Crack Drug Info: What Is It? How Is It Used? What Are Its Effects?

What is Crack Cocaine?

Crack refers to cocaine in its free base form or crystal form. It usually comes in solid blocks or crystals. Its color can range from yellow to white or to pale rose. Crack is so named since it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated and smoked. Mixing cocaine with ammonia, water and baking soda is a common method of preparing the substance. After the water dissolves, dried cocaine which is referred to as crack is formed.

The manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment has labeled it to be the most addictive and riskiest version of cocaine. This is because it is 75%-100% pure and far more powerful than the normal or regular cocaine. Crack is sold at much cheaper prices than cocaine which makes it easily available to teenagers.

Smoking crack reaches the brain almost instantly which gives the user a very brief but intense high that lasts for not more than fifteen minutes. Hence, there are chances for the user to get addicted to it from the very first use.

Crack Consumption and Intake

Crack can be introduced to the body primarily in 4 ways:

  • Intravenously

Some people dissolve crack in water and inject it. This releases the drug directly into the bloodstream which naturally amplifies the effects.

  • Orally

In this type of use, the addicts rub the crack on their gums.

  • Inhalation

On the other hand, some addicts smoke cocaine, inhaling the vapor. On an inhalation, the smoke goes into the lungs to be absorbed into the bloodstream almost as quickly as injecting it.

  • Intranasal use

This is perhaps the most common method of crack intake where the user snorts the substance, inhaling it with his nostrils. It is then absorbed by the bloodstream through the nasal tissues.

What Are the Effects of Crack?

It has both short term and long term effects on the users’ mental and physical health. Some of the immediate effects are:

  • Increased excitement
  • Boosted alertness
  • Sudden euphoric rush
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Shrinkage of appetite
  • Intense craving for another dose of the drug after the high subsidies.

After the high recedes, the initial effects of the drug are immediately countered by feelings of paranoia and depression with hallucinations. The user might end up hurting others under the false feeling that he was a victim of conspiracies and danger.

The long-term effects affect the users even when they are not taking the drugs. The long-term effects comprise of:

  • Severe mood swings and increased tolerance.
  • Delirium.
  • Paranoia and hallucinations.
  • “Crack bug’ or ‘coke bug’ when the users get this constant hallucination that bugs are crawling on or under their skin. They usually have brutal scratch marks on their bodies to try to get rid of them.

The health effects are characterized by:

  • Respiratory and cardiovascular issues
  • Impotency and infertility
  • Malnutrition
  • Convulsions and spasms
  • Oral infections and decay
  • Cracked lips
  • Insomnia
  • Premature aging
  • Kidney, heart, and lung diseases.

The side effects of crack abuse are:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Fretfulness and Irritability
  • Sudden death due to heart problems like a stroke.

On the very first usage, the user gets an unparalleled extreme and intense high which is ‘out of the world’.  The future intake does not provoke this feeling in the user due to their growing intake capacity and tolerance. As they chase this feeling, unknowingly, their drug intake increases until they cannot stop. This often leads to mental disorder which is diagnosable to some extent, ‘crack use disorder’ or addiction.