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Crack Cocaine Addiction, Abuse and Treatment

Crack Cocaine Addiction, Abuse and Treatment drug rehabilitation and alcohol rehabilitation

Crack cocaine is a universal problem in most countries. Crack cocaine was very popular in US in the 80s. It was a common drug of abuse in most inner cities. Its use declined in the early 90s mainly due to the anti-drug campaigns and increasing policing. However, the last decade has seen a resurgence of the crack cocaine epidemic. The drug has again become widely available and the use has increased exponentially.



Crack use has always been associated with inner city abusers, poverty and crime, unlike powder cocaine, which is perceived to be a drug of middle class America and associated with wealth and glamour. In addition, the legal penalties for crack possession are much harsher than those for possession of powder cocaine.


The US justice department statistics indicate that about 1-2 million people regularly use crack. The crack cocaine industry is a billion dollar industry and accounts as the number one export of Columbia.


Crack Cocaine?

The chemical cocaine hydrochloride is commonly known as crack. Some users chemically process cocaine in order to remove the hydrochloride. It is called "crack" because it snaps/cracks when heated and smoked. Crack is often available in small vials and sold in small quantities, usually 300-500mg. Each of these vials can afford 2-4 inhalations. The majority of cocaine is smuggled into the US from Mexico and South America. It is brought in by air, land or sea. Seizures by law enforcement indicate that tons of cocaine is smuggled in by the Mexican and Columbian Drug Cartels.


Crack has become the drug of choice for many users and the use is especially more common in the inner city, among socially disadvantaged youths and the poor. Unlike powder cocaine, Crack's convenience, ease of concealment, wide availability, and low cost has increased its use.


How Does Crack Work?

Crack affects both the central nervous and the autonomic nervous systems. Crack mimics the neurotransmitters which controls these systems. In summary, the levels of neurotransmitters which are stimulatory are increased by using crack cocaine.


The Difference Between Crack and Cocaine?

Crack is made from cocaine in a process called freebasing, whereby the cocaine powder is mixed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate to create rocks, chips, or powder which can be snorted or smoked. Crack is usually smoked in a pipe. The smoking usually is associated with an intense high but unlike cocaine, its effects are short lived. During smoking, the degree of intoxication with crack occurs in a few seconds and last for 10-20 minutes. The immediate effects of crack include a heightened sense of pleasure, euphoria, feels of grandiosity, euphoria, social inhibitions and increased energy.


What are the side effects of crack cocaine?

Crack cocaine can affect various organ systems and the side effects are numerous. It can cause:

  • Increase blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increase breathing rates
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety and hyperactivity
  • Convulsions
  • Decrease appetite
  • Decrease the need for sleep
  • Damage the nasal septum and lungs
  • Cause heart attacks and strokes


Because crack is rapidly absorbed in the body in high levels, the chances of overdosing are also high. Once the intense high subsides, a feeling of depression then sets in therefore making the user want to use the drug again. During the crack high, users have decreased concentration and can be irritable. Frequent use of cocaine is associated with a paranoid psychoses, hallucinations and violent behavior.


Because crack cocaine is combined with a number of impure substances, the chances of side effects and toxicity are always present. In addition, the toxicity of crack is always increased because the majority of crack users also abuse other illicit drugs.


Addiction Treatment

Crack Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. Even with short term use, many individuals experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the crack. The symptoms are more pronounced in individuals who have been using crack for a long time and in high doses.


Individuals addicted to crack are unable to improve without medical treatment. The physical and psychological dependence of crack is intense and most find it difficult to get out of the addictive cycle. The withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings, irritability, hunger, anxiety and paranoia. These feelings prevent the individual from stopping use of crack.


Crack cocaine treatment is best done as an inpatient. The treatment is done with a multidisciplinary team that may require the use of behavior, drugs and improvements in the social status of the patient.


Hospital Admissions

Crack cocaine related admissions to hospitals are on an increase in most States. Most hospital data reveal that crack associated health problems are on the increase and numerous individuals are admitted via the emergency because of severe withdrawal symptoms.


Numerous medical data indicate that crack is not safe for use during pregnancy. There has been a very high incidence of still births, miscarriages, premature labor, babies born with numerous organ defects in women who consume crack during pregnancy


What are the legal consequences of crack cocaine?

Simple possession of Crack cocaine is associated with a harsh mandatory minimum sentence. Depending on the judge, “Simple possession of any quantity of any other substance by a first-time offender-including powder cocaine is a misdemeanor offense punishable by a maximum of one year in prison."


In federal court today, low-level crack dealers and first-time offenders sentenced for trafficking of crack cocaine receive an average sentence of 10 years and six months. This prison sentence is much severe and harsher then for individuals sentenced for rape, murder and even possession of weapons.


Legislation

The Harrison Act in 1914 banned the non-medical use of cocaine; prohibited its importation; imposed the same criminal penalties for cocaine users as for opium, morphine, and heroin users; and required a strict accounting of medical prescriptions for cocaine. Congress classified it as a Schedule II substance in 1970. In most states, Crack cocaine has been the primary drug involved in Federal drug arrests and drug trafficking.



References

  1. Baigent, Michael (2003). Physical complications of substance abuse: what the psychiatrist needs to know. Curr Opin Psychiatry 16 (3): 291-296.
  2. NDIC (2006). "National Drug Threat Assessment 2006".
  3. Jacobson, Robert. "Illegal Drugs: America's Anguish". Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2006
  4. Macko, Steve. "Colombia's new breed of drug trafficker", Emergency Response and Research Institute, Chicago, Friday, July 17, 1998.
  5. Gawin. FH. (1991). “Cocaine addiction: Psychology and neurophysiology”. Science 251: 1580–1586.

