Cocaine is almost always snorted. ‘Normal’ coke cannot be smoked. Dissolving this snorted cocaine in water, mixing it with a strong base (such as stomach salt, ammonia, or soda), and then filtering it, creates crack, also known as basecoke. This processed form of cocaine can be smoked. Crack is a white or clear lump containing cocaine. It is smoked from a pipe or inhaled from aluminum foil that is heated.
After using basecoke, the substance is processed in the body in exactly the same way as ‘normal’ cocaine. The big difference between base coke and “normal” coke lies in the speed of its action. By smoking a substance, the active substances are absorbed much faster into the bloodstream. This makes the effects many times more intense and powerful, but also much shorter.
Effects of crack
The effects of crack are very similar to those of normal cocaine. You feel the effects within seconds. The high, also called flash with crack, is short lived: a few minutes at most. However, these effects are much stronger than with regular coke. A few minutes after smoking it, the pleasant and exhilarating effects disappear. The stimulating effects have not yet worn off: the user begins to feel overexcited, irritable and restless. Depressive and negative feelings also take over during this crash.
The user feels downright worthless during the crash, which makes the temptation to take another hit very strong and often even irresistible. It is common for people to keep using over and over again for this reason, sometimes for days at a time. From hit to hit and from flash to crash. Until the user can do no more and literally falls over from physical fatigue.
- high energy and increased stamina
- drop of fatigue
- considerably increased heart rate and blood pressure
- accelerated and shallow breathing
- dilated pupils
- shaky and woozy
- decreased pain threshold
- secreased appetite Increased body temperature and heavy sweating
- dry mouth and very thirsty
- greater desire for sex
- excited and euphoric feeling
- uninhibited and energetic feeling
- reduced anxiety
- increased self-confidence
- thinking seems faster and easier
- self-aggrandizement Restless and agitated feelings
- sometimes a turn to aggression
Is crack addictive?
Yes; crack is one of the most addictive drugs out there (along with heroin, crystal meth and nicotine), both physically and mentally. The flash gives such a euphoric and blissful feeling and the crash is so unpleasant and annoying that users keep using, over and over again.
By using crack regularly you develop almost immediate tolerance: your body gets used to the substance immediately and you need an increasingly higher dose to achieve the same effect. You also experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Severe depressive feelings, extreme fatigue, trembling, shivering and physical pain make withdrawal from crack particularly challenging.
Crack is especially “popular” among homeless people, often in combination with heroin. The vast majority of crack use takes place in major cities.
Risks of crack use
In addition to the enormous risk of developing a physical and/or mental addiction, the long-term use of crack has a number of known risks:
- aggressive and short-tempered behavior, often combined with distrust, confusion and anxiety.
- serious risks of heart problems, such as arrhythmias, strokes and heart attacks.
- extreme fatigue and physical exhaustion.
- damage to the respiratory system from the chemical smoke.
- severe depressive feeling
- a high risk of causing harm to yourself or those around you: because of crack, people are overconfident and it makes it more difficult to assess risks.
- reduced appetite and therefore serious physical weakness.
- psychosis, paranoia and delusions
In order to detoxify your body in a safe way, rehab under medical supervision is essential. Your body has had to deal with a hefty amount of toxins during addiction. In addition, frequent use of crack affects the brain. Detoxing from it means not only a physical but also a mental blow.
Common crack withdrawal symptoms
If you’re going through a physical withdrawal from crack, you’ll feel lame, as if you’re coming down with a bad flu. Not only are you very tired, but you may also start to tremble and suffer from muscle weakness. On a psychological level, the effects are even more pervasive. Negative psychological effects that can occur are:
- anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure anymore)
- severe nightmares
- mood disorders and irritability
- extreme cravings for crack
What can we do for you?
The first step you need to take is to overcome your physical addiction through crack detox. To do this, we offer you a safe and controlled environment in which our specialized doctors and nurses constantly monitor you. This way we avoid risks and moreover we can support you in the detox process. During the detox, you will also receive psychological counseling and we will draw up a plan for a follow-up trajectory aimed at preventing relapse.