Have you ever really KNOWN a crackhead?

The question is pretty straightforward. Crack is a drug everyone has heard of and everyone knows about; to some extent. It’s a drug that is well-known for it’s devastating effects on the user and many cliches and stereotypes abound today when the word “crackhead” is used. But, for most people, very little (if anything) is known about just how this drug affects those who use it, as well as the lifestyle that is part and parcel of the addiction.

I have been away from the board for quite a while. In that time, I learned that someone I had known for more than three years was in fact addicted to crack cocaine. This was someone who I previously thought was “only” struggling with a heroin addiction. If I only knew just how much that heroin addiction paled in comparison to the unmitigated evil that is crack addiction.

There is drug addiction and then there is crack addiction. Crack is a unique drug. I thought I knew a whole lot about drugs and what goes on in the drug culture-but I was blown away when I began to peer below the surface and research this drug. I knew NOTHING about crack. And I bet most here don’t either.

Crack is cocaine but it’s more pure and because it’s smoked it hits the brain much more quickly than powdered coke. When a person takes that first hit, they are immediately engulfed in the most intense, pleasurable, orgasmic wave that has ever been experienced. And it only lasts five minutes. The combination of the intensity of the high with the short duration is what makes crack crack. The user is quickly left just wanting more, and then more and more…

The long-term recovery rate for crack addiction (being 15+years) is 3 %. That is lower than any other drug. And it’s because of the lifestyle/drug combination. Crack and sex are inseparable. Not only is sex a primary payment method for many addicts, but sex itself is the main activity taking place when users smoke. The high makes them hypersexual and horny; they lose all inhibitions and will have sex with anybody. So a big part of the reason treatment fails is it is only treating half the addiction: crack addicts are often suffering dual addictions-drug addiction and sex addiction.

And crackheads are not all like the toothless whore with scabs on her lips giving blowjobs for $5 on the corner. I was fooled for three years. And this person’s family was fooled to. I was the bearer of bad news to the family. :frowning: It wasn’t fun. If a crackhead has someone to leech off of, someone who is taking care of them, they can keep up the appearance of normalcy for quite some time. And crackheads are very good manipulators and exceptional liars; they have to be because absolutely every single word out of a crackhead’s mouth is a lie.

Now this was not someone I was particularly close to, but it still was an unbelievably sad experience for me. However, what I have learned about the world has been a remarkable thing. Life is a humbling experience.

That link is for anyone who would like to read more about the life. Just from an academic point of view, it’s fascinating stuff. In a dark way.

Yes, I have. And scabs are usually correlated with opiates.

Yes, I have known a few of them although they aren’t all stereotypical. One was a black guy a worked with in high school. He and his girlfriend turned up missing for some time. Both of them were eventually found. He killed her and then fled and is doing life for it.

Another was a very imposing black lady. She was a true crack whore at many points by any definition of the word. She somehow got her act cleaned up enough to go to college and become a motivational speaker on drug issues. She is very persuasive and talented.

Another one is a 50 something white upper-midldle class guy. He lost his family and his CFO job when he got busted for buying crack in the projects and it made the news. I don’t know how he is doing these days but he was a true crackhead and didn’t fit the profile at all.

I think that “crackhead” implies addiction when, despite the highly addictive nature of the drug, use is not abuse is not dependence/addiction.

Not really. Crackheads burn their lips on the pipe, causing scabs. Cokeheads and crystal meth users both pick at their skin, causing scabs. And yes, I have known a couple of crackheads. They would sell their grandmother into white slavery for 20 bucks.

Professionally, yes, lots. Lots and lots and lots.

Huh. Weird–I don’t think I’ve ever seen lip burns. Only the face picking of opiate users…but true re meth.

Okay cool, so living_in_hell is apparently our resident expert on the physical cues and symptoms of someone being addicted to crack. If I knew any crackheads this would be good to know.

He also seems to be an expert in the usage of the term crackhead, so I hope I’m using it correctly.

