Crack is a form of cocaine that has been chemically altered so that it can be smoked. Crack is more potent and lethal than cocaine and is one of the most addictive drugs. Because processing converts the cocaine into a chemical “base” (as opposed to an acid or a salt), crack belongs to a category of cocaine known as freebase. Today, baking soda and heat are used to convert cocaine into freebase, eliminating use of ether. The product still contains some impurities found in the original cocaine, along with excess baking soda. When heated, the mixture makes a crackling sound.
What does crack look like?
Crack is white or tan and looks like small lumps or shavings of soap, but has the texture of porcelain. In some parts of the country, the lumps of crack that look like chips of stone are called “rock” or “readyrock.” In other areas, the drug is sold in 3-inch sticks with ridges that are referred to as “french fries” or “teeth.” There also are reports that crack is being pressed into pills.
Is crack more addicting than cocaine?
Yes. All forms of cocaine are addictive. Even occasional use can lead to an uncontrollable desire for the drug. There is no way to predict who will become dependent. Those who do, say they never guessed they would. Crack is particularly alarming, because it produces the most dramatic cocaine high and is almost instantly addicting.
What is freebase and “crack”?
Freebase (freed from its base), and “crack” are forms of cocaine which are made by chemically converting “street” cocaine hydrochloride to a purified substance that is then more suitable for smoking. Smoking cocaine produces a shorter and more intense “high” than most other ways of using the drug, because inhaling vapor is the most direct and rapid way to get the drug to the brain. Because larger amounts of the deadly drug are getting to the brain more quickly (less than 10 seconds), smoking magnifies the high 10 times more than if it were snorted.
How is cocaine and crack addictive?
Addiction to crack occurs quickly, because of the euphoric feeling of the “high.” This feeling is directly followed by an equally devastating depression. Users seek another “high” to bring back the euphoric feeling, quickly turning into “binges” that lead to a pattern of addiction. Binges last 1 to 3 days or until the drug is all gone, they’ve run out of money, or the user collapses from physical exhaustion. Users often “snort” the drug through the nose, although some inject cocaine into a muscle or vein. In its freebase form, cocaine must be smoked. Traditionally, freebasers bought powdered cocaine and processed the drug themselves with ether. Today, in the form of crack, freebase cocaine comes pre-processed and ready to smoke. Crack is being mass marketed on the streets in small vials, folding papers, or foil packets that contain one to four pellets.
What does cocaine and crack cost?
The price of cocaine has dropped to all time lows, while the purity of the drug has increased. Since cocaine can be purchased in small amounts, it can be inexpensive in the beginning. Many dealers would rather sell crack than cocaine, because an ounce of cocaine can be turned into approximately 250 vials of crack. The low price of crack is of national concern because youngsters can afford to buy the drug. The habit can cost whatever money users have to spend – or whatever money they can get by depleting back accounts or selling their cars, homes, and businesses. As resources evaporate, users turn to drug selling or other crimes to support their habit. Addicted users pay the price of damaged health, career, and personal life.
· National Drug & Safety League (A non-profit charitable organization).
· Drug Identification Bible (3rd Edition)