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Crack addiction - how do you know?

Old 03-20-2009, 08:14 AM
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Meggy- I dont know your health issues but you really need to try and focus on yourself. All the men and women on this board are tremendous people for what they have to go through for their loved ones. I dont know how you all do it but if you believe in God, he is watching and has a special place for all of you.
Life is so short. In your case, I know it is by no means EASY AT ALL but you can walk away. There are many people here with spouses and children on drugs that they cannot/should not/will not walk away from.
Winnie- I dont know a lot about crack but Ive heard that it was only mentaly addictive too. I said to someone (on this site) "well it must be a lot easier to quit then" and she said "its so incredibly mentally addictive its like a sickening obsession. Also, BECAUSE there are no physical withdrawals or detox, its HARDER to quit." When you quit pain pills for example, you go through days of anxiety and physical pain. That can help you remain sober because once you get through it, you dont want to go through it again. But when its painless like crack, there is nothing reminding you of that hell.
I dont know if I am explaining it right or if this makes any sense.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:14 AM
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OutToLunch , What exactly are benzos again? I can't remember what drugs fall into that category. Is that drugs like Xanex and Klonopin?
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:16 AM
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Yes and detox from them blow pills or heroin out of the water. Can cause seizures during detox too and it lasts a lot longer. Definitely nothing to play with.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:18 AM
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Yes, Detox from pain pills and other opiates is horrible. My boyfriend has been through detox a lot of times when he's been in and out of rehabs. It takes him weeks sometimes before he is really feeling well again. He says his whole body hurts.

I found out recently that instead of him going to rehab in Charlotte like he was supposed to. He was really at his parents house in his room detoxing himself. He called me 2 weeks later telling me he never went to rehab that he stayed there and had just in the last few days felt well enough to call me.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:23 AM
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right out to lunch...........
You are 100% correct~~ herion withdraw is not always deadly but it can be
if there are other medical issues which with chronic and severe use more than likely there could be.

And yeah, the Benzos(xanax, ativan valium) they can also cause death I forgot to mention those.

thanks for the corrections.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by meggymegos View Post
Winne, It might it have something to do with the fact that the high from crack doesn't last very long at all. I think it only lasts like 10 or 15 minutes, I could be wrong though.
A crack binge is addiction. During a binge, which often lasts for days, crack is smoked continuously until money and/or drug supplies are gone, or the user experiences physical collapse.

Over time, the frequency and duration of binges increases.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:41 AM
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When my husband is active he'll use for an evening, or day or a not. Stop and drink till he crashes, wait a day or two and do so again. Can he keep going each day or night, yes he has before so they dont always go until the means runs out, an theres times wher he's even brought some cash home. Everyone is different.

Crack addiction is a mental and emotional addiction. After even first use something is changed forever in the brain, brain chemicals and synopsis(sp). The onlything that makes them feel "normal" is to go after the coke high again, and then its short lived. So at some point they again get the "low feeling mentally and emotionally and choose to replace that chemical" Sorry this is very laymen terms but you get the idea. Many will use something else, alcohol, pills ect to attempt to replace/ and or feel that way and often times, especially when using alcohol or pills they will again choose to use crack, restarting a binge. After my husband had gonw his longest on his own will time not using crack, he picked up active use again after a prescribed course of Oxys, during the time he was going through withdrawal
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:44 AM
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Heres some info from the National Inst of health

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that increases levels of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and movement, in the brain’s reward circuit. Certain brain cells, or neurons, use dopamine to communicate. Normally, dopamine is released by a neuron in response to a pleasurable signal (e.g., the smell of good food), and then recycled back into the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between neurons. Cocaine acts by preventing the dopamine from being recycled, causing excessive amounts of dopamine to build up, amplifying the message, and ultimately disrupting normal communication. It is this excess of dopamine that is responsible for cocaine’s euphoric effects. With repeated use, cocaine can cause long-term changes in the brain’s reward system and in other brain systems as well, which may eventually lead to addiction. With repeated use, tolerance to the cocaine high also often develops. Many cocaine abusers report that they seek but fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure. Some users will increase their dose in an attempt to intensify and prolong the euphoria, but this can also increase the risk of adverse psychological or physiological effects.

