- What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Crack Addiction?
- Am I Addicted to Crack?
- How to Encourage Someone to Get Treatment
- Staging an Intervention
- Support Groups for Family and Friends
- Crack Addiction Treatment
- Finding the Best Crack Treatment
Is Crack Addictive? How Addictive is Crack?
For generations, cocaine has been a source of addiction, disease, and broken families. But in the early 1980s, a new, more potent form of the drug swept urban centers, destroying the lives of millions. Crack, the freebase smokable form of cocaine, remains one of the world's most dangerous drugs.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Crack Addiction?
There's no reason to use crack. It offers no benefits, even when you're not an addict, and can steadily destroy your body and mind. For this reason, even if you've only used the drug a handful of times, now is the time to quit - before you become addicted. Some signs that you're already an addict include:
- Thinking about crack more than anything else.
- Using crack in a much larger amount than intended.
- Isolating yourself in order to use crack.
- Changes in health, mood, or personality.
- Endangering yourself or those you love because of crack or in an attempt to procure the drug.
- Relying on crack to cope with psychological or physical pain.
Am I Addicted to Crack?
Like cocaine, crack is highly addictive, with some sources suggesting between 10 and 20 percent of users developing an addiction. Crack addiction, once it sets in, is not something over which addicts have a choice. Powerful--and potentially physically painful--cravings keep users repeatedly abusing the drug, despite negative consequences.
If you're unsure whether you're addicted to crack, try to quit. After all, crack offers you nothing. If you find that quitting is painful or even impossible, it's a sure sign you're an addict; this means you'll likely need professional help to get clean and sober.
How to Encourage Someone to Get Treatment
The cold, hard truth is that you can't make someone you love seek treatment or give up crack, no matter how much they love you or how hard you try. What you can do is:
- Work to create an environment where using crack is harder than not using.
- Offer your loved one empathy and acceptance, but don't support their crack habit by providing them a place to stay or giving them money.
- Once your loved one is ready to get clean and sober, be prepared to stand beside him or her through the treatment process, since getting sober is no small feat.
Supporting an addicted loved one is extremely difficult; you might need emotional affirmation or guidance along the way. Please call 1-888-993-3112Who Answers? and get connected to local programs and treatment resources that may be right for you.
Staging an Intervention
There's no guarantee that an intervention will work, but it can give a struggling addict the final push he or she needs to finally accept treatment.
If you've run out of options and are overwhelmed by the stress of a loved one's addiction, then an intervention may be in order. Interventions merge the element of surprise with a group of people who love the addict and are committed to his or her long-term sobriety. There's no guarantee that an intervention will work, but it can give a struggling addict the final push he or she needs to finally accept treatment.
The process begins with each member of the group sharing how the addiction has affected his or her life.
- The child of an addict might express that he/she feels neglected and unloved, for instance.
- From there, each group member will set clear guidelines for how he or she will react if the addict won't accept treatment. The child of an addict might resolve to go live with grandma, or another family member should the parent enter treatment. Finally, each group member will ask the addict to seek treatment.
- Should the addict agree, he or she would attend treatment shortly after that. But if the addict won't accept treatment, then each member of the group will be responsible for following through with their promises of consequences.
Support Groups for Family and Friends
Family and friends are often left out of the equation on websites about addiction and in discussions about crack abuse. But crack addicts can wreak havoc in their loved one's lives. Addicts frequently steal from their loved ones, and the fear that the addict will be arrested, overdose, or disappear is ever present. The anxiety of loving an addict can drive even the calmest person over the edge.
Programs like Nar-Anon--a sister program to the renowned Narcotics Anonymous--can help you, as a family member or friend, make sense of a life ripped apart by addiction. Depending on where you live, local organizations, community groups, and churches may offer additional support programs.
Crack Addiction Treatment
Finding the Best Crack Treatment
Every crack addict has a story. Whether it's an abusive childhood or the challenges of a stressful job, you became an addict for a reason. There's no reason to feel ashamed, and finding the right program can make the difference between a smooth recovery and a destroyed life. Don't shy away from asking pointed questions. Learn everything about the crack treatment facility you've chosen, and ask for references. When you've found the right place, you'll know. Good treatment makes you feel comfortable being you.