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Is Crack an Opioid?

doctor explaining is crack an opioid

While crack is a common drug of abuse, many people still have several questions regarding what type of drug it is and how to treat it. Is crack an opioid? Or is crack an opiate? What’s the difference between crack vs. opioids?

Learning the differences can help you understand how to get clean, but if you need help, you should consider a cocaine addiction treatment program. Contact Serenity Grove by calling 844.904.3485 to learn more about our drug rehab center in Georgia.

Is Crack an Opioid?

Crack is neither an opioid nor opiate. Instead, crack belongs to a class of drugs known as psychostimulants. This drug class includes cocaine, nicotine, crack, methamphetamines, and amphetamines. These drugs stimulate the central nervous system, which can have effects such as:

  • Creating a sense of euphoria
  • Hyperventilation
  • Paranoia
  • Restless energy
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Suppression of the appetite

Stimulant drugs are highly addictive. They directly influence the brain’s reward network, releasing a surge of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Research has linked dopamine to repeated behaviors, and consistently using drugs like crack can cause long-term changes in the reward network.

These changes make it incredibly difficult for people with a substance use disorder to stop using on their own and make hobbies and activities outside of drug use less rewarding.

Crack vs. Opioids

In contrast, opioids belong to a drug class called depressants. Opioids also affect the central nervous system but in the opposite way. The effects of depressant drugs include:

  • Slowed breathing
  • Feeling calm, relaxed, and subdued
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Sleepiness

Several drugs are considered opioids. They include both synthetic drugs, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, as well as illicit drugs, such as heroin. The depressant drug class is even larger, including all opioids, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.

Crack vs. Opiates

If crack isn’t an opioid, is crack an opiate? The answer is still no, as opiates are simply a subset of opioids. The differences in crack vs. opiates are exactly parallel to crack vs. opioids.

Opiates are different from opioids with a simple distinction – opiates come from natural sources, namely the poppy plant. Opiates include drugs such as heroin, morphine, and codeine.

While these drugs are often used in prescription medications, they come from a natural plant source. Of course, most illicit opiates are far from natural. Drugs like heroin are heavily processed, refined, and cut with other chemicals.

Is Crack Different from Cocaine?

Crack is a drug that is derived from cocaine. Crack is simply cocaine that has been processed in such a way that it can be smoked rather than snorted. The effects of both drugs are identical, though crack produces much more powerful effects.

Smoking crack delivers a much larger dose of cocaine at one time, and it reaches the bloodstream faster through the lungs than it does the nose. This also makes crack much more addictive than powdered cocaine, as both dose and route of administration are linked to addiction.

Treatment for Crack Addiction at Serenity Grove

If you or a loved one is struggling with a crack addiction, professional addiction treatment can help you achieve sobriety. Decades of research have gone into understanding substance use disorders and their treatment and can provide valuable tools to help you sustain a life in recovery.

This includes targeted therapies, medication-assisted treatment, and peer-to-peer support through group therapy and recovery groups.

At Serenity Grove, we offer extensive options for substance use treatment. This includes residential treatment programs, outpatient programs, community housing, and extensive aftercare programs.

To reach our team, contact us directly by calling 844.904.3485. Our experience has shown us that anyone can recover from crack addiction, provided they receive targeted support. Don’t delay your recovery any longer—call the team at Serenity Grove today.