Sobriety Help and Education

Topic Discussion

  1. Addict

    my friend smoked crack cocain for over twenty years he said he just stop but I believe he is still doing it he moved out. can a person using drugs over twenty years just stop and still have the same friends and not smoke without treatment. I am trying to see if he needs help

    • Addict

      absolutely not....your friend needs help there is no way an addict can just turn around and say they quit after 20 years. they may want to stop but they must seek professional help in order to be able to cope without and as for hanging with the same friends if you ask me will just lead to more crack use and nothing good will come out of it. He needs to trash the junkie friends and start a new chapter...maybe find some hobbies.? im just sayin My man was addicted for three years and i had to leave him because he swore he could stop on his own but it was only getting worse....to this day i do not know of his where abouts because i had to leave for my son. and for Anthony my boyfriend went in jail too and for him they simply made him wait it out they didnt really do anything i mean at least for him.

    • Addict

      HI MY NAME IS CHERYL. I HAVE BEEN A CRACK ADDICT FOR 26 YEARS. I HAVE QUIT AND I HAVE GONE BACK ON IT. OFF AND ON IT HAS BEEN A ROLLER-COASTER. I STARTED USING IN THE YEAR OF 1985 AND I WAS 26 YRS. OLD. I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD DO THAT TO ME. I HAVE BEEN IN JAIL AND I EVEN HAD TO GO PRISON. MY LIFE HAS BEEN PURE HELL. I HAVE LOST SO MUCH BECAUSE OF CRACK. I HAVE HAD GOOD JOBS TAKEN FROM ME BECAUSE I DECIDED TO TAKE THAT FIRST HIT. I HAVE LOST GOOD PLACES TO LIVE, BECAUSE I DECIDED TO TAKE THAT FIRST HIT. EVERY RELATIONSHIP THAT I HAVE HAD IT HAS BEEN WITH A MAN THAT USES DRUGS. THAT IS NOT HEALTHY. I AM A BELIEVER IN GOD. I ALWAYS TURN TO GOD AND ASK HIM WHY ME? WHY DID I HAVE TO BE THE ONE THAT FALL? I ASK WHY DO I HAVE TO BE THIS WAY? I LOOK AT MY SELF SOMETIMES LIKE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. THEY WANDERED IN THE WILDERNESS FOR 40 YEARS. I HAVE BEEN WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS FOR 26 YEARS. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD. I CANNOT SIT HERE AND LIE TO YOU AND SAY I HAVE CLEANED UP MY LIFE. I ONLY CAN SAY IT HAS DONE WITH THE HELP OF THE FATHER. IT IS HARD. IT IS SCARY. BUT ME, I HAVE TO HOLD ON TO GOD BECAUSE HE IS THE ONE THAT WILL SEE ME THROUGH. RIGHT NOW I AM IS COLLEGE. I AM TRYING TO DO THE BEST I CAN. AGAIN I STRONGLY BELIEVE GOD. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD IF I ONLY BELIEVE. GOD HAS BROUGHT ME THIS FAR, AND I DON'T BELIEVE HE IS GOING TO FORSAKE ME. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I WAS WRONG FOR ALL THE THINGS I'VE DONE. AGAIN EVERYDAY I STRUGGLE. ONE DAY I'M GOING TO GO AND TELL MY STORY. I WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE THAT IS STRUGGLING WITH CRACK.

      • Addict

        Cheryl,

        I read your story and it hit Home because it sounded just like mine...I really don't know where to turn. I've been to Rehabs, jail, prison and lost everything and everyone. You know the story. I really wonder if I'll ever get the strength to quit...HELP

        • Addict

          Cheryl! You are WONDERFUL!!! Don't ever feel that you have to be in a certain position to help someone. Your story and life and testimony are HELP ENOUGH! You tell people that want to and those that YOU FEEL NEED TO KNOW where you been and where you are now and HOW AND WHO got you to where are you are today! That is your testimony and it HELPS EVERYONE!

          CONGRATULATIONS SURVIVOR!

        • Addict

          I have been doing crack for fifteen years and just recently decided enough was enough. I went to rehab and left the man I love with all my heart but he does drugs too. I was told two addicts can't be together and just wondered if it's possible for both of us to change and live together

      • Addict

        Dear Cheryl, when I read your comment I started crying because I could have written those exact words. We are blessed because this hideous disease has strengthened our relationship with God. All things are possible with HIM! I trust HIM, he isn't done with us yet. Good for you...going to college. I have so many dreams that have been trampled on by this addiction. I often times want to die after a binge and I have to remember that would not be God's plan. Satan loves to use addiction as his tool and I'm not falling for it. No weapon forged against me shall Prosper! Isaiah 54:17 Keep on keeping on and God Bless you!!!

    • Addict

      I have smoked crack for 20+ years and just quit. I now have 130 days clean and sober. The most I have had in those years was 12 months and I was in prison those 12 months. I have had periods of sobriety since I got out of prison in 2008 but this is the longest I have made it. I don't go to NA meetings but I do attend church 3 times a week and speak with a Substance Abuse Counselor once a week. I read my Bible every day and pray every time I feel like I want to use and God helps me and takes away the craving. I do work the 12 Steps with my pastor when we meet once a week. I have an awesome support group and believe that if you want sobriety bad enough you can attain it. However, you cannot go to the places you hung out or hang out with old using buddies. You have to change everything about your life or it doesn't work.

  2. Addict

    My sister in law is addicted to crack and is now in jail, what kind of treatment will they do for the withdrawal symptoms? Any advice is very helpful.

