Crack Cocaine Symptoms: Signs of Crack Cocaine Use

Crack cocaine use is dangerous and addictive. Crack cocaine symptoms can be lethal. Learn about crack cocaine use and how to spot it in a loved one.

Crack cocaine is a highly addictive and dangerous drug made of purified cocaine. Signs of crack cocaine use are similar to signs of cocaine use, but vary due to the method of ingestion and drug strength. Signs of crack cocaine use are also typically signs of crack addiction as people who regularly use crack cocaine are almost universally addicts. Paying attention to crack cocaine symptoms, and signs of crack use, is extremely important so as to try to get help for anyone facing crack addiction symptoms.

Crack Cocaine Use: Crack Cocaine Symptoms

Crack cocaine symptoms can be divided into two groups: crack cocaine symptoms felt during crack cocaine use and those felt after crack cocaine use. During use, crack cocaine symptoms tend to be considered pleasurable while after use, crack cocaine symptoms are unpleasant. During crack cocaine use, an overdose or side effects are a huge concern. See cocaine overdose.

During use of crack cocaine, crack cocaine symptoms include the following:1

  • Energy, restlessness, insomnia
  • Heightened sense of sight, smell and touch
  • Euphoria
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vertigo
  • Muscle twitches
  • Anxious, irritable or aggressive
  • Severe mental distress including paranoia and psychosis

After use of crack cocaine the user experiences what is known as a "crash." This state feels bad partly because use of crack cocaine uses up all the dopamine (the brain chemical that makes you feel good) found in the brain and the crack cocaine user is now left with a deficit of this brain chemical.

After use of crack cocaine, crack cocaine symptoms include the following:2

  • Crack cocaine craving
  • Depression
  • Agitation, anxiety, anger, irritability
  • Fatigue, lack of motivation
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Shaking, muscle pain
  • Disturbed sleep

Crack Cocaine Use: Signs of Crack Use

Many of the signs of crack use are those seen in all addictions, although signs of crack use may be harder to hide due to life-altering crack effects. Signs of crack use are devastating to see in a loved one, but worse would be not knowing the signs of crack cocaine use. Once signs of crack use are seen, an intervention with the crack user should begin as soon as possible.

Signs of crack use include:

  • Secretive behavior
  • Unexplained spending of cash
  • Weight loss
  • Burns on the hands or mouth, cracked or blistered lips
  • Breathing problems, coughing up black phlegm, tuberculosis
  • Track marks
  • Lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities
  • Legal problems
  • Hyper-alert behavior
  • Delusions of grandeur
  • Lower inhibitions

article references

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2021, December 15). Crack Cocaine Symptoms: Signs of Crack Cocaine Use, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Last Updated: December 29, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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