Crack is the most common name for crack cocaine, which is a highly potent illegal stimulant. Derived from powder cocaine, crack is made by mixing cocaine with ammonia or baking soda and heating the mixture until rocks form. Because of the high purity of crack in comparison to regular cocaine, it is extremely powerful, and very addicting, and many users become addicted after their first use of the drug.
Crack is so named because of the crackling or popping sound that it makes when heated with a flame, and is most commonly smoked out of a glass pipe, or off of tin foil. Some users may also inject crack with a needle, and a comparable state of euphoria is reached. Crack is more powerful than cocaine, reaches the brain faster, and is far cheaper than cocaine, which all contribute to the fact that it is generally regarded worldwide as one of the most addictive substances in existence, and one of the hardest to quit.
Because crack is smoked, rather than snorted like regular cocaine, it crosses the brain barrier much more quickly than cocaine, and releases a powerful chemical called dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain. Euphoria, hyperactivity and confidence are the result of massive amounts of dopamine being released very quickly when the smoke from crack is absorbed into the capillaries of the lungs.
Though crack has a potent high, the effects are experienced for no longer than fifteen or twenty minutes, contributing to the addictive nature of the drug. Users have to keep smoking crack to maintain the effects of the drug, and keep their pleasure elevated.
Because of the potent nature of crack, the possibility of overdosing is very high, and it is possible to overdose even on a user’s first try of the drug. The characteristics of a crack overdose are signs of anxiety, aggression, seizures, rapid heart rate, chest pain, nausea, seizures, hallucinations, and or stroke. Because of the high possibility of overdosing on crack, it is widely accepted as one of the most dangerous drugs to use.
Throughout the United States and worldwide, drug related crime is very commonly associated with illegal stimulant abuse, particularly methamphetamine, cocaine, and crack. A recent study found that almost 50% of those that had been arrested had used crack before. “In the United States, crack cocaine was the primary drug of abuse in 178,475 admissions to treatment in 2006. This represented 71% of all primary cocaine admissions to treatment that year.” (The Truth About Crack Cocaine, Drug Free World). “The 2006 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that 8.6 million Americans aged 12 and older reported having used crack. Among those 18 to 25, 6.9% of those surveyed said they had used cocaine (including crack) within the last year.” (The Truth About Crack Cocaine, Drug Free World).
Crack is extremely dangerous and addictive, and is the reason for countless addicts to fall to their knees in a state of seeming hopelessness. Partially because of crack, crime has risen, and admission to treatment facilities has risen. If you or someone you know is addicted to crack cocaine, there is a solution. There are ways to be free from your addiction, and live a life beyond your wildest dreams.