  3. Addict

    Ok so my mother has been on crack for around 13 yrs and i am affraid that if she doesnt stop she will die soon. The bad part is not only is she axdicted to the drug but also the life style. She recently got off the streets and stoped selling her body for crack and is now living in an appartment on her own. The problem is the hole appartment complex is nothing but crack users and im not sure how she has been paying her rent because she dont work. But now she is about to lose her home and go back to the streets because she wont stop smoking. I ont know what to do to get her clean she is almost 46 yrs old and looks like shes 60 and has soooo many health problems. 8 yrs ago my brother passed away from drugs and that didnt make het stop she even went to a crack house between showings. I jus had my first baby 6 months ago and that hasnt made her change. I just dont know what else to do. She has been almost beatin to death, almost died due to bleeding ulcers in her stomach due to smoking, and never knows when she will get her next meal. She been to jail to many times to count and that has no effect on her. Im affraid my mom will die soon and i just want to help her. Is there anyone that can offer me some advice? Please

    • Addict

      It's very sad to know that your mother is addicted to cocaine to such an extent. If you want to help her try gaining her confidence and take her to some good rehab center where she will get proper care and treatment.

    • Addict

      I'm reading your post several years later, and I so hope that your mother has changed. So many sad stories can be told about this drug, and the effects on the person and the surroundings are unbelievable. My heart goes out to you! Let me start by saying that my dad was a teenager of the 70's, and cocaine was at the all-time high. Everyone did it then, and no one knew how bad it really was. Come on...it was the hippie years.... eventually...the snorting turned into crack use, and his whole life went downhill. He lost his job, he lost friends, he lost his home, and he lost his family. My dad is now 60, and for the past three years he has been clean. He is finally getting back on track, and he just stopped out of the blue. (Previously, he was to several intakes and clinics, and nothing worked.) When I had my first child in 2000 I thought that would be leverage to get him to stop, but it didn't.

      My Husband
      Back in 1993 I met the man of my life.... he was a great man, and a great provider... He knew about my father’s problems... he supported me and seemed wonderful... About 6 years ago he became depressed, and he got in with the wrong crowd. He started smoking crack! I was amazed! How could he do this? He saw my father go down the drain... Why in the world would a wonderful man go down this dangerous path? I can't understand it... It was draining, it’s dangerous, and he is a different person one the drug. He will be good for a month and then he will go on a run.... he will be missing for days on end...eventually he comes home depressed, paranoid, angry... the cycle hasn't stopped.... I am scared for my family because he gets the drug fronted when he runs out of money and the dealer comes to my house. (We have two children now) My son is 12 now, and our daughter is 9.... I'm still in disbelief after 6 years on this roller coaster... Well this past Friday my husband had 3200 dollars saved for Christmas.... he decided to go on a "RUN" and he didn't come home until this morning.... I told him he couldn't live with us anymore unless he tried rehab (I am not sure rehab will work, but he went) He is actually in a mental health / substance abuse clinic as I type... My DAD IS CLEAN now and hopefully my husband will be too... Let's just believe in GOD, accept Jesus as his son, and pray pray pray... I wish this drug would go away! Good luck to everyone that struggles with this problem...

      • Addict

        All of these stories have really touched me. I am currently engaged to a crack addict. When I first met him I didn't know anything about it. He has been such a wonderful man and provider for our family. I learned of the addiction when he didn't show up for certain events. He's very typical so when he goes on a binge it is always evident. He has been in and out of jail due to bad habits and it has just been a roller coaster. He has had months of sobriety outside of jail then he relapses. He's always felt that he can do it himself but he always ends up doing it again. He lost his truck due to an accident following a binge and is now riding the bus. He's tried avoiding the areas but runs into crack users on the bus. I have strained my brain trying to think of what would work. If we move, put him in a new setting....but then I though, there's crack everywhere. Don't know if it would make a difference...

        He went away the other night for the first time in in a month and sold all the valuables he had on him to include my iPod. I am so worried about him and just really at a cross road because we just went through marital counseling, wedding date planned, told all of our family. If we don't do it this time, this would be the second time engagement put off. Tired of looking like a fool, trying to make things right in the eyes of my girls since we've been living together. Just a mess. He's been smoking weed these last few days after promising to not do any drugs. I'm tired but then I love him.....almost feeling like I have become addicted through all this crap....I can't really talk to anyone because I just don't feel that they would understand. Don't want them looking at me crazy....it's just hard...

        We have a 19 and 12 year old whom just lost their natural father and him and I have been together for almost five years. Can someone please give me advice on what I should do? He's ready to go into rehab....

  4. Addict

    Brittney,
    All i can say is your mother needs help right now or she is most likely going to die....She has to be willing to do this for herself or it will never work.An intervention on the part of the family will help as it addresses her fears head on.It still has to be up to her.The statistics are not good but she has a one in four chance of recovery.You as a family need to be behind her 100% if she decides on recovery.Do not judge her on her addiction as it is the addiction talking not your mom.Try and get her into a detox for a week to get it out of her system.Their are 28 day programs that will help her get involved with NA.If she is as far along in the addiction as you say i would recommend a long term facility that will work on her and what is going on with her.They can range from 6 weeks to 52 weeks of intensive therapy.I did 20 weeks at a facility where drugs or alcohol were not talked about much.The focus was on life and where i came from and what i endured...I did a lot of inner child work.The treatment worked for me...all i can say it is not an easy fix as my addiction still lurks in the background just waiting to take over...I attend AA and NA 3 or 4 times a week.I live one day at a time...I am sober today but cannot promise about tomorrow.I just have carry on with what i did today and build on that .If i do i stand a very good chance of living a fulfilling life!!All you can do is never give up on her as she is a sick human at this point ...no different than if she had cancer or any other deadly disease.Because that is what it is a disease!!!!!!!!!

