What Is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is similar to other forms of cocaine in the way it affects your brain and body, but the drug looks different from other forms of powder cocaine. Any form of cocaine abuse puts a person at risk for cocaine addiction. There are a number of treatments available for crack cocaine abuse.

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Crack cocaine is an illicit drug. This particular form of cocaine is designed for smoking. Crack cocaine comes in small rocks that vary in color depending on purity.

Crack cocaine is similar in composition to powdered cocaine. The main difference is the chemical process used to create the solid form.

Where Crack Cocaine Comes From

Like all cocaine, crack cocaine originates from South America. It is derived from the coca plant that grows along the Andes. Cocaine is regularly produced in Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia.

Almost 90% of cocaine in the United States comes from Colombia through Mexico.

The Process Of Producing Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is made by dissolving the powder form of cocaine in a mixture of water, ammonia, and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

This mixture is boiled until it forms into a solid. The remaining liquid is drained, then the solid is dried and broken up into chunks. The result is crack cocaine.

How Crack Cocaine Is Abused

Crack cocaine is smoked as an alternative to “freebase.” The solid form of cocaine is generally safer to smoke because it is far less explosive.

People who use crack can smoke crack cocaine using two methods.

They can place the crack on a foil and heat it with a lighter. This process produces a vapor that can be inhaled. They can also use a specialized pipe for a more direct delivery.

Effects Of Crack Cocaine Use

Smoking crack cocaine causes an immediate and intense high. Snorting cocaine may take up to 10 minutes to have an effect. There is no delay when you smoke crack, but the high is much shorter.

Cocaine is a local anesthetic, so your mouth may experience some numbness when you smoke. You will also experience a euphoric feeling.

Many people who use cocaine describe feeling alert and confident.

Physical Effects Of Crack Cocaine Use

Crack cocaine causes immediate physical changes. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature all increase. Your blood vessels constrict.

You may feel energized, but these changes can be life-threatening with continued use and when left untreated.

Psychological Effects Of Crack Cocaine Use

When taken in moderation, cocaine has short-lived, positive psychological effects. You may feel confident, energetic, and sociable.

In higher doses, the effects of crack cocaine are far less pleasant. People who use too much cocaine are more likely to experience paranoia, erratic behavior, and psychosis. They may become unpredictable or violent.

Over time, cocaine abuse will allow your brain to get used to the dopamine rush brought on by using cocaine.

Without continual use, you are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal can make you feel heightened anxiety, irritability, and depression whenever you aren’t actively using.

As your brain demands more dopamine, you may experience a craving for the euphoric effects you associate with cocaine.

Risks Of Crack Cocaine Use

Crack cocaine addiction puts you at increased risk for several serious health complications. The drug damages your lungs, heart, stomach, and brain.

This damage makes you more likely to experience:

  • heart attack
  • lung trauma
  • mental health disorders
  • seizures
  • stroke
  • ulcers

Crack Vs. Powder Cocaine

Crack cocaine and powder cocaine are chemically very similar. The primary difference is how they are used.

In regard to the law, federal regulations treat crack and powder cocaine very differently. You would have to carry 100 times the amount of powdered cocaine to activate mandatory minimums.

It should be noted that many states have addressed this discrepancy. However, people found with crack cocaine are still more likely to face legal repercussions.

Treatment Options For Cocaine Addiction

Drug addiction is always dangerous. If you’re struggling with substance use, it’s important to seek professional help.

The good news is there are many treatment centers with programs that will help you. With some assistance, you can get access to the healthcare you need to move on with your life.

Treatment for cocaine addiction often includes options for medically monitored detox, relapse support, and a variety of behavioral therapy programs.

Find Substance Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center

At Bedrock Recovery Center, you will find a group of people who have dedicated their lives to helping people just like you.

Thanks to our comprehensive cocaine addiction programs, there are individual treatment options for everyone.

Don’t wait for your cocaine addiction to cause you or your loved ones any more pain. Call and ask for help today.

  1. Drug Policy Alliance — What does it feel like to use cocaine? https://drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/cocaine/what-cocaine-feels-like
  2. National Drug Intelligence Center — Crack Cocaine Fast Facts https://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs3/3978/index.htm#risks
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the long-term effects of cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-long-term-effects-cocaine-use
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse — What is cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2023 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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