Last updated: 04/1/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 4 minutes
When you are addicted to a drug, it is difficult to know when that addiction has gone too far. One of the key factors in recognizing addiction is when it begins to interfere with your life. Unfortunately, many do not recognize this point and it is not until the addiction gets to the point where it is dangerous. Crack is a drug that destroys you, your family, your job, and your life. It is important to recognize all of the signs that your crack addiction becomes dangerous.
You Exhibit the Signs of Crack Use
When you obviously start to exhibit the signs of crack use it is usually a danger warning sign. These signs are no longer subtle indications that you might be using crack. They are glaringly obvious. According to the National Library of Medicine, some of these signs are:
- rapid speech
- extreme energy
- irregular or rapid heartbeat
- irregular or rapid breathing
- delusions of grandeur or invincibility
If you can no longer hide the signs of your active use, your addiction has probably reached dangerous levels. Most people who have some control over their addiction know how to hide these symptoms.
You Stop Caring about how you Look
One of the key symptoms of dangerous crack use is changes in appearance. Those who want to do nothing but use the drug stop caring for their appearance. They will stop:
- bathing or showering
- wearing make-up if they used to
- brushing their hair
- cleaning their clothing
- washing their hands or face
- brushing their teeth
These appearance changes are drastic. Many people begin to look homeless when they are addicted to crack even when they are not homeless. They stop caring about anything except their addiction. People who are around you notice and start commenting on your appearance.
You Stop Caring About Your Job
One of the most apparent signs that a crack addiction has reached dangerous levels is when you stop caring about your job. There are a few scenarios where this happens:
- You use crack the night before and call in sick the next day because you are crashing from coming down from the crack, you make up some excuse about why you cannot come to work.
- You use crack the night before and are late to work because of the crash coming down off crack.
- You use crack the night before and do not call in but also do not show up to work, you normally end up making excuses as to why you could not call in that day.
- You use crack while you are at work. If you need to use while you are at work, you could wind up injuring yourself or others.
Most of these scenarios eventually result in disciplinary action or job loss. Most employers realize very quickly that you are using drugs particularly when you are using them on the job.
You Stop Caring about Your Family and Friends
When your addiction gets bad enough, you stop caring about your family and friends. This might be because they are constantly asking you about your drug use or that the drug has just taken over your life.
You stop spending time with the friends who do not use crack. You distance yourself from your family. You cannot attend family functions because you cannot get high while you are there or because you are coming off your last high.
You Cannot Sleep
Many people describe insomnia as one of the worst experiences. The long term insomnia suffered by many crack users is psychologically damaging. Not sleeping for days causes a variety of psychological issues such as:
- violent behavior
Most of these symptoms subside after you stop using crack but a period of intense insomnia and fatigue is associated with withdrawal from the drug. Many people feel as if they are going insane when they are incredibly tired and cannot sleep.
You Suffer from Paranoia and Hallucinations
Crack use leads to paranoia. This extreme paranoia is a symptom that crack addiction has gone too far. Many people who use crack to this point start believing that everyone is out got get them, including trusted friends and family members. When they begin to hallucinate, the hallucinations take on a paranoid connotation.
Paranoid hallucination often lead to violent outbursts and behavior. Sometimes this leads to legal issues and other problems.
You do Things you Never Thought you would
Some people who use crack cocaine end up doing things that they would ordinarily never do to get the drug. This includes:
- having sex for money
- having sex in exchange for the drug
- theft from family and friends
- other illegal activities
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some of the high risk behaviors that go along with crack addiction lead to deadly diseases such as HIV.
You Cannot Stop Using
One of the most obvious signs that treatment for crack addiction becomes a life and death matter is when you absolutely cannot stop using. No matter what you try, you always seem to go back to using. You might have tried other options such as community support and other support groups but you still wind up purchasing and using the drug.
Crack addiction is one of the most powerful addictions there is. Most people who use crack wind up needing some form of treatment to get off it.