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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Could My Friends Condition be from Crack?

10/05/2010

Question:

my friends wrists just started hurting then swelling,then her feet and ankles,we watched as these little bumps and knotts just apeared on her forearms,it looked like one of her fingers was broken..or maybe she got bit by something,purple in the middle and so swollen she couldnt bend it..she said the pain is so bad.she told me that it started about six months ago,and this has happend several times..could this be from long term use of crack,stayen up for days at a time?

Answer:

It is difficult to tell what is causing your friend's symptoms without a thorough history and physical exam and without laboratory testing.

I do not think this is coming directly from crack use. It may be an indirect result of crack use, however. For example, if the crack use led to impulsive behavior (such as unprotected sex, or intravenous drug use), this may have led to a blood infection which could be affecting your friend's skin and joints.

The best advice that I can give is to make sure that your friend is evaluated by a physician who can make an appropriate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment.

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Christina M Delos Reyes, MD Christina M Delos Reyes, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University