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Crack addiction - how do you know?

Old 03-20-2009, 04:44 AM
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Crack addiction - how do you know?

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?
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:07 AM
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I'm not a professional, but I would say yes, they are addicted. Their compulsion to use is there, and we know this is a progressive disease. Just like there are binge alcoholics...
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:18 AM
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Thank you for your reply BohemiMama. I wasn't sure if I should classify my AB as being addicted to crack or not. Pain pills are his usual substance. (Vicadin, Percocet, Oxycontin) They are what he has to have every day to function or go through withdrawl.

Then there's the random crack binges. I don't know if he's just desperate to get high and can't find any pills, so he smokes the crack instead b/c its easier to find and cheaper.

Anyway, whatever his reasoning behind the crack binge is, I just wasn't sure if it would be considered an "addiction" to crack or not.

I'm rambling. SOrry. lol Thanks for your reply!
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:18 AM
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Wow that is a good question and one I am not qualified for, but it has always been my understanding that your an addict if your actions have a negative affect on your life and the life of the ones around you.
The only example I can give you to this would be my son who is always telling me he doesn't understand why we don't just leave him alone "he is not hurting anyone, but himself" which is not true, he is stealing my things to support his drug use, he is not obeying the house rules and he is not the same kind, good hearted person he was before using drugs. I struggle with what you are asking also, If my son is clean a few days I question myself with "well maybe he is not an addict he just likes to use them here and there" but he always goes back to the drugs and each time it is a little worse. One other note that has proven to be true is addiction is a progressive disease.....so with time he/she will use more and more.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:21 AM
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hello

I am no professional either however my husband is a crack addict. He doesnt fit the "picture" of a crack addict yet hes struggles with it for many many years.
The longest amount of time away from the drug, for him, was 10 years. Then 3 years ago he used again. In the last 3 years the longest amount of time he stayed clean was just under 6 months.

He isnt a daily user, it is like you were saying........... binge for a night~~at different intervales but that NIGHT is devastating to him, and to our family.

Welcome to SR sorry for the reasons that brought you here.
The areas at the top of each forum has "Stickys" theres alot of good information there.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:21 AM
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Thanks for the reply MrJoey. I'm sorry to hear about your son's addiction. How long has he been using? My boyfriend has been addicted to pills for around 10 years now and smoking crack for the last few years I think.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:25 AM
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Many addicts are Polysubtance addicts.

Often they use any and all drugs including alcohol. Its the obsession and compulsion to use drugs or to get numb that is characteristic of an addict.

The issue is the addiction in general and not the drug specifically
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:33 AM
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also I'd like to add that often addicts substitute "other" things in place of the drugs.

During the 10 years my husband was "clean" he wasnt working a recovery program..........but he wasnt using crack.

He did however in the beginning of our relationship have his entire focus on me.......
then it was working getting the promotion being "the best"
and after the promotion it was getting the house then golf or basketball

None of these "things" worked in the long run..........he couldnt fill the hole he felt with things or people or jobs and eventually his disease lead him to believe he had life under control he could use again and that is what was missing...............crack
how very wrong his disease was and is.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:36 AM
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Thanks Maggie,

My son has been using for about a year and a half, he is 17 will be 18 in September. He doesn't have anyone DOC it is more like a flavor of the week thing for him. When he was in rehab last year (forced) I was told watching him talk about drugs is like watching a child in a candy store. The councilor told me she never seen anyone like him he talks so passionately about drugs and it is not just one drug it is any kind of drug. His biggest thrill in life is to try the next bigger and better one he can get his hands on. Maggie I know you love your boyfriend, but I would really think about moving on with your life and finding better for yourself.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:47 AM
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Welcome Meggy! Sorry for the circumstances, but if you are looking for clarity, light and support you have found the right place. As much as I hate addiction, I think I hate the word just as much. It is such a slippery, rotten thing to have happening your life.

IMO experience, it doesn't matter how we define it... if someone is using and it is impacting his/her life and those around them negatively... it's not good.

My AH has used for years. However, he would stand before you today and tell you he doesn't have a problem and he is not addicted. OKAY. My response to that is ... whatever. Then I don't like your choices and I don't care to allow those choices impact my life negatively.

