Cocaine and crack use today

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Cocaine and crack use today

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Cocaine use, which was very, very popular in the 80s and early 90s has tended to follow that generation forward but the children are the children of that generation are much, much less likely to use cocaine today than they had in the past. That doesn´t mean it isn´t there. And there are communities, particularly some of the big cities, where cocaine and crack use are actually quite common. Now we make a distinction between cocaine and crack because cocaine tends to give kind of a mellow high, a sense of energy and youth and vitality that lasts for 20, 30 minutes. Crack cocaine, on the hand, is compared to basically a five minute orgasm, very intense but very short relative to other drugs used. That high causes you to get very excited and high but then it´s followed by a crash that takes you below normal, which is why then people will take it again to get back up to normal but it will cause it to crash even more. And this is why you get crack runs because once you have had one or two hits, you are now worse than when you started and you are panicking. And in order to get back to normal, you would do anything. So crack dealers will actually give away the first two hits of crack because once the run has started, they will have everything you have within an hour.

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Michael Dennis, PhD

Psychologist

Michael Dennis, PhD, is a senior research psychologist and Director of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center at Chestnut Health Systems in Normal, Illinois. Over the past 25 years his primary area of research has been to better understand and manage addiction and recovery over the life course. This includes multiple clinical trials to compare the effectiveness of adolescent treatment approaches and recovery support services, longitudinal studies with adolescents, adults and older adults to understand the predictors of entering and sustaining recovery, and creating the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center for teaching evidenced based assessment to support clinical decision making at the individual level and program evaluation. He has multiple awards for moving the field from science to practice, promoting diversity through practice based evidence and bringing more people into the field.

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