction can recover with the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.


Sue Birkenshaw

Sue has worked in the addiction field with the Narconon network for three decades. She has developed and administered drug prevention programs worldwide and worked with numerous drug rehabilitation centers over the years. Sue is also a fine artist and painter, who enjoys traveling the world which continues to provide unlimited inspiration for her work. You can follow Sue on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.