  5. Addict

    Waynw,

    Thank you for sharing your story! It shows that you are on your way to recovery and its very encouraging to read. My sister who I love tremendously has been using on and off for over fifteen years crack and the drugs that come along with that lifestyle. My mother and I have always talked about finding her some sort of long term treatment but we don't have the funds to pay for a private facility. Could you please guide me as to how to find a long term facility of intensive therapy. We live in Florida..Thank you again!

  6. Addict

    I think it is a excuse to continue to do drugs. My husband has been on crack some 10+ years and I'm fed up with it and I'm tired of the excuses. Need to grow up and realize what's important in life and it's definitely not crack.

  7. Addict

    Look I am looking for something that will help my husband take this away. I know there is no easy fix or cure for this addiction but I am so desperate to have any answer to this.Nothing seems to matter to him, when I met him he was such a family man and now he has withdrawn from everyone except the drug dealers and the other drug users. I have often contemplated having the police or drug task force get involved in this. I attempted a few months ago to get him to go to a rehab and while i was doing that he admitted himself into then hospital, but that only lasted a week and he made every excuse in the book not to go into treatment.My thing is he only went into the hospital to take a little break from it all because he smoked up so much money in a 24 hr period.He just keeps going back and I love him so much and I think i am more scared to leave him because you see he has 2 sons that live here with us and If I leave they will really have no one, there mom passed away almost 6 yrs ago. I just don't know what to do anymore can someone please give me some advice on how to handle this. I am going crazy.

    • Addict

      Dawn,

      Try setting up an Intervention. Call 1-800-559-9503 and let them help set you up with an intervention specialist in your area. The specialist can provide you with the tools needed in order to have a successful intervention.

      Sometimes it takes confronting the addict and making them see how much their drug use is hurting the ones they love in order for them to truly want to get help. Do not try to do an intervention by yourself. You really need a professional.

      Wishing You Luck
      Autumn

  8. Addict

    I believe my girlfriend's mom is going through with drawls.Both her parents have a bad drug history her and her sisters were taking away because they'd leave them alone for days at a time with no food, and they'd sit there and watch them shoot up and smoke and all that stuff and eventually DFS took them and put them in a group home were her and I met. Her parents have "been clean" for that past 3 yrs after her dad got cancer we let her parents move in but kicked her dad out after he got caught shoplifting when we got his stuff he had his medicine and new needles they said that he told them he was diabetic which was a lie so we automatically new he was apparently still doing drugs then we packed his stuff we found the burnt spoons her mom claims 2 not no anything so she gave her the benefit of the doubt and let her stay with us well going on 2 or 3 days after we kicked her husband out and she has no money and no form of transportation while my girlfriend and I are at work shes stuck at the house and she starts feeling bad and its simply gotten worse she has all of the symptoms listed above plus a few more its going on two in a half weeks now and none of this over the counter medicine that shes getting and going through like there's no tomorrow has not helped her in the least bit....prob. because its not going to but maybe I'm wrong highly doubt it but is there anything else that could poss. make her feel all of the ways above?

  9. Addict

    What is Crack Cocaine? I know crack is a drug. Cocaine is a drug too. Is “Crack Cocaine” a mixture of both?

    • Addict

      crack is the pure rock substance of cocaine. crack is smoked and cocaine is snorted

  10. Addict

    For the past 10 months I have lived with a man in his 50s (my same age) who has been a crack addict for over 20 years. When we first met and started living together I had no idea he was using crack or any other substance. He has not been able to hold a job, is always asking for money, says he loves me and wants our relationship to work but I can see where crack gets in the way of being able to make better decisions and think clearly. He can be very kind and loving, but out of the blue he will disappear, not answer his cell when I call, stays away for 8 to 72 hours at a time (72 hours has become very rare).

    Lately he has been more moody and aggressive, yells a lot, blames me for everything, will not allow me to explain myself or talk, yet he wants to talk up a storm and I'm to listen. He makes very little sense at times and it concerns me.

    When he is able to get a part time job (lawn work, house painting, etc.) he will not share money with me. I have paid rent and all other bills (including food) for these past 10 months with the promise that as soon as he gets work, he will pitch in and pay his fair share. As it now looks, this will never happen. When he gets paid he takes off for up to 2 days and smokes his whole check away.

    I'm not only tired from this, but I'm sick from it. I have not had a happy day over the past 10 months, the weekends are bad, I cry way too often, I feel used and continuously lied to by him. I have no trust for him. This past weekend he finished a 2 week job. He called to say he was on his way home, yet never showed up. He's been gone for over 24 hours now. I'm depressed, feel no hope, have a fear of losing my job due to the lack of sleep and depression.

    It's hard for me to just "kick" him out. I have truly love this man, but I can't live like this. It's terribly painful to break away from him. I worry about him, knowing that he's not even thinking of me, and he knows the hell he puts me through when he refuses to answer my phone calls. Of all the men that I have known, he is the one that I have been able to connect with the most. We have so much in common and can get along so well, but I have never been a substance abuser and I feel so uncomfortable in his world of friends who share his addiction. From what I have seen, he seems to be getting worse and using more often. This really scares me. Why am I putting up with him? I am afraid he will harm himself and I am afraid to lose him.

    • Addict

      hey. i just was trying to do research on this whole subject . and came across your post. and some stuff you mention are 100% true in my case with my bf too. I am not a user and know very little about it,. (that's why I'm researching it) cause i feel hes just telling me and others what they want to hear. but the behavior you mention is dead on. I'm wondering if we could discuss privately with emails and not on public forum. I love my bf so much, but I'm afraid its all a lie, its the crack that's telling me what i need to hear to stay.

