Crack Abuse Symptoms and Side Effects
Article at a Glance:
- Crack abuse can affect a person financially, legally, interpersonally, socially, and at work and school.
- Long-term health effects of crack abuse include tooth decay, stroke, infertility, and even death.
- Long-term psychological effects of crack abuse are hallucinations, paranoia, and aggression.
- Children born with prenatal crack exposure may exhibit many health and developmental problems.
- Signs of a crack overdose are chest pains, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and unconsciousness.
- At work
- At school
While anyone could experience trouble in these areas and not be experiencing crack addiction, it’s very common for crack addicts to have trouble in all of these areas all at once. In their mind, crack is the most important thing in their life, and all avenues of their life may suffer in pursuit of their next high. Some signs of financial trouble due to crack addiction include:
- Loss of employment
- Spending retirement funds
- Spending life savings
- Declaring bankruptcy
- Selling treasured family heirlooms to make money
- Continually asking friends or family for money
- Stealing money
While many of a crack addict’s financial problems spur from purchasing the drug, they may also experience financial hardship due to associated legal troubles. Hiring a lawyer or paying bail can very expensive, especially when repeated. Some signs of legal trouble due to crack addiction are:
- Getting arrested
- Losing their driver’s license
- Losing child custody privileges
- Getting a divorce
Some signs of interpersonal problems due to crack addiction are:
- Visiting or speaking with loved ones infrequently
- Becoming violent with loved ones
- Fighting with a romantic partner
- Ignoring parental duties
Some signs of problems at work, caused by crack addiction, include:
- Coming late to work
- Missing days at work
- Taking long breaks while at work
- Appearing high on the job
- Exhibiting risky behavior while at work, such as operating machinery without safety gear or getting into a fight with a manager
- Being fired
- Receiving complaints from customers, co-workers or managers
Some signs of problems at school due to crack addiction include:
- Coming late to school, or not coming to school at all
- Skipping classes
- Appearing high at school
- Exhibiting risky behavior at school, such as getting into a fight with another student or teacher
- Receiving detention or other forms of punishment for delinquent behavior
- Earning failing grades
- Inability to graduate due to low academic performance
Some signs of social problems, caused by crack addiction, are:
- Avoiding favorite activities, such as church or a sports team
- Abandoning favorite hobbies
- Alienating themselves from former communities
Partaking in risky behavior
Abscesses at injection sites
Contraction of infectious diseases
Aggression / Irritability
Severely high blood pressure
Premature membrane rupture
Premature separation of the placental lining from the uterus
Low birth weight
Low birth weight
Smaller head circumference in infancy
Shorter length in infancy
Behavior problems in children
Cognitive deficits in children
Information processing deficits in children
Attention deficits in children
Language problems in adolescence
Memory problems in adolescence
Attention problems in adolescence
Planning problems in adolescence
The risk of experiencing overdose is heightened when an addicted uses crack and another drug, such as alcohol, at the same time. In these cases, overdose typically occurs because the body is trying to detox two drugs at once and it cannot dispel the drugs fast enough to avoid the harmful effects. Symptoms of a crack overdose include:
- Chest pains
- Slow, fast or irregular heartbeat
- Heart attack
- Slowed or stopped breathing
Overdose is very often fatal and is considered a medical emergency. If you think you may be overdosing, or think a loved one may be experiencing an overdose, call 911. Emergency responders may be able to treat the overdose on the way to the hospital, or doctors may be able to treat the overdose at the hospital. Such treatments include restoring blood flow to the heart in the case of heart attack, administering drugs to regulate heartbeat and stopping seizures.
Foundation for a Drug-Free World. “Effects of Crack Cocaine.” Foundation for a Drug-Free World, www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/crackcocaine/effects-of-crack-cocaine.html. Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What Are the Effects of Maternal Cocaine Use?” NIDA, National Institutes of Health, May 2016, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-effects-maternal-cocaine-use. Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “DrugFacts: Cocaine.” NIDA, National Institutes of Health, June 2016, www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine. Accessed 14 Mar. 2017.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
Seeking addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. We know the struggle, which is why we're uniquely qualified to help.
Your call is confidential, and there's no pressure to commit to treatment until you're ready. As a voluntary facility, we're here to help you heal -- on your terms. Our sole focus is getting you back to the healthy, sober life you deserve, and we are ready and waiting to answer your questions or concerns 24/7.Speak to an Intake Coordinator now.352.771.2700