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Crack is the hard form of cocaine that develops when the drug is mixed with water and other solvents and then cooked into a hard, rock form. The drug is still highly potent, very powerful and extremely addicting despite the chemical changes that take place when it is cooked. In fact, crack cocaine is actually more powerful than powder cocaine, causes physical dependence to set in more quickly and is far more dangerous than the powder counterpart.
This drug once appeared in the impoverished inner-city neighborhoods of major cities but can now be found throughout the country. Because of the relatively low-cost to produce the drug and the extreme high that results from using the drug, crack cocaine has become one of the most widely abused drugs in the United States wreaking havoc on users young and old, rich and poor, educated and very much under-educated alike.
To learn more about crack cocaine abuse and its dangers, call us toll-free at 800-736-5356.
What is Crack Cocaine?
According to the National Library of Medicine, crack cocaine is a rock form of cocaine that appears similar to broken white rocks. The drug is not quite as hard as a rock and actually has a density slightly greater than candle wax. It’s not soft but not so hard either, sort of an in-between density that is much harder than the powder like the cocaine it is derived from but not quite as hard as the name would imply.
When crack is in its purest state, it will resemble a hard plastic density. It can actually make a cracking noise when it is broken into smaller nuggets or pieces. When the drug is smoked, it will crackle and pop hence the name, “crack.” On the streets, people determine the quality of crack cocaine by sinking it in water or placing a flame near it to see if the edges of the drug melt, these are two signs that the drug is pure and essentially “strong.”
How is Crack Abused?
Crack cocaine is typically smoked using a glass pipe. The drug is broken into small rocks and then placed into a pipe or other device to be smoked. Because the high only lasts a few solid minutes, people who smoke crack will constantly be smoking more and more in order to feel the continued effects of the drug. Unfortunately, crack is often mixed with fillers or other substances that can make smoking the drug even more dangerous than the user believes. There is no way to know how much cocaine is being used, how potent the crack is or what the potential side effects or repercussions of using the drug will be which can leave the user open to a wide array of potential side-effects and problems.
Dangers of Crack Cocaine Use
Crack cocaine is highly dangerous for a variety of reasons. Because there is no way to know how much of the drug is really being used, there are serious dangers with the risk of overdose when a user is smoking crack. Overdose is also a serious threat as the user continues to abuse the drug repeatedly in order to keep the high going. The user experiences an instant rush followed by a significant crash that causes them to want to use the drug again and again. This can quickly lead to toxic overdose and serious consequences.
Additional dangers associated with crack cocaine use include:
Crack cocaine abuse can ruin your life. Get help today!
- sudden heart attack or stroke
- increased blood pressure
- strain on the heart
- loss of sexual function
- violent outbursts
- loss of control
- financial ruin
- relationship problems
Signs of Crack Abuse
People who abuse crack will often stay up late and then spend long periods of time trying to catch up on sleep following a binge. It is very common for people to be paranoid or anxious when they are under the influence of crack cocaine and these symptoms will often stick around even after the individual has stopped using the drug. Additional signs of crack abuse include:
- spending money on crack and having no explanation as to where the money was spent
- avoiding friends or family in order to smoke crack
- getting into legal trouble for possession or other drug related problems
- having spoons, pipes or other drug paraphernalia in possession
- changes in attitude or mood
Crack abuse is not the same as crack addiction but it can very quickly lead to an addiction. Unfortunately, people who abuse crack cocaine are likely to become addicted to the drug simply because the drug has such as strong potential to cause physical and psychological dependence. Many users report becoming addicted to the drug after just a single use or after just a few uses of the drug.
Symptoms of Crack Addiction
Addiction to crack cocaine is a very common concern, especially for those who have abused the drug in the past. Unfortunately, crack cocaine addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome and it poses many serious challenges in treatment. The symptoms of crack addiction include:
- frequent infections
- excessive burns or blisters on the fingers or lips
- changes in sleep patterns
- changes in groups of friends
- changes in attitude or mood
- spending time avoiding family or friends
- avoiding activities that were once fun
- loss of interest in sex, food or other activities
- irrational behaviors
- prostitution to pay for drugs
- suffering legal problems as a result of drug use and still choosing to use drugs
- suffering relationship problems as a result of drug use and still choosing to smoke crack
- suffering from financial ruin and consistently spending money on crack
- stealing, cheating, lying or otherwise taking part in abnormal activities in order to get more crack
Crack addiction will literally control the user’s life making it feel nearly impossible for him or her to stop what they are doing. Every aspect of a user’s day is controlled by their nagging cravings to smoke crack or their psychological depression, anxiety or similar emotions that are thrown off balance as a result of their decision to smoke crack.
