by Stephanie Watson
How Stuff Works
This is a very no-BS article on crack. I came across it researching something else and read it because it grabbed my attention.
In my experience, everything in it is straight-up, except for the explanation of cravings. That part was just too fragmented to be useful to an addict seeking recovery. In other words, it does not reflect what he feels when a craving attack comes on—the suddenness, the intensity, the thought patterns that automatically direct themselves to getting the drug, etc. Some other stuff got left out, too, like losing your teeth over time.
Other than that, I recommend this article as a solid introduction for those interested in what crack is. It also provides some very useful links.
(As to you clever sneaky junkies out there, don't think I am not aware of the fact that this article can improve your recipe for cooking up crack. I see you clearly. But when it is time to give it up, you have to give it ALL up, with no doubts about anything—like something you might not have tried because you didn't know. You give it ALL up and know what you are giving up, otherwise you will relapse. So this information will actually help you in the long run.)
One part tickled me:
I found it funny because of the different discussions I have had with Objectivists and libertarians who claim that addiction is not at all physical or a disease. Szasz proves it! So does Rand (by insinuation)!
Researchers have found that cocaine-addicted monkeys will press a bar more than 12,000 times to get a single dose of it. As soon as they get it, they will start pressing the bar for more.
Thus, all we have to do is get those addicted monkeys to read Szasz and Rand and all their problems are over.
To repeat something I usually emphasize, addiction is a combination of several components, not just one thing. Some components are physical and others are mental. Addiction is both a disease and a problem of volition and will power. All the different components differ in degree of intensity depending on the addiction and on the addict. There is no one size fits all recovery treatment except abstinence. When abstinence is not an act, that is no problem and it is automatic. When abstinence is an act (a conscious choice at any given moment) as a reaction to something (like a sudden craving), it has no single prompt.
Treatment needs to be geared towards breaking down and identifying where the problems are in an individual, then addressing each aspect with a specific procedure. This may or may not include drug treatments, depending on the problem.
Anyway, the article is up there. Use it if you need it. Even if you don't need it, it's a good read. Knowledge is power.