Crack, commonly known simply as crack, and also known as rock, is a freebase form of cocaine that can be smoked. Crack offers a brief, intense high for smokers. The Adolescent Substance Abuse Management Handbook defines it as the most addictive form of cocaine. A crack addict is known as a “crackhead.”
Crack was first widely use as a recreational drug primarily in poor neighborhoods of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami in late 1984 and 1985; this rapid increase in use and availability is refer to as the “crack epidemic,” which began to decline in the 1990s. The use of another highly addictive stimulant drug, methamphetamine, increased dramatically between 1994 and 2004.
Physical and chemical properties
The purest forms of crack resemble whitish “rocks” with jagged edges of a hard, brittle plastic with a density slightly greater than candle wax. Like cocaine in other forms, crack acts as a local anesthetic, numbing the tongue or mouth only where it is placed directly. The purest forms of crack sink in water or melt at the edges when a flame is approached (crack vaporizes at 90°C, 194°F).
Crack sold on the street can be adulterated (or “cut”) with other substances that mimic the appearance of crack to gain bulk. The use of toxic adulterants such as levamisole, a drug used to treat parasitic worm infections, has been documented.
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3, common sodium bicarbonate) is a base used in the preparation of crack, although other weak bases can be substituted. The net reaction when sodium bicarbonate use is
Coc-H + Cl- + NaHCO3 → Coc + H2O + CO2 + NaCl
With ammonium bicarbonate:
Coc-H + Cl- + NH4HCO3 → Coc + NH4Cl + CO2 + H2O
With ammonium carbonate:
2 (Coc-H + Cl-) + (NH4) 2CO3 → 2 Coc + 2 NH4Cl + CO2 + H2O.
Crack is often already purchase in rock form, although it is not uncommon for some users to “wash” or “cook” powdered cocaine into crack. This process is done with baking soda, water and a spoon. Once mixed and heated, the baking soda reacts with the powdered cocaine hydrochloride to form free cocaine base and carbonic acid (H2CO3) in a reversible acid-base reaction.
Heating accelerates the decomposition of carbonic acid into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. The loss of CO2 prevents the reaction from reverting back to cocaine hydrochloride. The free cocaine base separates into an oily layer that floats on top of the remaining aqueous phase. This is where the oil is quickly collected, usually with a pin or a long, thin object. This pulls the oil up and rotates it, allowing the air to harden and dry the oil, and allows the manufacturer to roll the oil into a rock form.
The crack vaporizes at a temperature of 90 °C (194 °F), well below the melting point of cocaine hydrochloride of 190 °C (374 °F). While cocaine hydrochloride cannot be smoke (it burns without effect), when crack is smoke, the cocaine allows rapid absorption into the bloodstream and reaches the brain within eight seconds.
Crack can also be injected intravenously with the same effect as powder cocaine. However, while powder cocaine dissolves in water, crack cocaine must be dissolved in an acidic solution such as lemon juice (containing citric acid) or white vinegar (containing acetic acid), a process that effectively reverses the initial conversion of powder cocaine to crack. . Harm reduction and public health agencies may distribute packets of citric acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) for this purpose.
Crack is commonly use as a recreational drug. The effects of crack include euphoria, supreme confidence, loss of appetite, insomnia, alertness, increased energy, cravings for more cocaine, and potential paranoia (which ends after use). Its initial effect is to release a large amount of dopamine, a brain chemical that induces feelings of euphoria. The high usually lasts 5 to 10 minutes, after which dopamine levels in the brain drop, leaving the user feeling low and depressed. When cocaine (powder) is dissolve and injected, absorption into the bloodstream is at least as rapid as the absorption of the drug that occurs when smoking crack, and a similar euphoria can be experienced.
Main physiological effects of crack
Short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Some cocaine users report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. In rare cases, sudden death can occur when cocaine is first used or unexpectedly afterward. Cocaine-related deaths often result from cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.
Like other forms of cocaine, smoking crack can increase heart rate and blood pressure, leading to long-term cardiovascular problems. Some research suggests that smoking crack or freebase cocaine poses additional health risks than other methods of cocaine use. Many of these problems are specifically related to the release of methylecgonidine and its effects on the heart, lungs and liver.
Toxic adulterants: many substances may have been added to increase the weight and volume of a batch while it appears to be pure crack. Sometimes highly toxic substances are use, with a variety of short- and long-term health risks. Adulterants used with crack and cocaine include powdered milk, sugars such as glucose, starch, caffeine, lidocaine, benzocaine, paracetamol, amphetamine, scopolamine and strychnine.
