Crack and crack addiction are serious issues in the United States. Crack, processed cocaine in rock form, is generally smoked by users and is extremely addictive – in fact, many report a physical dependence and psychological cravings for the drug after just one use. For that reason, it is extremely important to identify crack addiction warning signs as early as possible in recovery so that the individual can get the help they need as quickly as possible.
Family members and close friends of the addict may be best equipped to detect the changes in their loved one and perform a crack addiction intervention to help them into recovery.
About 500,000 Americans abuse crack every year. If one of them is you or someone you care about, contact Rehab International at the phone number listed above. Find a crack and cocaine rehab near you.
Physical crack addiction warning signs appear almost immediately after the drug has been consumed. These signs might be detected by anyone in the presence of an addict; they don’t need to know them personally to suspect that crack use may be an issue.
Some of the physical warning signs of crack addiction include the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Fast talking or general hyperactivity displayed through actions
- Hoarse speech
Not all physical signs of crack addiction are as easy to detect as the ones above. Long-term health effects can build up slowly over time, causing chronic health problems for the addict that can ultimately be deadly. Liver failure, kidney failure, respiratory issues, heart problems and more can begin or worsen with long-term crack addiction. In fact, many reports suggest that the life expectancy of those who begin using crack regularly is only five years from the onset of addiction.
Drug paraphernalia is required for crack use, and addicts can get careless about storing this paraphernalia. Loved ones and family members may find paraphernalia hidden in the addict’s belongings or stashed in the house – if this happens, it is a crack addiction warning sign and should be taken very seriously.
Here are some of the items you may find:
- White residue or burn marks on spoons
- Short, thin glass pipes that are burned at one end, often with scratches or residue
- Small baggies, packets of foil or pieces of plastic wrap, often with white residue
- Broken light bulbs with burn marks
Crack addicts will experience profound emotional effects when crack addiction is an issue and these are often exhibited through extreme lifestyle changes that are serious crack addiction warning signs. Those who know the addict best will easily pick up on the changes: current behavior under the influence of crack addiction as compared to prior behavior when addiction wasn’t a problem.
Emotional crack addiction warning signs include the following:
- Unable to sleep
- Paranoia and agitation with little or no reason
- Neglecting responsibility
- New friends who also use drugs and ignoring or isolating oneself from those who are drug-free
Addicts are not likely to admit that they need help. If you recognize crack addiction in someone that you love, the best way to help them turn their life around is to encourage them to go into a recovery program. A professional intervention may be required in order to get a crack addict into treatment, but this is essential for their health. Don’t feel guilty! This is not an ambush and it is not a judgment on them personally, contrary to what the addict will tell you. This is the only way to protect and preserve your own sanity as well as give your loved one a real shot at a balanced life without crack addiction.