Rohnert Park, CA (PressExposure) July 16, 2009 -- Cocaine has been considered one of the most addictive psychoactive drugs currently used today. Though it was known for its use as an analgesic, modern use of cocaine is popular as a recreational drug. In the United States, the development of "crack" cocaine introduced the substance to a generally poorer inner-city market. According to california drug rehab center therapists, use of the powder form has stayed relatively constant, experiencing a new height of use during the late 1990s and early 2000s in the U.S., and has become much more popular in the last few years in the UK.
Crack cocaine is a substance that affects the brain chemistry of the user. It causes euphoria, supreme confidence, loss of appetite, insomnia, alertness, increased energy, a craving for more cocaine, and potential paranoia (ending after use). Its initial effect is to release a large amount of dopamine, a brain chemical inducing feelings of euphoria. According to california drug rehab center patients, the high usually lasts from 5-10 minutes, after which time dopamine levels in the brain plummet, leaving the user feeling depressed and low. When crack is dissolved and injected, the absorption into the bloodstream is as rapid as by smoking, with similar euphoria (assuming it's among the purer forms of crack).
A typical response among users is to have another hit of the drug. However, the levels of dopamine in the brain take a long time to replenish themselves, and each hit taken in rapid succession leads to increasingly less intense highs. Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. This may result in a full-blown paranoid psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations.
Crack cocaine is popularly thought to be the most addictive form of cocaine, and one of the most addictive forms of any drug. According to california drug rehab center patients, the intense desire to recapture the initial high is the reason for its addiction. Purer forms of crack cocaine will produce the feeling of euphoria. Even after smoking diluted or fake crack for hours, one hit of real crack will produce its unique euphoria. Hours of misery or tweaking can be reversed with one single hit of real crack. The memory of that type of high can cause addicts to buy large amounts of street crack, hoping for the real thing.