What You Need to Know About the Rock Drug

The use of the rock drug dates back thousands of years. It is a drug with a long history of abuse throughout the world, including South Africa. If you or a loved one is abusing this drug, know that recovery is possible. One of the first steps towards finding recovery or helping someone you love to enter recovery, is to understand the effects of this notorious substance and the most prevalent symptoms of drug abuse.

What is the Rock Drug?

Like a variety of other street drugs, the rock drug is extracted from a naturally occurring plant. Also known as “crack cocaine, nuggets and candy,” the rock drug is extracted from the South American coca plant. In essence, crack is a variant of cocaine, although the latter is used in powder form, while the rock drug comes in blocks of white, yellow or pink crystals and is smoked in a pipe. The use of the drug causes a fleeting but intense high, resulting in an increased heart rate, a feeling of heightened awareness and a noticeable surge in energy. Once the high tapers off, the user may be left feeling depressed, edgy and in certain cases, extremely paranoid. The pressure that the effects of the rock drug puts on the body means that users are more susceptible to heart attacks, strokes and seizures.

Side Effects of the Rock Drug

Disturbed Sleeping Patterns: The intense high that the use of crack cocaine causes, is not conducive to sleep. Recent studies have also shown that the use of this drug can cause major disturbances in one’s circadian or biological clock due to excess amounts of dopamine in the brain. For this reason, abusers of crack often show noticeable signs of sleep deprivation, such as dark circles around their eyes, irritability and sallow skin.

Tooth Decay: One of the most prevalent signs of crack cocaine addiction amongst long-term users is tooth decay. Drugs that are stimulants like crack cocaine can cause users to grind their teeth, which can wear away enamel over time. The rock drug also decreases the amount of saliva in the mouth, causing what is known as “cotton mouth.” This can lead to a decrease in the amount of good bacteria in the mouth and ultimately, advanced tooth decay. Crack users often also have cracked or blistered lips as a result of using a hot crack pipe.

Aggression: When addicts cannot get their fix in time for the craving to be alleviated, restlessness, mood swings and paranoia can set in. Users of crack cocaine often become aggressive when they are prevented from getting high and are known to lash out against those around them. It is not uncommon for users of the rock drug to believe that those around them are plotting against them. As a result, addiction can lead to extreme isolation as well as severe depression and anxiety.

If you identify these side effects in yourself or a loved one, know that help is readily available. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll support you in your recovery journey.


Foundation for a Drug-Free World
Verywell Mind