Cocaine and Crack Abuse (cont.)

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What are symptoms and signs of cocaine withdrawal?

Withdrawal symptoms and signs for cocaine include irritability, depression, stomach upset, itching, problems with sleep, and craving the substance.

What are the long-term effects and the prognosis for cocaine and crack addiction?

Drug addiction increases the risk of a number of negative life stressors and conditions. Individuals who are addicted to cocaine are at increased risk for domestic violence. Potential medical complications of cocaine abuse, particularly when in crack form, include tearing of the major artery in the body (aortic dissection), which is associated with extremely high blood pressure. Cocaine use is also a risk factor for having a heart attack.

For children who are exposed to cocaine while in the womb (in utero/prenatally), the problems it can cause have been found as early as infancy. Specifically, babies who had prenatal cocaine exposure have been found to be at risk for having trouble with memory and paying attention. Children of preschool and school age have been found to be at risk for having trouble paying attention and regulating their behaviors if they have been exposed to cocaine in utero. Children with a history of being exposed to cocaine during their first trimester of development in utero tend to experience slower growth over the long term compared to children who are not.

Even if effectively treated, the prognosis of cocaine dependency is not without challenges. Recovery from substance abuse is usually characterized by episodes of remission (abstinence from drug use) and relapse.

Where can people find more information about cocaine and crack abuse?

Kids Against Drugs (

Narcotics Anonymous (

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: 800-NCA-CALL

National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline: 800-662-HELP (4357)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (

National Cocaine Hotline: 800-COCAINE (262-2463)

National Clearinghouse for Alcoholism and Drug Information: 800-729-6686

National Resource Center: 866-870-4979

Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology


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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2014

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