Cocaine, derived from the South American coca plant, is a potent stimulant and one of the most popular party drugs in the world. Cocaine is also an addictive and damaging substance.
Crack cocaine is the result of cooking powder cocaine with baking soda or ammonia, which is then cooled down into “rocks,” which can be smoked. When smoked, crack cocaine provides a hit which is faster, more potent and shorter than powder cocaine has powerful effects on the user’s brain and is the most addictive form of cocaine.
Cocaine use results in an excess of dopamine in the brain, giving user’s euphoria, increased energy and confidence. These effects do not last, leading to frequent reapplication of the drug, and the need to take a larger dose to feel the same euphoria. When smoked, crack cocaine provides a hit which is faster, more potent and shorter than powder cocaine.
Frequent abuse of crack cocaine can result in disruption in what is called the reward pathway, the brain functions that control motivation, reward-seeking and the perception of pleasure. Repeated disruption of this pathway can cause the brain to rely on crack cocaine; when natural rewards no longer generate pleasure, depression and distress can set in, alongside cravings for the drug.
This cycle, combined with withdrawal symptoms that can start as soon as 90 minutes after the last dose, results in users becoming addicted to cocaine in a short period of time.
If you think that your loved on is being hurt by their addiction to cocaine, call and get connected to a treatment professional right away.