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Crack Use on the Rise: What Cincinnati Residents Should Know

Last Updated: January 17, 2023

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The state of Ohio is currently going through a detrimental drug epidemic, with more overdose deaths attributed to drugs than most other states across the nation. Cincinnati is not exempt.

The streets of Greater Cincinnati are seeing a significant uptick in drugs, and crack cocaine is making a roaring comeback in the city. While the drug epidemic has largely been centered around the use of opioids, officials say crack cocaine has increasingly been showing up on the streets.

In fact, the “opioid epidemic” that has characterized Ohio should really be more broadly labeled a “drug overdose epidemic,” because there are a lot more dangerous illicit drugs ravaging the streets and claiming the lives of thousands of people. Further, the entire illicit drug supply in Ohio – with the exception of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms – is contaminated, which is what is causing the mounting drug overdose deaths throughout the city of Cincinnati and the entire state.

People who buy crack cocaine from dealers on the street do not know what has been “cut” into the product they are buying, and that can easily lead to an overdose and death.

What Substances Are Being Cut With Crack?

Since crack cocaine is used recreationally and is served by an expansive illicit drug market, most of it will likely contain impurities or be “cut” with other substances.

These substances can be added to modify or intensify the effects of the drug and can make it easier to snort, smoke, or inject it. They may also be added to beef up the physical component of the drug in order to let drug dealers sell less of the actual crack cocaine while still making more money off of its sales.

Pure cocaine is a salt form which is then neutralized to make a white powder with the use of a solvent. This can make the drug even more dangerous because it is impossible to know what else is in the drug when a person uses it. Many of these additives have actually led to overdose or poisoning deaths.

Common crack cocaine additives that the drug may be cut with include:

  • Boric acid
  • Caffeine
  • Laundry detergent
  • Laxatives
  • Creatine
  • Local anesthetics

Since all of these substances typically come in a white powder form, it is almost impossible to visually distinguish them from the actual cocaine itself. That does not make them any less dangerous, however. Even small traces of laundry detergent in the body can build up in arteries and block vessels to the heart or brain.

What Are the Dangers of Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine has both a physical and psychological effect on the user. People experience the “high” from taking this drug as a result of the impact on the chemicals of the brain that control many different crucial human behaviors, including pleasure, energy, sleep, and hunger, to name a few. Crack cocaine affects such chemicals in such a way that users often experience feelings of pleasure, high doses of energy, and a suppressed appetite.

Crack cocaine is incredibly dangerous because addiction can happen shortly after the start of its use. The symptoms that users feel both immediately and long after they stop using the drug are strong and can send users back for more. The intensity of the high from using crack cocaine is what inevitably leads the majority of users to get addicted within two short weeks of their first hit.

In addition to the pleasurable effects that users feel after taking crack cocaine, there are also a number of negative side effects that are felt over the short term, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid breathing rate
  • Fever

Once the high subsides, users experience another set of side effects, such as:

  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Intense cravings
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Decreased breathing rate

Because of the negative feelings and side effects associated with the sudden crash that follows the high from crack cocaine, users continue to use and may even reach for other illicit substances such as opioids. Some users may even start taking anti-depressant drugs in an effort to deal with their symptoms or to stop over-stimulation. Doing so can create another element to addiction that will have to be managed during a crack cocaine overdose treatment program in Ohio drug rehab.

Over time, crack cocaine abuse can cause a number of dangers to the body, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Arterial tearing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Kidney damage
  • Extreme aggression
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Infertility in males
  • Psychosis

That said, such symptoms of crack cocaine use can be treated in an Ohio drug rehab program, but it is vital that the body is safely detoxified of the drug first before true recovery can start.

Addicts Can Find Hope With Ohio Drug Rehab Centers

The safest and most effective way to be treated in Cincinnati for an addiction to crack cocaine or any other type of drug is by utilizing Cincinnati addiction treatment resources. Under medically-supervised staff, addicts can safely detox their bodies and rid themselves of the dangers of the drug. They can also participate in one-on-one or group counseling sessions that can teach them how to cope with life’s issues without the need to reach for their drug of choice.

If you or someone you know is currently battling a dangerous drug addiction, contact us today.


Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.