Overcoming Crack Addiction

You struggle with crack addiction, and now you know your life is getting out of hand.

You need help. And the truth is—you are not alone. Crack addiction spans across every nook and cranny of American culture.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) revealed some concerning trends regarding the use of crack cocaine. Here are a few statistics:

  • 4.10 percent of American adults aged 26 or higher admitted to using crack cocaine at some point in their life.
  • 1.7 percent of 12th grader American students admitted to using crack cocaine at least once in their lifetime.
  • .9 percent of 10th graders in America stated they had used crack cocaine at least once.
  • .9 percent of American 8th graders admitted to crack cocaine use at least once in their life.

Crack addiction is taking hold of children and adults, and the cycle is difficult to break.

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What is Crack?

If you use crack, you may vaguely know that crack comes from cocaine. But do you know what other ingredients could be present in your drug of choice?

When you smoke crack, you are ingesting cocaine that drug dealers run through a chemical change that forms it into the familiar “rocks.”

Indeed, it takes its name from the crackly noise you hear when you heat it to prepare it for smoking or to inject it.

The drug is so addictive that some users report becoming addicted after just a hit or two. Here is how they achieve this concentrated high.

The primary ingredient of crack is pure form powdered cocaine, a drug imported by smugglers from South America’s coca leaf.

The cooking process involves putting the powder into water and mixing it with baking soda to help it form tight rocks.

However, to make their product yield even more profit, the dealers often “cut” the cocaine. That term means they add other powdered substances to the cocaine during the cooking process.

Some additions sound relatively harmless such as cornstarch or flour. But here is the problem—these are safe for consumption by eating.

Consuming these by smoking crack is a whole different ball game.

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Cutting Cocaine with Chemicals

Even worse, they may cut the cocaine with chemicals that are not fit for human consumption.

Think of household items like baby or talcum powder, powdered laundry detergent, drain cleaning crystals, or abrasive powder cleansers, which frequently also contain bleach.

A revealing report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime states that some dealers use over a three to one ratio of these “cutting” substance to cocaine to cook their crack.

When you are smoking crack, you inhale it into the lungs. From there, it enters your circulatory system via your blood.

However, because these are not water-soluble substances, they can form clogs in your blood vessels and arteries, brain, heart, and lungs. The result can be lethal.

Because you are seeking help for your crack addiction, we hope that this knowledge serves as a further incentive for you to get the help you need, asap!

What is Crack Addiction?

Some people who overcome crack addiction explain it later as feeling like they were stuck on a treadmill without being able to hit the “off” switch.

The treadmill keeps inclining a little at a time, making it harder and harder to reach the first peak of performance. Eventually, the person can no longer keep up with the pace of the brisk walk and spins out of control.

Crack addiction is the same as that metaphor. You get an intense high the first time or few that you use it. But then, you must chase that same high.

It feels impossible to achieve it again. So, you start smoking crack more often or increase the amount you use to get back there.

Over some time, this interferes with how your body perceives pleasure and makes it more and more challenging to feel the high you crave. The cycle leads you down into the rabbit hole that you now know as crack addiction.

Crack Addiction - Photo of a crack pipe on a glass table. Crack addiction is quick to take hold of a user and needs professional help to recover.

Crack Addiction Symptoms

Cocaine and crack addictions are now so widespread that medical professionals now recognize the abuse as a condition called cocaine use disorder.

Having this diagnosis means that a person used cocaine or crack regularly for at least 12 months, plus he or she meets at least two of the following criteria:

  • Regular cravings or desire to use crack or cocaine
  • The person invests an unusual amount of time into finding the resources to get high and in the actual act of using cocaine or crack
  • Cocaine use interferes with the user’s career, education, or social interactions
  • Using cocaine depletes the user’s ability to meet essential functions required at school, home, or at their job
  • They use cocaine even in unsafe circumstances.
  • Cocaine use causes inter-problems for the user at work, home, or school for example people begin to distance themselves
  • The user built up a tolerance that caused them to need to use more frequently than before
  • This person uses now in incrementally larger amounts than before to feel high
  • They must use cocaine or participate in smoking crack more often to avoid crack withdrawal
  • The user can no longer manage their use or control over the drug addiction

Dangers of Taking Crack

Taking any street drug comes with inherent risks. Here are some consequences of crack addiction to your body:

  • Liver toxicity
  • Dangerous clots in the arteries and blood vessels
  • Lung damage
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Poisoning from added chemicals
  • Gastrointestinal upset, nausea, and vomiting
Crack Addiction - A man who is in rehab for his crack addiction speaks in his group therapy about his struggles.

Your Next Step—Crack Addiction Treatment

You know you want to get sober, and you know it’s time to seek the aid of a crack addiction treatment center.

The thought might scare you a little bit, so let us explain what happens when you enter into the care of a professional crack addiction treatment center like Pathfinders Recovery Center.

Detox and Stabilization

First, you will meet with our admissions staff and a doctor for a wellness screening to ensure your crack withdrawal during the earliest days is as comfortable as it can be.

The medical detox addresses more than just the physical discomfort of crack withdrawal. Indeed, we begin to prepare you to move forward mentally during the next phase of recovery.

30 Days Milestone/Vision Phase:

Our 30-day treatment track encourages you to reflect deeply on the nature of your addiction and come to terms with it. You might feel stronger than the day you walked through the door, but you are not ready yet to leave our care.

We also begin to work on any dual diagnosis or other mental health issues or addiction at this time. Only with a holistic treatment model will you heal genuinely from the inside to the outside.

90 Days Milestone/Quest Phase:

Pathfinders Recovery Center calls this time the Quest Phase. During this period, you will already understand that you are an addict.

Now, you will gain the skill you need to overcome the nature of your crack addiction. You will attend one-on-one counseling sessions, learn to manage your medications, and join therapeutic groups.

6 Months to One-year Milestone/Pathfinder Phase:

Consider the Pathfinders Phase to be your step back into a more independent life, but with your team of professionals by your side along the way.

You will become more integrated again into your family, friends, and other day-to-day functions. However, you will still return to us daily for counseling, support groups, and educational sessions.

This phase is key to helping to prevent relapse and will set you up for long-term success.

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Make the Call You Need for Help with Your Crack Addiction

Recognizing the need for help with your drug abuse is the awakening that you needed. Now, you can take that next step.

Call Pathfinders Recovery Center at 877-224-0761 or contact us using our online form.

With 25 years of treating cocaine and crack addiction, we are here to help you on this journey.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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