      • Addict

        I am in the same boat. Doing research because I have never been exposed in my world to all this. Been involved with this man for over a year and just found out the last six months that he uses crack cocaine on a regular basis. Need to talk to someone to help me understand when I am being an enabler. I believe that I have co-dependent behavior. Just want to hear from someone that is going through the same things.

    • Addict

      Similar situation here... I met a woman who I knew had a history of crack addiction and even spent time in prison over it. She is wonderful and bright and beautiful and a joy to be with when she is sober. But like your bf, sometimes she just disappears for 24-36 hours. She doesn't call or answer calls or texts. She has done this now about once every 1-2 months. It's a cycle. Without help, I know she won't stop. I have told her that it is not so much what she is doing or where she is as much as her leaving me in the complete lurch that hurts me so much. I have told her that she can call me anytime from anywhere and I will come get her no questions asked. But she never does.

      I am not there yet, but I know that without her getting help I will have to break it off. I can't live like that because I feel degraded and I know I am worth more than that. I am in counseling now and that has helped a lot.

      It is of little comfort to be told that this behavior has nothing to do with you. At one level this is true. But the effect it has on you and me makes it everything to do with us. Your bf and my gf are, in many ways, addictions to us. The payback of them being sober and nice is worth the pain. For now.

      But it can't be forever. Not for our own good.

    • Addict

      I've been with the same type of man he could never hold a job and what money he did get from odd jobs and didn't want to give me anything if he wasn't high on crack he was drunk his family put off on me because they didn't want to be brother with him they even quit answer the phones he would disappear I basically on my own I didn't know if he was dead or alive have of the time he show up at the front door three days later I put with that for three years he would nice one minute and mean the next.

  11. Addict

    To whom it may concern:
    I am a recovering drug addict. I was hooked on cocaine for 10+ yrs..then I was clean for two..then on crack for 3..I am currently clean and sober...I have the desire to stay that way..but only for the fact that I want more out of life. There are usually emotional issues with a drug addict that needs addressed because he/she feels that they need to "escape:" life. I am not good at coping with stress, so I used. There were a couple other emotional issues too. The main thing is that I went through a lot and it has been a struggle. I gave birth to my son in rehab, luckily I could keep him with me. I fooled myself and others for a while, as a "closet smoker" I thought as long as I could keep up the charade and use every now and then I would be okay. We all know that it turned into every day. I did it when I didn't have my kids with me every chance that I got. Finally, when my mom stepped in and took my children from me(she threatened cops and CPS if I tried to take them back) My whole world came crashing down. I decided then and there I want a life for myself and my children. It pains me to talk about this because they were deprived of things that others had.. My children were well taken care of physically and for the most part financially. They had all the gadgets(the ones I didn't pawn for my drug) Emotionally, however, I was unavailable. It was devastating for my little girl who is older. It made me look at myself in the mirror, which is the point I am getting at. Most drug users avoid their emotions and contemplation of their lives. For those of you wanting to help an addict, I suggest you find a way to make this happen. Also, I want to add that "tough love" is good, but too tough can be devastating to an addict. If you are being lied to, stolen from, taken advantage of, or even physically abused it is okay to cut the user from your life. I feel that you can still be supportive from afar. LET THE ADDICT KNOW YOU STILL CARE!!! but you're done being taken for granted. Set rules, they don't follow, consequences or no contact. When you're on the receiving end of the addict I realize it can be just as bad, if not worse, than the addiction. You are probably co-dependent and angry. So instead of focusing your anger on the addict and calling them names like "crack-head" and so on let them know you care and love them, but you cannot be part of their lives if crack is in it. I just wanted to give you some suggestions because I am doing well now that my co-dependent mother is supporting me instead of slamming me. Please think about my point of view as an addict even if you don't agree. Although I am not using I still have the mind of an addict. I know that any day could be a relapse, so like the other post, I have to take one day at a time. Good luck on your endeavors! God Bless!! :)

    • Addict

      wow! first of all i would like to thank u for sharing. your story is so similar to my fiance. she is a good woman other than the crack. if there's anything else u can share with me, i'd owe u my life. all i want is to be happy with her but she keeps going back to the drugs. please help me understand this because i am trying to support her because i love her so much. she's now in a 1 yr god base drug treatment. this is the last draw for me. if she break my heart one more time, i'm done. i just don't have anything left to give her. thank u in advance for your insight.

    • Addict

      Thank u so much for sharing your side. I am the girlfriend of an addict and I am finally taking the tough love steps. For the first few roller coasters in our relationship I didn't know "how" to handle the problem so I just hoped it would get better each time he "promised" to stop...two jail trips later he is now in rehab voluntarily and seems to be doing much better..he is finally opening up to me about his fears and signs or clues for me to be watching for. He really WANTS a normal life! Wish us luck..we are taking it one day at a time...together!

    • Addict

      Perhaps you can assist...my uncle has been addicted for over 20 years...he uses...gets arrested...goes to jail and a year later we always hear, "I'm clean and want to get my life together." My other family members believe him EVERYTIME but not me. I learned 15 years ago he only tells them what he knows they want to hear. They let him in, he steals from them and he is gone until the next time. So please help me understand? If you get clean, get on your feet, what sends him back out there? I understand addiction, but what drives people to use a drug when they see BEFORE they try it the first time, the devastating effect it can have on not only their lives but their friends and families?

  12. Addict

    the problem is my husband know i care that is why he keeps hurting us over and over.... i really do not know what to do ... i kicked him out a couple of days a go i just can not take it any more he is on heroin when do have Suboxone and he binges out on crack... he is 45 years old been clean for a while but he always crashes and when he crashes he crashes hard.