You’re being sarcastic, right? Because everything he has said about crackheads is wrong (okay, both things). Including that use does not mean addiction. It’s pretty commonly known that crack can be devastatingly addicting with just one use- if you’re using it regularly, you are surely a crackhead.

You are a shining example of the ignorance out there regarding this drug. You know nothing.

I knew some crackheads. There were telltale signs:

A. Smoking crack
B. Getting arrested and convicted for possession of crack cocaine
C. Getting out of jail after being convicted of possesion of crack cocaine and smoking crack again.

I live in Tucson, Arizona, where there’s a crackhead on every corner. I can spot one from a half mile away. I detest them.

The little girl who lived across the street from us grew up to be a crack whore. We moved in when she was 8 yrs old. We’ve lived here 17 yrs. About 5 years ago, I realized I never saw her around. I saw the other kids from time to time. Two had moved out, but this girl and her youngest sister still lived at home. Then one day she was back home and had a baby. Her mom seemed pretty excited about a grandbaby and was showing her off.

After a while, I didn’t see the girl anymore, but I still saw the baby. About a year or so went by. Then one day I saw her mom out with the sister and the baby. She told me she and her husband were getting ready to go to court to have her daughter’s parental rights terminated and get full custody of the baby. Up until this point I didn’t really know what was going on, so I asked and the mom replied, “She’s a crack whore and she only wants the baby when she thinks it will help her get money.” She went on far longer and in far more detail than I ever needed to know, but she seemed like once she started talking she couldn’t stop. I felt so awful for her. The older two were having careers and buying homes and stuff, the youngest was doing well in high school. She was just like, “I guess 3 for 4 isn’t that bad, is it?” I could tell she was angry and in pain. I didn’t know what to say.

I am pretty sure that just because I’ve never seen lip burns doesn’t mean I know nothing. Perhaps you could communicate in a way that doesn’t belong in the pit.

That’s pretty harsh, Alice. You’re speaking in a general and hateful way about a group of people who struggle with a powerful disease. :frowning:

Maybe you could start by not saying things like “crack whore”? She is a human being.

I don’t give a fuck. I’ve had them knock on my door at 10 pm wanting to sell broken VCRs and at midnight wanting to sell me used movies. I’ve had one kick my car off a jack in the driveway when I went to get the tire patched, because I wouldn’t buy their shit. I’ve had them test my doorknob in the middle of the night to see if it might be unlocked. I’ve had them offer my teenaged sons hits off their pipes for money. I’ve had one throw a rock through my boyfriend’s window when I was spending the night. I’ve heard so many sob stories about broken down cars and babies not having food, could I just spare a few bucks? Shit gets old. I don’t know where you live- Nebraska? But crackheads can be dangerous and real assholes, and I’m the sole protector of my family. You’re damn right I detest them.

Is chickenhead better?

No, Im asking if you’ve known them personally, known them as friends or family. Because it is only then that you can truly understand this drug and how it changes a person. It sucks every single ounce of humanity out of the person. It’s difficult to communicate the magnitude of this concept but a person who smokes crack is gone-that’s it. Sure, there are exceptions (and I have theories about that) but by and large those who develop a crack habit are forever lost. And to witness it before your very eyes, it is disturbing.

And the thing that is difficult to understand, at least one of the things, is that crackheads enjoy this life; a life of filth and depravity. It’s where they can be free and unfeeling. Sure, when they are ‘down’ they are consumed with shame, guilt and crashing depression thinking about the things that they did to get the crack and the things that went on while high; all that does is fuel their motivation to find more crack to alleviate the pain.

And it was only after I realized this friend had a crack addiction did I piece together the truth that she was using heroin in order to make these “down times” more bearable and easier. I come to find out this is not uncommon among crack addicts.

I will concede that I may have misspoken earlier when I said that they’d sell their grandmother into white slavery for 20 bucks- I believe they might take 5. And yes, I have personally known a couple of them, although obviously, we weren’t close.