Crack vs Meth: Understanding the Differences

Stimulant drugs speed up the activity in your central nervous system. They include substances like caffeine, amphetamines, and cocaine. Two of the most commonly abused stimulants are crack and meth.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that over 6 million people in the United States have abused crack at some point in their lives.

On the other hand, 2.5 million people reported using meth in 2021.

Both crystal meth and crack cocaine cause symptoms like increased energy, fast heart rate, and anxiety or paranoia. While these substances have similarities, there are differences to be aware of.

For example, doctors use meth to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). On the other hand, crack is an illicit stimulant drug only found on the street. Being aware of the differences between crack and meth can help promote public education on addictive drugs.

What is Crack?

Crack is a stimulant drug that derives from powder cocaine. People who create crack cook cocaine and mix it with baking soda to create a rock-like substance. Crack emerged as a popular drug of abuse in the 1980s.

People might abuse this form of cocaine to cope with mental health issues. On the other hand, they might use crack to experience a euphoric high or increase their energy. Most people who misuse crack smoke the substance, leading to almost instant effects.

The short-term symptoms of crack abuse include:

  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Increased energy and focus
  • Heightened blood pressure
  • Chest pain and anxiety
  • Paranoia and psychosis
  • Increased confidence

The effects of crack are short-lived, causing people to abuse it frequently. Unfortunately, this leads to addiction.

If you are addicted to crack, addiction treatment can help you recover. There are many treatment options to choose from, including inpatient and outpatient rehab.

What is Meth?

Meth is a potent stimulant drug that doctors use in medical settings to treat a variety of conditions. Most people abuse meth buy it off the street. Meth can come in pill form, crystal form, and even a powder.

The effects of meth include:

  • Increased heartbeat and breathing rate
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • A rush of euphoria and energy
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Aggressive or violent behavior
  • Shaking or tremors

Long-term meth use can lead to a variety of health problems, including overdose. If you are addicted to meth you should seek help from a meth detox and withdrawal program. These facilities will offer evidence-based therapy, relapse prevention planning, and expert support.

What is the Difference Between Crack and Meth?

Even though crack and meth are both powerful and addictive stimulants, they are not the same.

Crack is derived from cocaine, which comes from coca leaves. In contrast, meth is a synthetic drug. Most of the meth people abuse contains a wide range of dangerous household chemicals.

Another difference between meth and crack is the length of effects. Crack is short-lived, usually only lasting 30 minutes. When someone abuses meth, they could be high for up to 8 hours.

Lastly, doctors use meth in medical settings to treat ADHD, obesity, and narcolepsy. Crack cocaine is an illegal drug that doctors never use to treat conditions.

Both substances are extremely dangerous to abuse. While there are differences between them, neither one is better for you than the other. If you are addicted to crack or meth, you should seek professional help.

Why Do People Abuse Drugs Like Meth and Crack?

If your loved one is abusing meth or crack, you might have a hard time understanding why. It is common for these drugs to cause paranoia, insomnia, and even psychosis. As a result, it might seem strange that your loved one would continue to misuse them.

The first time someone abuses meth or crack they experience a rush of euphoria, feelings of confidence, and increased energy. Typically, the negative side effects do not begin until they have been abusing them regularly. Unfortunately, at this point, they would already be physically and emotionally dependent on the drug.

People abuse meth and crack because they are facing difficult situations in their lives. Once they realize the substances are causing adverse effects, the addiction makes it hard to quit. Thankfully, drug rehab programs can help people overcome crack or meth addiction.

Signs of Crack or Meth Addiction

Both crack and meth addiction cause similar side effects. Being aware of the symptoms of addiction can help you determine whether your loved one needs support.

Meth and crack addiction will cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • Having a hard time controlling how much meth or crack you use
  • Showing signs of being high like increased energy, aggression, or insomnia
  • Dealing with substance-induced psychosis
  • Failing to meet responsibilities at home, school, or work
  • Continuing to use crack or meth despite facing social issues
  • Experiencing financial issues
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Isolating from friends and family
  • Using crack or meth despite experiencing physical or mental health effects
  • Needing to increase your dose to experience the desired effect
  • Dealing with withdrawal symptoms when you cannot use crack or meth

Both meth and crack addiction cause long-term health effects. Since they are stimulants, they cause extensive damage to the heart. You could also struggle with life-threatening overdoses if you take too much meth or crack at once.

The experts at addiction treatment facilities can offer you support, evidence-based treatment, and more. With the help of a drug detox program and treatment center, you can learn to maintain long-term recovery and avoid relapse.

Find Help for Crack or Meth Abuse

If you or a loved one are addicted to crack or meth, Cobb Behavioral Health is here to help. We can offer you the tools and support you need to achieve long-lasting recovery.

While you receive treatment at Cobb Outpatient Detox, you’ll have access to comprehensive medical guidance to keep you safe and comfortable during the first stages of your recovery. Our expert medical professionals are dedicated to your success in recovery and will be there every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about how we treat crack and meth addiction.

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