Crack Addiction and the Brain

Crack addiction is one of the most serious problems in our country today, thanks to its highly addictive nature and the dangerous effects it produces in those who use it. People who are addicted to crack will sacrifice their bodies, mind, relationships and jobs just to keep using — but why? Here’s a closer look at how crack addiction affects the brain.

The Effects of Crack Addiction on the Brain

Crack abuse causes numerous effects on the brain. The first major effect is that it changes the way nerve cells, called neurons, in the brain communicate. Neurons are responsible for supplying the brain with important chemicals called neurotransmitters that pass electrical impulses through the body. One of the neurotransmitters affected by crack is called dopamine, an important chemical that controls feelings of pleasure and well-being. Crack abuse damages the brain’s ability to transfer dopamine. At first, crack users will feel intense feelings of pleasure and euphoria because the crack causes the brain to release all the dopamine at once. Over time, however, crack can actually damage the ability to transmit dopamine, which damages the ability to feel pleasure at all.

Research suggests that long-term use of crack may reduce the amount of dopamine and dopamine receptors in the brain, which means nerve cells must have crack present in the system in order to communicate properly. Without continuing to use crack, a person will be unable to create their own feelings of pleasure. This is the stage where crack addiction really takes hold — the user has begun to rely on crack to get those feelings of pleasure back, and will do anything they can to use crack again.

The Effects of Crack Addiction on the Nervous System

In addition to the brain, crack also directly affects the automatic nervous system, which controls the sympathetic system. The sympathetic system speeds things like the heart rate and breathing up, which explains why people who smoke crack become so hyper and energetic. Unfortunately, this increase in heart rate and breathing can also lead to complications such as heart attack, stroke and seizures.

Crack Addiction Treatment at Casa Palmera

Crack addiction and abuse creates an intense physical and psychological dependence that is best treated at a professional crack rehab facility. Casa Palmera provides a safe, comfortable environment to undergo the detoxification period, followed by behavioral therapy, counseling and group support. This is accomplished through traditional and alternative treatments that are designed to help you overcome your addiction and learn to live a healthy and balanced life.

Don’t let crack addiction or abuse ruin your life of the life of a loved one’s any longer. Call Casa Palmera today and start the healing process.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.