An addiction to crack cocaine can be so pervasive, that there are very few boundaries an addict will not cross. Petty theft, promiscuity, drug trafficking and even selling drugs to loved ones are common in most crack addiction stores. This is what happened to Barry, who found his life spiraling out of control. In his own words he explains that the addiction disease had so consumed his life that he even found himself selling cocaine to his mother.
Barry’s boundaries became so blurred that, “I was arrested on 3 sales and 3 possessions of cocaine within 1000 feet of Cape Coral High School” he said. Barry’s reprieve came in the form of a drug intervention staged by his brother who paid for him to enter a treatment center. After years of suffering and self-effort, this was Barry’s first experience with an inpatient treatment facility. According to him, entering a residential treatment program gave him sufficient time and freedom to step back and review his entire life from his own perspective. It also enabled him to receive comprehensive treatment that offered a balanced program including remedies like Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) and yoga lessons among others.
Like many other addicts who commit to residential treatment, Barry was finally able to uncover the core issues that drove his addiction and helped him to move forward with tools and techniques necessary to sustain long term sobriety. Crack is a freebase or “smokeable” form of cocaine that became popular in the United States in the 1980s. Surveys show approximately 25 million people in the United States have experimented with this drug. Based on the most complete data available, cocaine accounted for 13% of all admissions to drug abuse treatment programs in 2007 according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Crack is also recognized as a less expensive, highly addictive derivative of cocaine.
Studies show although there are varying thresholds of addiction to this drug, there is a high addiction rate for people who try to use crack cocaine recreationally. Treatment for crack addiction has been shown to be highly effective if patients receive a comprehensive continuum of care for a period that is long enough to begin restoration of impaired brain functions. Since there are currently no FDA approved pharmacological interventions for cocaine and crack cocaine, treatment for recovery is customized to facilitate the specific needs of each patient.
The NIDA describes crack addiction as a highly complex disease that involves biological changes in the brain. As such, the treatment process must assess and address the neurobiological and medical aspects of this addiction. In many ways, crack addiction stories of lives gone badly awry is often extremely heart rending simply because most do not have a happy ending. The life of a crack addict, though not dissimilar to other potentially potent substances like heroin, is often marked in addition to medical issues, by innumerable social, familial and other environmental problems. It is therefore not uncommon to find people steeped in crack addiction becoming homeless and bouncing from one place to another while doing whatever it takes including prostitution or stealing to support their drug habit. Crack addicts commonly lose their family, friends and all social contacts due to their addictive patterns of behavior. Eventually, the use of this drug dominates the individual’s thinking processes and staying high becomes their primary preoccupation.
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