  13. Addict

    I have known this guy for almost 15years my first love. He started using dope, crack shortly after we broke then and he has relapsed several times and now he has been clean for 11months and i know they aren't suppose to have serious relationship while they go thru recovery. Me and him ended up have feelings for each other but he end it because he wants to fix himself while In recovery. So we don't talk to each other. Is it possible for us to even to get together again. I know everyone is different. I really care for him and I think he cared for me that he pushed me away so he can recover he didn't want to interfere.

  14. Addict

    I just recently found out from my daughter that she is addicted to meth, cocaine, and pills. I had thought it but up until the other day she had always denied it. She comes to me wanting help, so she says but everything I offer shes not willing to do. She tells me if she doesn't stop she is going to end up in jail or dead and she is scared but she don't know how to fix this. When I tell her she needs o go in rehab she says she don't have insurance, she can't afford to lose her job, she can't afford to lose her house, she blew what little bit of money she had saved. She tells me how embarrassed she is and how she don't know if she can deal with it if people find out that she has these problems. I know that she is still lying to me on some of the stuff she is telling but I how far can I push to make her get help without pushing her so faraway that she feels that she can't come to me for help. Please post any advice, thanks.

  15. Addict

    hi my name is john and I'm a crack user i feel as though i have two people living in me one part is happy go lucky give you the shirt off my back the other is a crack smoking demon that don't care about anyone or thing unless I'm smoking it i procrastinate on help I'm lost.

  16. Addict

    I was addicted to crack for 2 years ... I got involved due to stupidity and loneliness ..... then about 4 years ago my dad had a stroke so i moved back near home I was still involved with the drug for 2 more years then I stopped feeling sorry for myself and focused myself entirely on making sure my parents looked after i have now been clean for almost 3 years ... I still think about the dark days at times but i will not give in ... I have a full time decent paying job now . I guess i am one of the lucky few

  17. Addict

    This articles sorta stupid. While Crack is and most definitely was a problem, there's no point targeting crack on it's own now. Crack statistics are so low, the government doesn't even release it individually, instead focusing on "cocaine" (in reality, HCl is just as addictive chemically). 15% of people who've used crack are addicted (do some number crunching), and numbers are falling anyways (it's a pointless drug, people are realizing). Anyways, that said in 2004 (UK) 148 people died of cocaine inc crack. This was within the 14million users. Meanwhile, 6544 alcohol deaths in the same year (40 million users). So 1/95000 cocaine users died, while 1/6000 alcohol users died.

  18. Addict

    I do not know what to do anymore. My sister who was a recovered crack addict for many yrs. has started again. She has MS and is in a wheelchair. Her MS has progressed terribly since she begun using again. After her husband passed away, she met a DJ who used cocaine, within 6 months she was back on crack. She must weigh 90 lbs. if that much. She leaves for days and comes back like a maniac, screaming, yelling about the most trivial things, calling us names, etc. I am watching her die. Literally. We have no money for rehab, nor will she admit to using again. We know better. I found a crack pipe in her bag. Her response was it wasnt hers and she threw it out (I am sure she many others where that one came from) as though that would suppress my suspicion or accusation. When not on crack, she is one of the most loving, compassionate and sweetest people I ever knew, but on crack, she is treacherous! I do not know what to do! We live together, me, my mom and my sister, it takes income from all of us to just try and pay the bills. We cannot afford rehab. They are so expensive and she MUST want to get help as well. She is literally dying. Skin and bones. sighs.......................

  19. Addict

    Thanks. I almost got suckered even though I was skeptical when he said he quit his crack use three weeks ago. I asked my self why was he still staying out and in the same clothes six days at a time. He justified that by screaming he stays away because I disgust him. ( I'm quite sure I do. He can't get a dime out of me). OMG. LOL. Anyway you guys answered my doubts. Now I just need to continue to put some things in order so I can get out of this. What's that they say? When you are going through hell keep going don't wait for anybody.

  20. Addict

    I will check back for an answer. Where could this man be day after day for twelve to twenty hours a day making a pit stop at the house to eat (very little). After a week to three he will come in for a few days then go off again. Also is there a place on line with an active chat going?

  21. Addict

    I have a mother in law and father in law who has the dad's 30yr old son back at home. He is on crack and been on it for at least the past two yrs. I have talked to my mother in law she has seen all his signs. His dad is in denial and keeps giving this boy money, when he pays no bills, and is on unemployment. I just heard some disturbing news from a mutual friend that the son had 10 people upstairs smoking crack. I am concerned for my mother and father in law. Scared they will wake up one day and everything is gone or they're house on fire. I need some advice. I'm scared it's going to take something major for anything to be done about this. He has used them and ran them dry of money. He looks awful. I don't want them hurt anymore. I was thinking of contacting local authority and ask them to watch the residence at night. I don't know what to do.

  22. Addict

    I would like feedback on a touchy topic. I have been an addict for 20 years; drug of choice was pot, then for about 2 years crack cocaine. I have been clean for over 5 years. I drink a few beers now and then, is this a problem or knowing my past history and all of the rehabs and programs I been in. Are there any facts out there that drinking can be maintained?

  23. Addict

    I FEEL SORRY 4 Y'ALL USED 2 BE CRACKHEADS BECAUSE YOU SHOULD LISTEN 2 UR FRIENDS AND FAMILY NOT THAT CRACK.