Although crack withdrawal doesn’t necessarily have many strong physical withdrawal symptoms, the psychological elements associated with crack cocaine withdrawal can still make the decision to stay sober very difficult. Crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms include chronic fatigue and depression, anxiety and paranoia. Many of the psychological symptoms, especially the depression, cravings and inability to get a good night’s sleep due to nightmares and lucid dreams can be treated in time. People who are suffering from crack cocaine withdrawal symptoms can seek the help of a professional and may find that support is very beneficial to their recovery.
Crack cocaine withdrawal will last a few weeks at most. For some, the depression or anxiety will stick around longer but there are medications that can help with that. It’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible in order to prevent any further side effects from interrupting your life. Crack cocaine addiction is a terrible disease but you can recover and there is help!
Call our toll-free helpline at 800-736-5356 to get crack cocaine addiction treatment that fits your needs.
Still have a question? Ask your own!
Cocaine, water, a pinch of baking soda.
Put them all in a spoon and heat the bottom of the spoon with a lighter or any open flame. The mixture will sizzle and an oily mass of slightly different color, will start forming in the liquid. It should all clump together. Clump or not, once you see the oily mass form, remove the flame and as you do so take a metal poker type object to swirl around the oily mass in the spoon, to grab any stray oils that didn’t clump into the main puddle. As you’re swirling the oily parts should all grab on and clump together as its hardening. Keep swirling the poker stick around, until all of it hardens up and is attached to the poker. You’re going to want to swirl it around kind of quickly so the stuff doesn’t harden unattached to your poker stick. It will still be good wherever it hardens up, but you don’t want to have to fish it out of the water, it’s easier if you scoop it all onto the poker.
The mixture in the spoon can (and should) be tossed out. Remember after you smoke your rock, the stuff on the spoon is history, it is not crack, you did not miss any on there. It’s time to go buy more, because you will anyways. And no you’ll never match how the first hit felt, no matter how hard you try.
Welcome to the wonderful world of jonsing. Just saying.
Hi, well it’s not something I am proud to say I know, but in my second life, I was a seriously sick and a high functioning addict, but I am very thankful for all those lessons and passing that test, so I could evolve to a higher self.
First things first, street crack has very little if any cocaine in it, they use numbing agents so it numbs, making the user think it’s the real McCoy, as if the user has been using that day they will have no idea if it’s good, or bad, the users chase the initial high, never attaining it, usually only felt once a day.
What you need : test tube, coke, boiling water, baking soda.
You put your dope in the tube, you put in a pinch of soda, a tbl. Spoon of the boiling water, swirl it around in one direction quickly, then when you see that the swirling is creating a funnel, you back swirl it, (reverse direction ) it should instantly clump the oil together, if not swirl more, if no oil present add a little more boiling water, and repeat above, or instead you can add cold water, just a touch, as the oil forms into a rock as it cools, if none of the above works, you got ripped off and need to reconsider your source.
I am happy to say that I am truly blessed, I went to the NA Program, when the using was no longer fun, in the end I didn’t stop, for nearly 2 years, the NA Program saved my life, I love my brothers and sisters there and owe them more than I could ever possibly repay, so I always practice the 12th step and extend my help and support to the still sick and suffering addict.
When you are ready to get clean, you also can turn to the program for help, to regain a happy, productive life, keep it simple and go to meetings with the same drive you had to use and obtain, be honest and keep going back, I can promise you, if you do those 3 things that God will completely remove the desire to use, I know because that’s what I did and that’s what I was told, and I’m here today because that’s what happened.
No matter what happens in my new life of recovery, good, bad, indifferent, using never comes to mind.
Crack cocaine, or crack, is a highly addictive substance created by “washing” powdered cocaine with liquefied baking soda compound or ammonia then heating it, which forms small rocks.
Because powdered cocaine cannot be smoked, crack was derived from the “freebase” rock created when mixed with liquid and dried by heating. The residue creates a rock-like substance that is ignitable and burns off. Faster acting than powdered cocaine, which is most frequently sniffed (snorted), crack hits the pleasure center of the brain instantly.
What it is, what does it look like, how is it taken, what happens with abuse?
Crack cocaine (and cocaine) are schedule II narcotics by Federal classification, guidelines for which are found in The Controlled Substances Act, enacted by Congress in 1970. While cocaine is a derived product of the coca plant, found in areas of South America and processed by reducing it to a white powdered substance, crack is produced from the powder by “washing” with either ammonia or a dissolved fluid product made from baking soda. Because these are common household items, crack can be produced and sold cheaply and created simply, it became a highly popular and widely abused drug in the early 1980s.