Take care of you and remember that you deserve a happy, healthy and honest life. Maybe that is what you have... it's just my opinion... lots of hugs.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:48 AM
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Thanks for sharing liesagain. I don't want to be around 10 years from now and dealing with the same **** I'm dealing with now with him. You're right, its not about the drug itself, its about what they get from it.

Mrjoey - Your son reminds me so much of how my ABF was in HS. I pray that he ends up wising up and changing his life for the better, before he ends up still actively using like my ABF, 10 years later.

And you're right - I do love him..and I am going to move on. That's why i've come back onto this site, to get the support. I know I"m going to need it. THanks!
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:38 AM
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My son is the twin of MyJoey's son - thank goodness we live in different states because the two of them together would be insanity.

If someone intermittently uses crack i think its only a matter of time before they become physically addicted. With polysubstance abuse i think they are addicted to the high - where ever that high may come from. At first they will do anything but eventually one drug will come around that will take presendence as the favorite or they will become physically addicted.

Crack is just not something you can do sporatically forever. Besides that crack is seriously detrimental to your health, illegal and the lifestyle of those he is getting it from and using with is extremely dangerous.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:49 AM
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Yep. My ABF found his favorite in Pills. (Vicadin or percocet mostly) He became very physically addicted. He will go off to rehab and do wonderful and be clean and happy and then come home and 2 weeks later he's ******* up again. IT's a vicious cycle.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:51 AM
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yes
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:30 AM
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Crack actually isnt considered to be physically addictive regardless of the frequency of use. This is one drug that there is no physical withdraw..........well when they are coming down from the drug theres the need and want for more more more and theres the "crash" effects but detox is not necessary for cocaine in any form. The addictive hold is considered to be mental unlike alcohol and the opiates which have severe and DEADLY physical dependency and withdraws.
( crack is also deadly but people die from USING crack either by the drug or the lifestyle like Winnie mentioned.....but with alcohol and opiates people can and do die trying to get off the drug if not done safely under a doctors care)

MANY crack or cocaine users~~ use sporatically, its the amounts and lengths they go to each binge that progresses. Regardless of the frequency of use an addict is an addict and without a program of recovery life is unmanagable and chaos

My husband went out on his binge TWICE in the last year, not everyday and not every week but twice. Just as devastating to him and to our family as it is for the ones who use daily.

He's been addicted to cocaine for the last 18 to 20 years. Hes been thru times where he was using daily in his lifetime (not ours together) and hes also had 10 years clean but he is just as much an addict as the homeless guy who lives on the street and his day to day goals are to get and use drugs. Maybe even worse, because he knows logically that it is never worth the loss and the pain that follows each binge. And with each binge he loses his ability to believe that he can ever get and stay clean............

Hes no less addicted because he used only twice, and his disease has progresses regardless of the fact that the time between binges has lengthened
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:50 AM
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Hey Meggy! I am in NC too (Charlotte).
I just got over an addiction to pain pills. I would say if you use crack at all, its an addiction and a problem. I wish you luck and hope you can be strong to make the right choices in dealing with your boyfriends addictions.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:56 AM
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Nallabelle, I'm in Lexington, NC. But I have a good friend that lives in Charlotte. Thanks for the kind words. I'm trying to distance myself from him now. With all the crap I have to stress over with being on the transplant list, I really can't handle dealing with his crap too!
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by liesagain View Post
Crack actually isnt considered to be physically addictive regardless of the frequency of use. This is one drug that there is no physical withdraw
Okay so i guess you learn something new everyday - i always thought crack was physically addictive. why is it one of the hardest to quit if its not a physical withdrawal?
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:10 AM
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Wink

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. Pain pills, they stay in your system for longer and the more your take, the more your system becomes addicted. SO when someone finally goes into detox...they are having to purge their system of sometimes years worth of drugs in their body.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by liesagain View Post

....but with alcohol and opiates people can and do die trying to get off the drug if not done safely under a doctors care)
Yes a severe alcoholic can die from alcohol withdrawal unless medically supervised. Brain damage and seizures are always a risk.

I am not aware of anyone dying from an abrupt opiate withdrawal, although I am sure that this has occured if there are other medical issues going on. This is not to say that the addict does not feel like he/she is dying. Medical oversight can make withdrawal more comfortable.

Benzo withdrawal is another that is best done with some medical oversight due to complications.
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