What Is Crack Lung?
When people smoke crack cocaine, also known as freebasing, it directly affects their lungs and exposes them to the drug and other substances in the mixture. This can lead to various lung complications, such as damage caused by the drug, commonly called “crack lung.”
Crack cocaine remains a major cause of visits to the emergency department due to drug-related issues, even though it carries certain dangers. In 2018, around 5.5 million people aged 12 and older in the United States admitted to using crack cocaine within the last year. Out of these individuals, approximately 757,000 reported using crack cocaine specifically. These numbers highlight how common and influential crack cocaine use is among the population.
What Is Crack Lung?
Crack lung, a crack cocaine-induced lung injury, occurs when you spend over 48 hours smoking crack cocaine. It leads to acute pulmonary syndrome, where patients typically experience pneumonia-like symptoms. These symptoms include difficulty breathing, a persistent dry cough, and various other indicators.
Imaging of the chest shows lung damage caused by prolonged crack cocaine use. However, crack lung is often associated with additional pulmonary complications of crack cocaine, including alveolar hemorrhage. This serious condition occurs when blood enters certain areas of the lungs, posing a life-threatening emergency.
Crack Lung Symptoms
When crack cocaine is smoked, it causes irritation to the lungs and leads to inflammation in the lung tissues, causing various respiratory issues. The negative consequences of crack are more severe when it is used alongside other substances, like marijuana and tobacco.
- Crack lung manifests with a range of signs and symptoms, including:
- Chest discomfort
- Difficulty breathing, also known as shortness of breath or dyspnea
- Coughing up blood, referred to as hemoptysis
- Presence of black mucus or dark phlegm
- Insufficient oxygen levels in the blood due to impaired blood flow
- Development of a group of lung infections called eosinophilic pneumonia
- Respiratory distress and failure
Crack Cocaine Complications: Case of Crack Lung
The Clinical Medicine Journal reported a case involving a 33-year-old man who arrived at the emergency department with escalating chest pains, fever, breathing difficulties, and dry cough. The patient had been a regular crack cocaine smoker for the past two decades but acknowledged a significant increase in crack use during the three days leading up to his hospitalization.
After conducting thorough chest radiographs and analyzing the imaging results, the patient was diagnosed with acute alveolitis. This condition involves inflammation of the tiny air sacs in the lungs and is caused by prolonged inhalation of crack cocaine. The patient was also diagnosed with acute eosinophilic pneumonia resulting from the same prolonged crack cocaine inhalation.
Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment at Northridge Addiction Treatment Center
It is important to seek professional help to identify and treat the underlying causes of addiction. This will help prevent further harm to the mind and body caused by substance abuse.
Northridge Addiction Treatment Center offers evidence-based care to individuals struggling with substance use disorders and co-occurring conditions. We are here to provide the support and guidance you require as you start your path toward a healthier life free from drugs.
At NATC, we recognize that overcoming addiction requires effort and commitment. Our residential treatment facility offers a nurturing and supportive environment where you can heal and find solace from life’s pressures. Our treatment programs are tailored to your circumstances and needs, promoting lasting sobriety.
Our programs, including medical detoxification, medically assisted treatment, and dual diagnosis treatment, are grounded in scientific evidence and informed by extensive medical research. These programs equip participants with specialized tools to address their triggers and develop effective coping skills.
Embrace a life centered around recovery with Northridge Addiction Treatment Center. Our compassionate treatment specialists can address any inquiries and assist you today.
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