The failure of crack users to engage in safe sex is the direct result of their intense crack addiction. The need to satisfy their cravings for the drug becomes the most important thing, everything else is second or doesn’t even matter. Significant changes will only take place in those who are addicted if they are involved in a non-drug treatment program in an attempt to overcome their crack addiction. Unfortunately, crack addicts become involved in a vicious cycle of sex for drugs and/or sex for money to buy drugs. It’s almost a survival mechanism, in which, doing whatever it takes to obtain the drug becomes a necessity. Concern about contracting AIDS/HIV may be there but because the addiction is so strong, the concern is minimized like every other normal concern, including hygiene, safety, relationships, isolation from friends and family, and incarceration.
However, crack addicts have a false sense of security or belief that they cannot or will not get AIDS. One of the reasons crack users believe they won’t get AIDS or HIV is because they don’t inject drugs. They feel not injected the drug is their safe haven. As long as they do not inject the drug, they cannot get AIDS or HIV. However, the biggest threat in them contracting the disease is through unsafe sex practices. This believe is based on ignorance about the disease, unfortunately, this ignorance will continue because crack addicts, unless they are seeking treatment, will not seek accurate information about the disease and crack use.
Yet, there are a number of reasons why many women don’t seek drug treatment, other than the intense craving to satisfy their habit. Many addicts, in particularly women crack addicts, fear they will lose their children or go to jail. Although, many female crack users have abandoned or neglected their children anyway because of their crack habit. Child neglect and abuse is high among female crack addicts so the fear of losing their children may not be an honest reason for not seeking treatment. Crack addiction is higher among women than men and unlike male crack addicts, many female crack users turn to a life of prostitution to get money for their drugs or will live or stay for long periods of time in crack houses engaging in sex for drug activities.
Many treatment programs are not as effective as they should be. Treatment programs should include helping the addict overcome their drug habit but also help them address and overcome issues – psychological and emotional – that caused them to start using crack and eventually becoming addicted to the drug. Unless a serious crime has been committed by the addict, jail should not be a treatment option since this does nothing to prevent drug abuse or the AIDS problem among crack addicts. However as stated above, getting crack users into a drug treatment program is very difficult. Research studies have shown that only half of female crack addicts receive any sort of drug treatment. Unfortunately, if it is that difficult getting crack users into a drug treatment program, then it is twice as hard to get information to them about AIDS/HIV treatment program.