How Is Crack Cocaine Related to Schizophrenia?
Crack cocaine, also called crack or rock, is a free base form of cocaine. It is derived from powdered cocaine by combining it with water and, in most cases baking soda. This mixture is boiled to become a solid, cooled, and broken down into smaller pieces for smoking. Hence, while typical cocaine powder is snorted, crack cocaine is smoked. However, since they both originate from the coca plant, which stimulates the nervous system, they both evoke similar reactions when taken. Therefore, the crack was most likely discovered through recreational research to make the high gotten from cocaine powder last longer.
Consequently, a primary difference noticed with both forms of cocaine is the intensity and duration of the euphoric feelings obtained from using them. As ordinary cocaine powder is snorted or injected, the high produced is quick but soon fades out. On the other hand, rock may take a while before its effects are felt, but the high obtained lasts much longer. Either way, the individual using any is at significant risk of becoming addicted.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic severe mental health disorder that affects an individual’s ability to think, feel, and behave lucidly. The most prominent symptom of this disorder is psychosis, a disconnection with reality as the individual may begin to experience hallucinations and delusions. Unfortunately, schizophrenia is yet to have a cure, although it can be controlled with proper treatment. Medical research is ongoing to understand the origins of this mental health disorder as that may prove a way to find its cure.
What Is the Link Between Crack Cocaine and Schizophrenia?
First, the most critical point to note is that smoking crack cocaine does not cause schizophrenia. However, an estimated 50 percent of people diagnosed with schizophrenia also have a history of substance abuse. The main culprits here are marijuana and cocaine. The origin of the mental health disorder has yet to be confirmed but is linked to brain structure and genetics. Also, symptoms of crack cocaine addiction sometimes overlap with the signs of schizophrenia which may make either disease difficult to diagnose from the onset. Some of these symptoms they share are:
- Changes in sleep patterns or difficulty falling asleep.
- Social withdrawal and speaking less.
- Reduced emotional expression and lack of motivation.
- Poor hygiene and grooming habits
These above-shared symptoms may sometimes cause inappropriate diagnosis and medical mismanagement in some cases. However, with close and adequate appraisal, subtle differences may be spotted for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Getting Treatment for Crack Cocaine Addiction or Schizophrenia
A comprehensive rehabilitation plan will go a long way for either or both conditions as a corrective measure. For example, with addiction to crack cocaine, detoxification is first necessary to rid the individual of physical dependency. Then in addressing the mental health disorder, psychotherapy and counseling are invaluable tools to bring about healing.
NJ Addiction Resources is in association with many accredited rehab facilities around New Jersey. So if you would like to receive help for yourself or a loved one struggling with addiction, you can contact us immediately. We will help connect you to the facility most suited to your needs for healing while offering external support and encouragement to see you get sober. So contact our recovery advocates today to let us join you on your journey to living free of chemical dependency.