Also heres a lesson plan that explains addiction on a level thats more easily understood.

http://science.education.nih.gov/sup.../lesson4-1.htm

hope this helps answer your questions
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:46 AM
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Regardless of the frequency of usage, if his actions/behavior are affecting your life, it's a problem, no?
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by meggymegos View Post
Okay....how do you know if someone is truly ADDICTED to crack? When i think of someone who's addicted to crack, I'd usually think of someone that smokes it every day, as their main substance of choice.

But..what if the person only smokes it intermittently, has no set pattern of how often they smoke it. They just tend to go off on crack binges for a night every so often. They go weeks or months without doing it...then suddenly end up bingeing.

Are they considered addicted to crack, even though they don't smoke it every day?
welcome!!!

Crack Cocaine Addiction Information for Families of Crack Cocaine Addicts

These guys know a lot more on this subject than anything you'll read hear with the exception of a few recovering crack addicts that post here regularly.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:37 AM
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Welcome ((((meggiemegos)))))

I haven't ever known someone to only occasionally use crack. I have a family full of crack users.

Like several others have said: "keep the focus on yourself" it really is good advise.

I have written and article about crack use based on my experience here is a link:

splendra's article
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:09 AM
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As you search to find answers to addiction you will find that there are MANY different opinions out there. Very few solid answers. Some say No contact walk away even run, others say addicts in treatment have better success if they have a supportive and educated non-enabling family. Each person must walk their own path. Here on Sr, we can only share with others OUR experience and our knowledge and strength.

Addiction is a disease for which there is no known cure. Addiction is NOT a moral failing or a lack of will power. There are "functional" addicts and there are skid row addicts............but they all have something in common~~ADDICTION to a mind altering substance.

Just as we the families are all different, different lives, different views and different way s of coping we too share something ~~a person or persons in our lives whos addiction or drug use in some manner has affected our life and has lead us to look for answers.

As we begin our search it sometimes starts with trying to fix, stop or cure the addict. Sometimes we are stuck trying to excuse or justify our loved ones drug use and refuse to believe its addiction.

Regardless of what brings us to begin our quest for information, cures or excuses................ultimately many of us find that its not ONLY the addict that needs help ITS US TOO!

We did not cause anothers addiction we cant cure it and we cant control it. But we can work on ourselves and we can become educated we can learn all we can about addiction in hopes that we will not be part of contributing to the addiction.

All just my opinion of course.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:09 PM
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Welcome to SR!

I'm a recovering crack addict. I can't use "occasionally"...not for long, anyway. I do know of people who have done it, though they were addicted to something else, usually pills.

I abused pills, but didn't get "addicted"...put them down, didn't crave them, had no withdrawals, etc. Crack, if I use it once, it will stay on my mind, and will be all I think about, until I get some more. The people I know who are addicted to pills are the exact opposite...they want the pills, can use the crack "occasionally", but they are really wanting more pills.

Then, of course, there are addicts who just want MORE of whatever there is.

As people have pointed out, it really isn't so much as what he's using, but how it is affecting YOU. Having an addict in your life is a HUGE stressor and with you being on a transplant list, this is a stress you just don't need, sweetie. None of us need it (I'm a codependent, too, and left my bf who is still smoking crack), but your health needs, right now, demand that you take care of you.

I'm glad you're here. There are some wonderful people here, and a ton of support.

Hugs and prayers!

Amy
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for welcoming me y'all.

Amy,

My boyfriend is one of those addicts that has been able to use coke sporadically b/c he is addicted to pain pills. If he can't get any pills for whatever reason and crack is available, then he will binge.

You are right. For most of the last 4 years I've been with him, I wasn't on the transplant list. And it was horribly stressful on me, even then, dealing with his addiction and behavior. I have anxiety disorder (due to my illness) and when his addiction has been at its worse, I even had to have my Effexor increased to deal with it all. Plus, I had a prescription for Xanex (only take it when i am on the verge of a panic attack - which isn't often, unless I'm going through a very stressful period) and I can't tell you how many bottles of my Xanex he found and stole. Not to mention pain pill prescriptions I've had over the years, during my recovery from two surgeries and treatment of the problems that led to the surgeries.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that, you are right. Now that I'm on the transplant list my own life is stressful enough to deal with. And having to deal with his problems and how they affect me negatively just makes things even more stressful for me.

