Crack was considered a plague upon America’s urban neighborhoods in the 1980s, but the problem large-scale problems did not materialize in Utah. The larger problem was meth.

Authorities believed the crack increase is a byproduct of Utah’s successes combatting meth. Regulating meth precursors and prosecuting clandestine laboratory operators, as well as better enforcement in Mexico, has boosted the price of meth in Utah to about $1,700 per ounce.

As Utah then, continues fighting methamphetamine, police and social workers say another stimulant is gaining popularity – one that gained infamy in the 1980s.

An article published n 2008 said, crack cocaine is appearing in neighborhoods and drug markets throughout Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County. Detectives say quantities of crack have burgeoned in the last two years. Narcotics detectives there seized 220 percent more crack in 2007 than they did in the previous year. Police in Pioneer Park found dozens of people trying to buy and sell crack when detectives conducted an anti-crime sweep there in November, but Ross said drug dealers on the city’s east are selling crack, too.

Crack cocaine was the primary drug of abuse in 178,475 admissions to treatment in 2006, representing 71% of all primary cocaine admissions to treatment that year.

Approximately 7,840,000 people in a 2004 survey had used crack at some point in their lifetime. Regular” crack users (those who have used crack in the last 30 days) represent 0.2 percent of the total population.


What is crack?

In simple terms, crack is a derivative of cocaine and is a stimulant drug. It’s created by mixing cocaine with water and either baking soda or ammonia and then boiled. The finished result is a compound that, when hardened, flakes off into a salt rock looking form.

Crack, a highly addictive drug, created a U.S. epidemic, for which we’re still recovering. In past decades, the selling and using of cocaine resulted in many deaths. 

How is crack used?

Smoking crack is the preferred method. It’s heated through a pipe, turning into vapors that enables large doses of the drug to be absorbed into the lungs. This reaction causes an intense feeling of euphoria. An immediate high can be produced by smoking or “freebasing” crack, a reason why it’s highly addictive. 

Why is crack addictive?

Almost immediately after smoking crack, it’s absorbed into the soft linings of the lungs. When the substance is introduced to the brain, it attaches to the dopamine receptors; this creates an intense rush or “high.’ This rush can last about 5-15 minutes, which leaves the person desiring more of the drug to equal the initial rush. Users can develop a tolerance quickly, which requires them to continually smoke to experience the drug’s effect.

People continue abusing crack to get that initial euphoric feeling and spiral downward into dependency and withdrawal challenges. Some of the street names for crack include:

  • Candy
  • Rock
  • Dice
  • Crumbs
  • Gravel
  • Hail
  • Tornado
  • Sleet

Signs & Symptoms of Crack Addiction

Signs that someone may be using crack, including the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hypertension (raised blood pressure)
  • Uncontrolled muscle tics
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

Addiction and long-term use of crack can be quite damaging. Cocaine and crack both result in severe changes in the brain’s chemical structure that has long-lasting effects on the body. 

Crack use also leads to the development of other disorders and issues, further complicating the problem. These effects can lead to depression, anxiety and panic disorders, and psychosis, such as paranoia. Individuals using crack will go to great lengths in pursuit of it with no regard for consequences.

Short & Long-term Effects of Crack Abuse

The short-term effects of crack include a sense of energy, euphoric sensation, blood pressure, and heart rate increases, increased breathing rate, decreased appetite, and hyperactivity or anxiety. Elevated levels of the drug have the potential to increase erratic behaviors and psychosis (anxiety or paranoia)

Using crack just one time can result in an overdose, cardiac arrest, or stroke. 

Long-term crack abuse effects include depression and anxiety, aggressiveness, paranoia, hallucinations, sexual problems or dysfunction, and death.

Symptoms of Crack Withdrawal

When a user stops using crack, several withdrawal symptoms can occur that are the opposite of when using, such as intense cravings and increased appetite, fatigue, 

increased levels of depression and restlessness/agitation.

It’s vital to get the proper treatment for crack addiction since relapse is common. A drug rehab program can become a life-saving measure for addicts when properly executed. Rehab, coupled with mental health treatment for co-occurring problems, can help addicts overcome and change their lifestyle that includes positive habits and a healthy view on life. 



Finding the Help You Need at a Utah Cocaine Addiction Treatment Program

The seriousness of a drug like cocaine including crack cannot be understated. It is dangerous in any and all forms. But also, how a user ingests cocaine can increase their risk. Snorting cocaine is the most common form of ingestion. Taking cocaine this way can cause trauma to the nostrils along with cardiovascular risks. Smoking cocaine, known as crack, is perhaps the worst as it affects the lungs and mouth as well. Also, it is the most psychologically addictive form of cocaine use. This is due to the instant high felt via smoking. Injecting cocaine is nearly as unhealthy as the same risks of snorting remain while also causing physical damage via needles. The use of needles for drug use also increases the risk of contracting serious diseases including AIDS.

Despite its natural source, cocaine is an extremely addictive drug. There are a whole host of serious medical conditions that can accompany cocaine addiction. Not only is the drug itself deadly in high doses but it can cause several deadly complications. Do not allow yourself or a loved one to take such risks any longer. Contact Ardu Recovery Center at 801-810-1234 today. Our Utah cocaine addiction treatment program could just save your life. Rise above your addiction.