Although cocaine and crack cocaine are similar due to the fact they are both formed from cocaine, they both are different in many ways, including the history and how they are abused.
What is Cocaine
Cocaine comes from the leaf of the coca tree, which is grown in South America, normally Columbia, Bolivia and Peru. It has been used for millennia, and it was brought to Europe for study by the Spanish. Its euphoric and anesthetic properties were discovered around 1860, and it soon became widely available.
Cocaine is a white powdery substance that is abused by snorting or by dissolving in water and injecting into a vein. Cocaine cannot be smoked. The effect from snorting powder cocaine is slower than when injected. When snorted, the effect can take up to 20 minutes to feel and last up to 60 minutes. When injected cocaine reaches the brain within one minute and can last up to 30 minutes.
Using a substance that only lasts for a short period, can cause the addict to want more, more often. It can become a very expensive habit when needing more constantly. The persistent need of money from a person or money just going extremely fast can be one of many signs of addiction.
All cocaine coming into the United States arrives as powder cocaine and some is modified and made into crack in the country. Cocaine and crack produce very different effects in the body, largely related to how they are usually administered. Cocaine is very expensive on the streets; Crack was created as a cheaper way to abuse the drug. It is then that it became very popular in the lower class. Generally, those who want a more intense, faster, cheaper high are attracted to crack. Some people begin with cocaine use and then transition to crack use when the habit of cocaine use is too expensive to maintain.
Abusing any substance can lead to the abuse of other substances. Whether someone has an addiction to cocaine or crack cocaine addiction becomes something hard to overcome.
What is Crack Cocaine
Crack cocaine is powder cocaine mixed with water and baking soda and dried into a sold mass. It is then “cracked” into rocks that are smoked. The name Crack comes from the crackling sound it makes when heated and smoked. When crack is smoked it usually takes about 20 seconds to reach the brain and lasts about 30 minutes. People who use crack cocaine can become addicted after the first time of use due to the high concentration it contains.
Although both are formed from cocaine, the two are different substances but both can have similar effects and dangers. The effects of crack can be variable due to the uncertainty of the purity of the cocaine used to manufacture it. This only adds to the seriousness and unpredictability of smoking crack. The effects of crack use are like cocaine use although often more intense.
Effects of Crack Cocaine use:
- Heightened alertness
- Dilated pupils
- Decreased appetite
- Increased heart rate
- Intense cravings
Long-term effects of crack use include mood changes, irritability, restlessness, depression, anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. It is easy to develop a crack or cocaine abuse problem because the drug in both forms is highly addictive. As such, issues with withdrawal often arise.
Symptoms of withdrawal include:
- Intense cravings
- Extreme fatigue
- Muscle pain
- Suicidal thoughts
Having addiction to one or the other does not make one better than the other. If you know someone who has or is developing an addiction to cocaine or crack cocaine it is important that they seek help right away. Call today for answers to any questions that can help you or your loved one through this process.