My transplant could happen at any time now and I'm going to need positive people around me for support after my surgery, during my rehabilitation. The last thing I'm going to need is be stressed and worried over him. He can't even support himself emotionally, how is he going to be able to give me the support I need from him? He can't.

Even though I know all this, it still makes me so sad that I can't have him there to share in my joy and rehab with me. But, I have to put myself and my own well being first.

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by meggymegos View Post
My transplant could happen at any time now and I'm going to need positive people around me for support after my surgery, during my rehabilitation. The last thing I'm going to need is be stressed and worried over him. He can't even support himself emotionally, how is he going to be able to give me the support I need from him? He can't.

Even though I know all this, it still makes me so sad that I can't have him there to share in my joy and rehab with me. But, I have to put myself and my own well being first.
Yes, you must put yourself and your well being first, dear! I will certainly be praying that your transplant comes through for you soon.

:praying
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:48 PM
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Thank you very much Freedom!
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by meggymegos View Post
Thank you very much Freedom!
You're welcome! I like your avatar. I'm listed as a donor on my driver's license.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Impurrfect View Post
Welcome to SR!
I abused pills, but didn't get "addicted"...put them down, didn't crave them, had no withdrawals, etc. Crack, if I use it once, it will stay on my mind, and will be all I think about, until I get some more. The people I know who are addicted to pills are the exact opposite...they want the pills, can use the crack "occasionally", but they are really wanting more pills.
FYI.... adding to what amy said... (hey amy!! )

The pain pill withdrawl... and cycle of addiction - is relentless. I believe... (not sure) crack is similar to coke (in what the kind of high is like.... meaning what brain chemicals are affected...)

My abf used to do coke. Can put it down. take it or leave it.

Pills?? Whooo. NOPE. I watched him detox here in our home, in the beginning of january. He asked me to 'help' him on day 2, because he couldn't even hold a glass to his mouth to sip water in bed because he was in so much pain. After day 5 he was getting back to 'normal'.

He admitted how much he needed the pills.. and how he ended up with a routine --- constantly surrounding NEEDING the pills. Going in the a.m... takeing 10 or so... then the evening around 7pm.. takeing about 6-10 pills, knowing that would be enough to get him through to the next day.

He said how aweful it was, having to take more and more and more. At this point in the addiction, just to keep the withdrawl away, (the depression, the anxiety, the aches, the sadness...)

He is back on them. (when he decides he wishes to talk about it) he tells me it started again, because when he was really anxious, depressed one day he said - "i'll just do one."..... then it starts all over again. As soon as the body gets it.... it needs it. It shuts down your whole nervous system. It's just plain ol evil.

Just a glimpse of what i've seen............... theres tons more i've seen, but hey--- this is enough. I want to vomit.


love,
cess
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:51 PM
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That was me!!

i was that girl!! i would use once for a whole night and then not again for a week or maybe even longer.

i deffinately consider myself an addict. but i have been clean now for about a month and it feels good.

i am trying....
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Old 04-03-2009, 09:43 PM
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Look at it this way.

You have a young girl who eats normally for the most part, but a few times a month she freaks, pigs out, then makes herself vomit.

Does she have bulimia?

My answer is yes, she does. Addiction doesn't equate to a number or a quantity. It's how the person acts and reacts to various substances. Going on a binge for a day or two? That tells me something right there.

Crack (and other hard drugs) are, imho, like playing Russian Roulette. You keep pulling the trigger on blanks but someday, it's going to hit home.

You keep imbibing in addictive substances and one day, you're going to spin out of control.

From having read this board, crack is pretty nasty and really gets you hooked fast and hard. I can't imagine how someone could do it recreationally, or . . . recreationally for very long.

Why is it acceptable for anyone to be using this at all? what reason could someone possibly have to justify this?
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