Cocaine and Crack Abuse (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Cocaine and crack abuse facts
- What is cocaine? What is crack?
- How is cocaine abused?
- What are cocaine's effects on the body and the mind?
- What causes and prevents cocaine abuse and addiction?
- What are symptoms and signs of cocaine abuse and addiction?
- How is cocaine addiction diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for cocaine and crack addiction?
- What are symptoms and signs of cocaine withdrawal?
- What are the long-term effects and the prognosis for cocaine and crack addiction?
- Where can people find more information about cocaine and crack abuse?
- Find a local Psychiatrist in your town
What are symptoms and signs of cocaine withdrawal?
Withdrawal symptoms and signs for cocaine include irritability, depression, stomach upset, itching, problems with sleep, and craving the substance.
What are the long-term effects and the prognosis for cocaine and crack addiction?
Drug addiction increases the risk of a number of negative life stressors and conditions. Individuals who are addicted to cocaine are at increased risk for domestic violence. Potential medical complications of cocaine abuse, particularly when in crack form, include tearing of the major artery in the body (aortic dissection), which is associated with extremely high blood pressure. Cocaine use is also a risk factor for having a heart attack.
For children who are exposed to cocaine while in the womb (in utero/prenatally), the problems it can cause have been found as early as infancy. Specifically, babies who had prenatal cocaine exposure have been found to be at risk for having trouble with memory and paying attention. Children of preschool and school age have been found to be at risk for having trouble paying attention and regulating their behaviors if they have been exposed to cocaine in utero. Children with a history of being exposed to cocaine during their first trimester of development in utero tend to experience slower growth over the long term compared to children who are not.
Even if effectively treated, the prognosis of cocaine dependency is not without challenges. Recovery from substance abuse is usually characterized by episodes of remission (abstinence from drug use) and relapse.
Where can people find more information about cocaine and crack abuse?
Kids Against Drugs (http://www.kidsagainstdrugs.com)
Narcotics Anonymous (http://www.na.org)
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: 800-NCA-CALL
National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline: 800-662-HELP (4357)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (http://www.nida.nih.gov)
National Cocaine Hotline: 800-COCAINE (262-2463)
National Clearinghouse for Alcoholism and Drug Information: 800-729-6686
National Resource Center: 866-870-4979
Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology
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