  24. Addict

    I read what everyone had to say and all the hurt and the struggles people have gone through. No one says when they are 6 I can't wait to grow up and be an addict. That is the one thing I remind myself of when I look at my guy. It breaks my heart to watch him die in front of my eyes and know I cannot do anything to give him the life he deserves to have. We have been together for 3 years and I had become as addicted to him and his well-being as he is to crack. I didn't always have this empathy towards him it has taken a lot of help and support from others and groups to realize. This is a progressive disease, for everyone this addiction touches, those that hang around. The smart ones get out ...if this disease does not kill the addict it will kill the people it touches, suck the life right out of everyone and everything until there is nothing left like a tornado running through a town. I have been 3 years in this and my guy went from using once every 2 weeks to using 5 days a week and resting his body the other 2. With the drugs and all the accessories that go with the drugs likely a 4000$ week addiction. I have watched him struggle through every aspect of his life. He doesn't even deny his addiction anymore it's like it is his excuse now...For all those that are looking for help for the addict please stop trying to help them, the addict will get help when they want it , get help for you. if anyone reads this and they are in a relationship like this right now, please, think back to the friends, feelings, relationships, activities anything prior to this relationship ...then look at how it is today , we all have a choice. The best thing you can do for the addict and for you is to get help for you. Lead by example, addiction is a family disease. I am not saying this lightly...we went from wonderful in the beginning to arguments to me watching for him to come home with the groceries he was picking up 2 days earlier to me driving around the city looking for him to me apologizing for him using to him throwing things at me to him putting me in the hospital to arrests to restraining orders to etc...i did a lot in our relationship to hurt him the way he was hurting me which I would have never nor ever have done, in doing this I only damaged myself ...it is progressive I didn't see it evolving till I had a knife to my wrist just wanting the crazy to stop. I can't save his life but I can save mine. If the addict continues to use and you don't think it can get worse ...well it can. The only way I am able to stay out of the clutches of this addiction today is through support and getting the help I need. I love the man I know is in there unfortunately he is not available for me today.

    • Addict

      I feel like you're talking about me. How do I get out? I love him too. He is a really nice guy with a really bad habit. And he has gotten worse. Now it is weekly. He says it's only about $20.00 then he goes to sleep. I have had restraining orders. I have been argumentative, upset, even driving around looking for him. I am scared for myself. All this faith I have that he will change is so strong.

  25. Addict

    My boyfriend used crack a lot for a 4 month period (before moving back to a country which has zero-tolerance on drugs) and since then he has been sleeping most of the day, tires easily, is depressed and unable to bring himself to work or basically face life.

    He said he researched his symptoms and found them conducive with those of ex-heroin addicts (but he never took heroin) ... I suppose his brain chemistry has been damaged by crack cocaine but my question is - how does he get back to normal? He's been off the drug for 3 years now and there has been no improvement...

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as we can't openly seek help in the country we live in.

  26. Addict

    The first step is to learn how to pray. If you don't know how ask god he will teach you but you must believe that he will. Once you put that faith in the lord all things are possible but you all must remember "God" provides us with different paths every day. Its up to you to stay connected with him to stay on the right one. That little white devil is powerful...My GOD is more powerful

  27. Addict

    I met my husband six years ago. We have a 5 year old son. He is a really nice guy but he keeps doing crack at least weekly. I hate it. He keeps promising to stop but never does. I feel embarrassed of his ways sometimes. I have tried to end the relationship over and over. I feel so sad for him. We have been through marriage counseling, individual therapy, he goes to meetings and still he loves his addiction. Nothing stops them from getting it when they want it. I am a person of faith. Faith means believing in something that has never happened will happen one day. I wonder what day? If there is such a day. I hurt all the time and I feel angry at myself for putting up with it so long. I don't even celebrate my anniversary. This marriage was a mistake I can't seem to get out of. This is my second marriage. My first husband committed adultery and we divorced. I guess it's hard to accept I am failing once again. How many times do I get married in order to be happy? What is marriage if you run away every time you have problems? What does it mean when you say for better or for worse? I think this is my worse. Am I being taken advantage of because I feel like things will one day get better. Will I be rewarded in some way for putting up with this? I just don't know what to think anymore. I don't know what to do. I have tried every kind of help. In the long run they just want to do it any way.

  28. Addict

    The stories on this page are all same, and all similar.... It's a really harsh reality... 20 years ago, I met a great man... he became a wonderful provider, an amazing father. Six years ago he started using, and everything went down from there... He may be good for a month or two, and then he is triggered! When he gets triggered he goes on a 72 hour binge, and I cannot find him. I don't know what triggers him... I've tried everything to help save him.... Unfortunately, if you are middle class American, it is hard to get into rehab... I'm not even certain a rehab will work. The job to get someone into rehab is tiresome...eventually I give up trying and I think my husband will change, but he doesn't change...We've been close to getting him a bed in the rehab, but for some reason it always falls through.... Well, today my husband came home from his run, and I took him to the hospital.. He was depressed, and he was coming off the drug... The hospital enrolled him into an impatient behavioral health clinic that can assist with substance abuse issues... Bottom Line is... there is an underlying mental issue here... I don't know what it is, but I am hopeful that this impatient facility will diagnosis the problem, but the true answer is God!

  29. Addict

    My dad has been an addict for more than 25 yrs. Over the years I've tried to do what I can to help him stop and for about a year now I thought he had finally kicked this nasty drug. Tonight on Christmas Eve my brother and I found his spoons. The spoons he uses to heat up this discussing crap I put them in the trash. Its painful to watch him slowly kill himself. He's a heavy person has breathing problems and has these coughing fits. He coughs so bad he passes out. The last time he passed out he hit his head on the fire place. The tine before that he was driving. I'm married now and my husband is in the army and we move a lot and my brothers and sisters don't want to deal with it don't blame them if you knew the whole story you wouldn't either. So my question is can you force someone to go to rehab? If it means it would save their life? I don't know what to do. I don't want him to die and at this moment he will in a year or two.

