When celebrities and politicians engage in a risky behavior, those of us with more ordinary lives might get the impression that there is less risk involved. In recent headlines, there has been coverage of Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, who has admitted to using crack cocaine. His admission has divided public opinion, with some outraged, and some supportive of the embattled politician. We should not miss the opportunity, however, to highlight the serious health effects of using crack cocaine.
Crack cocaine is a “freebase” form of cocaine that is produced by mixing cocaine powder with another substance. The result is a crystalline solid which can be smoked. The dangers of using regular cocaine are numerous. However, when consumed in the form of crack, there are added health risks.
First, crack cocaine is highly addictive. This is due to the short and intense high which is achieved when it is smoked. The feelings of euphoria, and correspondingly intense withdrawal, produce a highly addictive substance. In addition, tolerance to the drug is very fast, resulting in greater and greater dependence.
Smoking crack cocaine results in increased risk of numerous health conditions including stroke, heart attack,
seizure, and breathing failure. Any of these acute reactions can result in death.
In addition to acute reactions, crack users often have chronic health problems. These include severe respiratory problems such as lung damage and respiratory infections. Long-term health effects also include damage to many organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys. Chronic cocaine use also results in loss of appetite, insomnia, and malnutrition.
In addition to direct health effects, there are many psycho-social effects, as well. Like an addiction, relationships, work, and general wellbeing are negatively affected. In addition, crack cocaine has also been linked to both aggressive and paranoid behavior.
Despite these health risks, many celebrities have succumbed to the dangerous substance. Some of the most famous cases include actor Robert Downey Jr., comedian Richard Pryor, football player Lawrence Taylor, and rock star Ozzy Osbourne.
It is unfortunate that celebrities’ drug use is often glorified, while the serious damage this behavior causes is less frequently mentioned. Many celebrities have later gone on record regretting their drug abuse and the damage it caused to their health, family, and career. Indeed, many also faced serious legal and criminal charges for their drug use. As Downey Jr. has said “The only way out of that hopeless state is intervention”.
The Cabin, Chiang Mai, provides world-class treatment and has an excellent programme completion rate. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to contact a licensed professional today.