While the well-known opioid epidemic in Ohio is making headlines, another drug that is just as sinister keeps gaining ground. Users say crack cocaine is one of the most widely available and easy-to-obtain illicit drugs in Ohio, specifically around the Columbus area.
Though law enforcement officers tend to rank crack availability at a slightly more modest level, users and treatment providers say it is everywhere. Sadly, availability appears to be growing. Why? It is relatively inexpensive, dealers are willing to deliver, and the drug quality is moderately high. That is a dangerous combination for an epidemic that is simmering in Ohio.
Who are the Typical Crack Users in Columbus?
According to the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network (OSAMN), crack users tend to be “white people and older African American males.” That is on par with OSAMN’s overall findings for drug users in Columbus and around the state.
Here are more of their findings:
- Most drug users in Columbus are high school graduates.
- Men are more likely than women to use drugs.
- Crack cocaine use ranks higher than ecstasy, meth, and prescription stimulants and is about the same as sedative hypnotics.
- Treatment providers say users often switch to crack when trying to stop using opioids.
How Does Crack Use and Availability Compare to Powdered Cocaine and Opioids?
Compared to powdered cocaine, crack is an inexpensive high that is all too easy to find. A gram of powder costs about $30-$75 according to OSAMN. One gram of crack costs about $30. Compared to opioids, it is much cheaper, contributing to the prevalence of crack use in the state.
In the OSAMN survey, some users said half the homes in lower income areas are crack houses. Law enforcement says they do not see as much crack as other drugs, but users and treatment providers tell a slightly different story. A typical user says: “You can trip and fall and find crack cocaine in Columbus. It’s everywhere.” Treatment providers explain that availability is high, “though it seems to be a secondary to methamphetamine.”
What are the Effects of Crack Cocaine?
Crack is known as a fast-acting drug that is incredibly addictive. Narconon says a Canadian filmmaker nearly lost everything to crack. While making a documentary on drug abuse, he decided to try crack just once. Three years later, he had lost his home and was struggling with addiction.
The heart of the problem appears to be a combination of a powerful drug with a short-lived high. In less than half an hour, the user “needs to smoke another rock,” says Narconon. Sadly, nearly 7,000 people died in 2015 from a cocaine overdose.
Prolonged crack use causes:
- Heart, brain and lung damage
- Heart attack or heart failure
- Hardening of blood vessels
- Premature aging
- Extreme mood swings between a “sense of power” and depression
- Memory loss
- Cerebral hemorrhage
Where Can Addicts in Columbus Find Treatment Help?
Although crack is highly addictive, getting help now can help prevent further health damage. It could save your life. Recovery Village Columbus, a new drug rehab center in Columbus, Ohio, provides treatment for crack addiction which revolves around medical care administered by professionals trained in drug addiction. It begins with supervised medical detoxification to manage withdrawal symptoms and moves from there into intensive treatment.
Because recovering from a crack addiction is so difficult, it makes sense to take every advantage that you can get to help you to successfully win the war against addiction. You may need inpatient residential care, at least for a while. From there, you may transition through partial hospitalization, outpatient, and aftercare as you gradually rebuild your life as an addict living in recovery.
Crack cocaine is not making headlines now like the opioid crisis, but that does not mean the drug is not dangerous. If you or someone you care about are suffering from an addiction to crack cocaine or any other substance, Recovery Village Columbus can help. Contact us today and learn about all of your treatment options.