Research has shown that crack users experience a disproportionate rate of infectious diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis and other serious health problems.
After a long bout or binge of using crack, users often experience a crash, which is very unpleasant. Usually a user will be physically and mentally exhausted and will sleep for 12 to 18 hours and wake up very hungry. Some users also report paranoia, feelings of sadness and depression, sweating, muscle twitching and hallucinations. For women who are pregnant, there is an increased chance of stillbirths, miscarriages, labor difficulties and birth defects.
Crack, like other stimulants, lowers a user’s immune system. This is especially worrisome for users living with HIV/AIDS. Smoking crack appears to weaken the crack smoker’s natural resistance to infection in the lungs. Many users experience respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest pains, asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia. In the extreme, crack smoking can cause bleeding in the lungs and users may cough up black phlegm or blood. Many users use brillo pad as a screen for their glass stem. Unfortunately metal used
for screens (i.e. brillo pads, hash pipe screens, etc.) breaks apart due to the high heat that is used when smoking crack and can be inhaled by the smoker. These bits of metal can cause damage and bleeding.
When people mix crack and alcohol they create a new compound called Coacaethylene, which intensifies crack’s euphoric effects, while possibly
increasing the risk of sudden death. Many users rely on crack as a form of self-medication in order to cope with social and environmental factors, such as poverty, homelessness, violence, isolation, history of abuse, lack of resources and discrimination.
There has been a lack of comprehensive research done on the harms of crack smoking. Most of the research has been conducted in the United States and has focused on sexual health issues. Crack smokers are at an increased risk for STI’s, HIV, Hepatitis C, TB and other serious health issues due to high risk behaviors, socio-economic factors and a lack of comprehensive health and social services targeting crack users.
Studies have shown that crack addicts are at an increased risk of Hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS.
Here are some pretty telling pictures of people, before and after they took drugs. Still not convinced that doing drugs is a pretty bad idea? Then check out these Faces of Meth – Before and After Drugs.
Addiction does not only hurt the addict, but also those people who love an addict. There’s a word for that: codependency. And no matter how much pain we are in, we can’t seem to be able to let go of the addict we love. Many therapists call codependency an addiction as well. You’re addicted to the addict. Now recent brain studies have shown that seems to be a very accurate analogy: Breaking Up Is Like Cocaine Withdrawal. And on a related note: It Is Possible To Die From A Broken Heart.
Cotton fever is a risk that IV drug users face. There are a lot of different unintended things that happen to IV drugs users: hitting arteries and nerves, abscesses, blood clots. Cotton fever has specific symptoms that differentiate it from other ailments: fever, chills, and shortness of breath. In Europe, cotton fever is commonly called “the shakes.” A reference to one of the common symptoms of cotton fever. Those with this ailment often experience violent shaking or shivering. These symptoms normally occur immediately following an injection, but there are reports of delays of up to an hour.