What it does, the physical and mental effects while high, what happens in the brain, aftereffects of using crack cocaine
The immediate effect of smoking crack is a sudden rush or euphoria. This is created when intense levels of dopamine are released into the brain suddenly, followed within 5-10 minutes with a depletion of pleasure and depression. The intense high is so powerful that few can stop after taking the first hit, but are not able to reproduce the intense high initially experienced.
Crack Cocaine Dosage and Amounts Taken
How much crack is in a dose? What is a lethal amount or overdose?
There are no legal uses for crack cocaine, so most people will take a hit or two off of the glass pipe used for smoking crack. Because quality can vary, as can amounts tolerated in the bodies of users with long-term abuse of crack, some users will overdose early in their experimentation with crack, while others can regularly ingest large doses and not succumb to them.
Risk of overdose, increased heart rates and high blood pressure, what are the long-term effects of use?
Smoking crack will result in several symptoms, which may include: hyper alertness, fidgeting, nervousness, anxiety, dry mouth, dilated pupils, itching and imaginary “bugs” under the skin, heart rate increase, blood pressure increase, loss of appetite and sleep, agitation, irritability and paranoia. Long-term effects will increase all symptoms, as well as can cause heart attack, stroke, panic attack, paranoia, psychotic symptoms, hallucinations, and liver and kidney damage. Smoking crack washed in ammonia can lead to serious mouth, throat and respiratory symptoms from inhaling toxic fumes, and may cause cancer.
How addictive is it? Is addiction a myth? Do I have a problem? Signs and indications of crack abuse and dependency.
From the first hit, many believe that crack is the most fast-acting drug to form a dependency. Within minutes of the initial sensational high, crack addicts report needing to take another hit to fight off the depressed state that follows. Increased well-being and alertness are desirable for many and the withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, so many will chase that first high by using until a brain pattern has been established that is the first sign of addiction. Craving is established, then the other symptoms of abuse will become more apparent. Some of these are: loss of weight, insomnia, blisters on the mouth and around the mouth from smoking a hot glass pipe, and failure to maintain appearance, loss of job, etc.
What are the signs of an overdose? What to do if you spot symptoms of a crack cocaine overdose.
Crack overdose will most often manifest as a heart attack. If possible, administer CPR and contact emergency medical assistance right away. The user may turn blue or may go into seizures. Again, emergency medical assistance is the best means of helping the user to live.
If you or someone you are with show signs of a drug overdose, call emergency services immediately. The drug emergencies resource page has a list of US poison control centers and addiction resources that may be of help in an emergency. We also recommend that you consider seeking treatment once the emergency is over.
What are the effects of mixing crack cocaine with meth, alcohol, marijuana, heroin, tobacco and other drugs?
Smoking crack cocaine with meth or other stimulant drugs can incrementally increase their effects and have devastating outcomes. When combined with alcohol, marijuana or heroin, crack can offset the effects of the other substances, misleading the user into not knowing how much they have used, thus creating high probability for overdose on one or the other of the substances.
What are the detection times? How long does crack stay in my system? Will I pass drug test?
Crack is detectable early with some tests and can be tested for up to 90 days with others. It remains easily detected with a urine screen for approximately 3-5 days. There are some conditions to this, however.
Is crack cocaine illegal? If I get caught with crack am I going to jail? How long are sentences? What is the difference between trafficking and possession? Are any crack cocaine charges felonies?
Laws surrounding crack cocaine were some of the most punitive in the US. Since being reformed in 2010, crack carries the same penalties for possession, trafficking, sales, and distribution that cover cocaine. While heavily penalized in the US, trafficking and/or distribution of crack cocaine in Canada and the UK can lead to life sentences.
Spiritual or Medicinal Use
Is crack used for purposes other than recreational, such as spiritual or medicinal?
While ancient South American indigenous peoples have used raw coca leaves, from which both cocaine and crack are derived, for many centuries, those ceremonies and rites are not widely known in other parts of the world. Nor do these ceremonies include the use of processed cocaine or crack.
Crack cocaine in the news
When it began to become popular in the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, crack was consistently demonized in what are now recognized to be frequent occurrences in the realm of drug misuse and abuse. Laws were created that set crack apart as the most crime-contributing drug ever known. It was believed that crack was creating an epidemic of “crack babies,” children born to mothers who were addicted to crack. Films showed horrors of babies going through withdrawals from crack at birth and dying. These reports have since been evaluated and seen to have been the somewhat hysterical response or overactive bad press.
Since reformed laws were written in 2010, crack cocaine is seen more realistically. As a public menace, there is no doubt that it has created social and economic problems, along with all other drugs of abuse. However, babies born to mothers who are addicted to any substance can suffer from withdrawal. In fact, those born to mothers addicted to alcohol suffer the highest incidence of birth defects and disease.