What Is Crack?
Crack is a crystal form of cocaine that is in its freebase form. It typically is in solid block crystal form that can be yellow to white or pale rose. The other names of crack are rock, iron, hail, crumbs, and other various names.
It is considered the most addictive form of cocaine. Crack started seeing widespread use mostly in poverty stricken neighborhoods in L.A., N.Y.C, and Miami in the mid 1980’s. This particular time is sometimes referred to as the crack epidemic.
Crack is heated and smoked, and is so named because of the crack and popping sound it makes when it’s heated. Crack tends to be a short high, but it is one that is very intense. It is also the strongest and purest form of cocaine, as it is anywhere from 75%-100% pure.
Some people also shoot crack into their veins instead of smoking it. These people tend to think or feel that the rush is more intense. It tends to last a little longer as the drug is directly in your blood, but most say the high is not different enough to make it worth the risk of overdosing from shooting it.
Smoking crack is a way for the drug to reach the brain at a much faster rate. This allows the effects to be very intense and immediate after smoking. Because of this, smoking crack can cause an immediate addiction after the first time, unlike snorting it.
Crack became popular at first among many because of how cheap it was compared to cocaine. What many found out though was that crack was only cheap at first. Because of its level of addiction, people are constantly having to buy and smoke more just to keep the habit going and avoid withdrawals.
Crack Use Going Down
At its highest, crack was being used by millions of people in the United States. Anywhere from 1 to 3 million people were using at one point or more in 1985. Now, that number is falling to its lowest ever.
In 2012, 921,000 people had reported to using crack within the past year. By 2013, that number had dropped by more than 31% to 632,000. That’s 289,000 people that are no longer using crack. But why the lowering rates?
One reason could be the Colombian government. Columbia is the supplier of more than 90% of America’s cocaine. The Colombian government though has cracked down on the production of cocaine by 60% since 2001.
Since this has occurred, prices for cocaine have steadily increased, making it more expensive than before. Purity levels have also gone down, since many dealers are cutting, or adding other things, into the cocaine to make more of the product to sell.
Decades of education on drugs like crack can also have made a positive effect in educating citizens of the dangers from using crack and other illicit substances. Others note that while crack and cocaine use has gone down, users may have just switched to other things like painkillers or other drugs instead.
While this is the trend as of now, officials warn that this is just for now. There is nothing to suggest that this downturn will stay. People forget why certain drugs are bad in the first place, and sometimes they have a way of coming back. Heroin is a great example of this, as it has seen an upsurge as of late.
The Adverse Effects Of Using Crack
Crack can cause numerous health issues from its use. One of which is that people may smoke what they think is crack, or a pure form of it, but in fact it is impure. This can pose very serious health risks when you don’t know what you are inhaling.
While there are many symptoms from smoking crack, including addiction, crack lung is one of the more prevalent. It is an injury to the lungs from heavy crack smoking. It results in permanent scarring and damage to your lungs that can keep you from being able to breathe normally. It can also give you a fever and severe chest pains.
Short-Term Crack Symptoms:
- Increased body temperature
- Narrowed blood vessels
- Increased blood pressure
- Enlarged pupils
- Abdominal pain
- Increased heart rate
- Increased energy
- Violent behavior
- Erratic behavior
- Panic attacks
- Heart attack
- Heart rhythm problems
- Loss of appetite
- Increased rate of breathing
- Tactile hallucination (feeling of bugs under skin)
- Intense drug craving
Long-Term Crack Symptoms:
- Loss of sense of smell
- Infection and death of bowel tissue
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Lung damage
- Permanent blood vessel damage (leading to stroke, heart attack, and death.)
- Severe tooth decay
- Respiratory failure
- Severe chest pains
- Sexual problems (infertility in both men and women)
- Severe depression
- Increased risky behavior
Overdose is also likely depending on how often crack is used and how it is used. If injected, crack can easily cause overdose, as the amount you keep pushing into your bloodstream gets larger since it take more to get high.
Doing this before the other drugs have flushed through your system can cause a build-up of toxicity, leading to an overdose. Smoking it may take longer, but the same rules apply. The more you do, the longer you do it, the more it builds up and can cause death.
Crack can also impair your judgment, causing you to participate in risky behaviors. This can lead to unprotected sex leading to HIV or hepatitis. Many think that this only happens from the use of needles in drug use, but it is also the other risky behaviors people do while high on drugs like crack.
If you or someone you know is addicted to crack cocaine, or other substances, please contact us. Our qualified staff is here to get you the help you need as soon as possible. Don’t wait, contact us now.