  30. Addict

    I have recently relapsed to using crack for several days a month in the last 5 months; it is now and has always been associated with marathon sexual activity. My use of crack is getting worse and must stop by the Grace of God. My control went out the window, I am losing ground. Again it is related to women, but in particular a woman who provides me with extraordinary sex and sort of got me back on the stuff.
    I was introduced to it Hollywood in 1987. I quit for 3 years. Then I relapsed again in 1990 until 1991 until I had to go to Jail for 6 months followed by the magical 28 days in a hospital "addiction" ward. I quit again until 1992, then back again until 1994 and another hospitalization. I quit again from 1994 to 1996. Then I picked up the pipe again in 2002. Quit in 2003 and believed I was finally cured until sex/cocaine came back in 2005. Then another hospitalization almost died and steered clear of both hot sexy girls and crack until October of 2012. Now at the age of 63, I have gone up and down, high and low in social standard and achievements but because of just the once or twice a month binges I am in danger of losing everything again. That means jail, etc. I am too old to deal with jail again. If I lose what I have, especially my pension and I will be a homeless old fool.

    When my girlfriend/crack whore knocks on my door I can't say no.

    Any advice beside the standard stuff?

    Help!

  31. Addict

    Use God as your strength, John. Whether you believe or not, give God a try...what can it hurt?

    • Addict

      My ex-husband is a crack addict; my brother is a crack addict. Go to the website Crack Reality for all you family members and wives, husband and girlfriends. Crack is over 85 percent chance of relapse. If you love a crack addict, you're doomed. Lock up your things, hide your keys. They will take everything they can to sell, steal your car to give to a dealer to use to get drugs supplied while they use the car. Crack takes over the desire to love, hope, work or live. No one or anything is more important than 3 things....Where to get Crack, How to get money for Crack and Where to smoke it. They don't care about shelter, eating or clothing, just Crack. Crack users are highly sexual and will have unprotected sex with anyone. Usually with other crack whores or bisexual men or women. The men who are straight will give oral sex to other males even if they are not homosexual for the crack. The men always have whores who party with them just for a hit shared and the high desire for sex. Don't think your crack addict is not having sex with lots of people as that are total denial. HIV and Hepatitis is very prevalent. Crack addicts are the master lying machines. Reality is they are masters at getting the money or things out of people to live, and get the next rock. Nothing, nothing comes out of a crack addict's mouth that is the truth. They are also very masterful at wooing and charming women. Will say love you, I promise no more, I will stop. I am not out doing crack or having sex, I cannot live without you, I will be on the streets without you. You're the only one who I live for....on and on. Believe you me you are not the first or the last person these words are said too. They are not capable of love; just need someone around to help them survive. Yes they might be clean when you meet them. But know they were users before and are lying if they say it is there first time or the last. Relapse is inevitable. Do not ever believe anything a crack addict says. If you provide food to an addict you are not helping. They spend what little money they can get even 5 bucks on crack instead of buying themselves food. They will beg, make you feel sorry for them, become homeless. But until they hit that bottom hard and for long enough which is jail or homelessness with hunger they will not stop. Crack addicts cycle for 2 to 3 days of high and then deep sleep like a coma for 24 hour period with eating enormous amounts on the 3 or 4th day to get their energy back up during the down depressive time. Only to cycle again and go out on the high again. During that down time is when they wish to change and swear to God and anyone they will. Including themselves. Drinking alcohol is an issue for when they are off the crack. They replace one drug with the other. Many cycle for a year or two off but always relapse. Crack causes frontal lobe indentions brain damage along with scalloping of the brain like someone with senility from old age. I know I had a brain scan done on my ex-husband. Most crack addicts are big Christians, talking the talk, but not doing the Christian walk. Crack addicts will not let go of a relationship no matter what once they got you they hang on as now you are their enabler. They will swear they love you, only you, promise the world, smooth talk you, beg, cry, threaten anything for you not the throw them out of their life. You will be emotionally abused, verbally abused and likely physically abused at some point as Crack addicts are good for one thing, argue, argue, blame, blame. Rehab will help for a while, multiple times, but it is always relapse. Only death or poor health makes them stop. And that will happen as having strokes and heart attacks is highly likely if the malnutrition or and STD or HIV does not get them first. Lots of times sadly to say the crack addiction takes the lives of the families and loved ones also from the stress of living with them first into bad health. Get as far as you can from a Crack addict, run, be strong, go to church and join a codependent group, counseling yourself. Read, about dependency. They are not addicted to the drug; they are addicted to the way of life, a subculture of street life with lots and lots of sex, living off of others charity just to get high and not have to work. Hey what a great life, get high, don't pay bills, don't work, just beg or argue or blame and you get what you want. They don't care about anything, anything but the next high and if they are talking with you it is because they are planning on how to get the next buck to smoke crack out of you or what they can steal to sell. Oh, don't buy anything that can be returned to the store, they steal things to return to stores for the cash for crack. They pawn watches, phones, trade items even tennis shoes to the drug dealers for a rock. As a said before, go the website crack reality and read the postings. I too have loved crack addicts in my family and know this now. Put them in God's hands, Get out of Gods way a

  32. Addict

    When my dad says he's going to home depot that's when we get scared because that's the line he uses to leave. He leaves for a couple of days to go out and "party". I'm really getting tired of it because it's hurting my mom and family. I am only 16 years old but I want to do what I can to help. I need help.

  33. Addict

    my child is addicted to crack , she been hiding it for a few years , now its way out , they took her child ( she always left alone ) and I got custody itas been 2 years , and she done jail time , and released and back on streets , last week someone cut her throat by juggler vien and after released , back out there , I ask God to save her soul as I know the struggle myself , an am Blessed beyond words that I survived them streets , for me to see this is eating me up inside , I cant take her with me as I must stay far away from drugs for myself and for her daughter , im clean over 20 years and refuse to look back , her father has make many excuses not to help find a rehab , she has no insurance and im lost on where to go with this , if anyone can direct me , please im open to all imput

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