TMZ.com and countless other websites are talking about Lamar Odom’s $800 a day crack cocaine addiction. The professional basketball player, who married Khloe Kardashian in the same month he met her, seems to be spiraling into a dark world of addiction.
What is Crack Cocaine?
Crack, or freebase, is the smokable form of cocaine. Instead of crushing down and snorting cocaine in lines, users dissolve cocaine hydrochloride into an alkali solution. When heated, crystals are created that are then put into a pipe and smoked.
Crack cocaine has a lower melting point than the powder form of cocaine, so the process of vaporizing the drug happens much quicker. Crack also creates a much more intense high because the method of smoking the drug offers easier absorption by the human brain’s fat cells than cocaine does when snorted. Smoking crack reaches the brain faster than snorting cocaine, and the user gets a much larger dose of the drug because the lungs provide such a large surface area for absorption (the size of a football field!).
Why Has Lamar, and So Many Others, Become Addicted to Crack Cocaine?
Crack is highly addictive, and Lamar Odom is the most recent example of how quickly someone’s life can be hijacked when use starts as recreational. Smoking the drug gives the user an intense rush that last for a matter of seconds, followed by euphoria, arousal, and excitement lasting for several minutes.
When the high is over, the user comes crashing down and is left with irritability, anxiety, and dysphoria, which is an overall feeling of uneasiness. What can change the negative feelings and emotional discomfort? Another hit. Just like the cure for being thirsty is water, to a crack cocaine user, the cure for coming down from the high is more crack. The constant striving for that high creates a quick and vicious cycle of highs and lows.
What Does Crack Cocaine Do to the Body and to the Brain?
In the moment, when smoking crack, the user experiences dry skin, dry mouth, coughing, tremors, slurred speech, and blurred vision. With repeated use, crack causes chest pains, sore throat, black or bloody mucus and saliva, hypertension, weight loss, insomnia, continued tremors, and heart damage.
The psychological effects of crack vary among users, but most often crack smokers experience paranoia, intense cravings for the drug, antisocial behavior, intense irritability, drug-using dreams, hyperexcitability, hallucinations, depression, psychosis, and high-risk behavioral choices, often sexual in nature.
Overdose is very possible when smoking a drug like crack cocaine.
Why Has Lamar Odom Gone Down This Path?
Khloe Kardashian may have seen Lamar’s behavior change, but did she know that her husband was using a drug like crack? What could she have done if she did know?
How long has Lamar been smoking crack? Did he have a problem before he played in the NBA, and before he met Khloe?
According to several reports, Lamar has been smoking crack cocaine for the last two years, if not longer. On the reality shows Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Khloe & Lamar, Lamar’s childhood is mentioned when his father, Joseph, comes back into the picture. Joseph has lived a drug addicted life that kept him from being in Lamar’s life. Is Lamar repeating the pattern? Has a life without parents lead him to the point of feeling like he needed an escape from the emotional pain he has been carrying with him since he can remember?
Addicts Seek Escape, Pain Relief, and A Moment of Forgetting the Past
Lamar’s past may be catching up with him emotionally in a way that he cannot handle. He is turning to one of the most powerful drugs available in an effort to suppress the memories and to feel good inside, even if it’s fleeting.
When people reach the point of drug use that it seems Lamar Odom has reached, assuming the $800 per day crack cocaine reports are true, it is difficult to stop using because pain feels more intense, reality feels more painful, and the high of smoking crack, or injecting heroin, or even of getting blackout drunk, feels like the only cure.
It has been reported that Lamar went to rehab, which did not keep him clean. What is next for the NBA star? Will he realize that he is on his way to an early death and seek professional help? Will he, like many drug addicts and alcoholics, need damaging life consequences before seeing the need for change?
Lamar’s drug use appears to be destroying his marriage, his extended family life, and possibly his career. What else needs to happen before Lamar Odom goes to treatment and faces the demons that are keeping him sick?
Post by: Marissa Maldonado