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Crack cocaine abuse: how to get off the drug
Crack is a crystal form of cocaine that can be smoked. The high from crack lasts about five to 10 minutes.
People use crack, or any mood-altering drug, to change the way they feel. Crack can numb bad feelings and make people feel better—for a while.
The more often people use crack, the more they crave it, and the harder it is to control their use. Crack can be very addictive, even with short-term use. You may be addicted to crack if you:. The good news is that people can and do stop using crack.
Even people who are not ready to give up crack can learn ways to use it more safely, and to plan for the day when they are ready to give it up. Using crack is a gamble. People feel grouchy, edgy and exhausted. They sleep for a long time and wake up very hungry. Using crack changes the brain. When people use it often and over a long time, and then stop using, strong cravings make them want to use again.
These cravings may continue for a long time after they stop using. The cravings to use may be strong at first, but will fade with time.
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Smoking crack and injecting powder cocaine lead to immediate and intense effects, so both are dangerous for addiction and overdose. Smoking may be safer since injecting can damage veins, cause abscesses and increase the risk of catching HIV, hepatitis and other serious infections. If you inject:.
Group or individual counselling or a stay at a drug treatment centre can help you to cut down or get off crack completely. Some people try treatment several times before it works, and many need long-term support to stay drug-free.
To prevent relapse, avoid all other mood-altering drugs including alcoholand continue to meet with your group or counsellor for support, for as long as you need it. For more information, see your doctor or contact one of the agencies listed below. Keep your finger on our pulse — latest CAMH news, discoveries and ways to get involved delivered to your inbox.
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