Smoking problems: each route of administration presents its own set of health risks; in the case of crack, smoking is often more harmful than other routes. Crack users tend to smoke the drug because it has a higher bioavailability than other routes commonly used for drugs of abuse, as the insufflation remains strong for a long time. Therefore, crack pipes are usually very short, to minimize the time between evaporation and ingestion (thus minimizing loss of potency). cracked lip.”
The use of “convenience store crack pipe” type glass tubes that originally contained small artificial roses may contribute to this condition. These 4-inch (10 cm) tubes are not durable and will break quickly; users may continue to use the tube even if it has been cut to a shorter length. The hot tubing can burn the lips, tongue or fingers, especially when passed between people using it in rapid succession, causing the short tubing to reach higher temperatures than if used by a single person. person.
Pure or strong doses: because the quality of crack can vary greatly, some people may smoke large amounts of diluted crack, unaware that a similar amount of a new, purer batch of crack may cause an overdose. This can trigger heart problems or cause unconsciousness.
Pathogens in pipes: when pipes are shared, bacteria or viruses can be transmitted from person to person.
Crack damages the DNA of various organs in rats and mice.
Acute respiratory symptoms, sometimes call “crack lung,” have been reported in crack users. Symptoms include fever, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. Within 48 hours of use, persons with these symptoms also had associated radiographic findings on chest x-ray of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), interstitial pneumonia, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, and eosinophil infiltration.
Abusing stimulant drugs (especially amphetamines and cocaine) can lead to delusional parasitosis (also known as Ekbom’s syndrome: a misconception that you are infested with parasites). For example, excessive cocaine use can lead to formations, called “cocaine bugs” or “cocaine bugs,” in which affected individuals believe they have, or feel, parasites crawling under the skin (similar delusions may also be associated with high fever or in connection with alcohol withdrawal, sometimes accompanied by visual hallucinations of insects (see delirium tremens).
People experiencing these hallucinations may itch and cause severe skin damage and bleeding, especially when having delusions.
Paranoia and anxiety are among the most common psychological symptoms of crack use. Psychosis is more associated with crack use than with intranasal and intravenous use .
pregnancy and lactation
Main article: prenatal cocaine exposure.
Crack baby is a term for a baby born to a mother who used crack during pregnancy. The threat pose to the fetus by cocaine use during pregnancy is now considered exaggerated. Studies show that prenatal exposure to cocaine (independent of other effects such as alcohol, tobacco or the physical environment) has no appreciable effect on infant growth and development. However, the official statement from the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse warns of health risks and also cautions against stereotypes:
Many remember that “crack babies,” or babies born to mothers who used crack during pregnancy, were once considered by many to be a lost generation. They were expected to suffer severe and irreversible damage, including problems with intelligence and social skills. It turned out to be a gross exaggeration. However, the fact that most of these children appear normal should not be taken as an indication that there is nothing to worry about. Using sophisticated technologies, scientists are now discovering that cocaine exposure during fetal development can lead to subtle but significant deficits later in life in some infants, including deficits in certain aspects of cognitive performance, information processing and lactation. are important for academic success.
There are also warnings about the threat of breastfeeding: the March of Dimes stated that “cocaine is likely to reach the baby through breast milk” and advises the following about cocaine use during pregnancy:
Cocaine use during pregnancy can affect the pregnant woman and the fetus in several ways. During early pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage may increase. Later in pregnancy, it can trigger preterm labor (labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or cause the baby to gain weight. Therefore, cocaine-exposed babies are more likely than unexposed babies to be born with low birth weight (less than 5.5 pounds or 2.5 kg).
Low birth weight babies are 20 times more likely to die in the first month of life than normal weight babies and are at greater risk for permanent disabilities, such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Children exposed to cocaine also tend to have smaller heads, often reflecting smaller brains. Some studies suggest that cocaine-exposed infants have an increased risk of birth defects, including urinary tract defects and possibly heart defects. Cocaine can also cause stroke, irreversible brain damage or heart attack in the fetus.
An appreciable tolerance to the effect of cocaine can develop, and many addicts report trying it but failing to achieve the same pleasure as when they first tried it. Some users often increase doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. While high tolerance may occur, users may also become more sensitive (drug sensitization) to the local anesthetic (analgesic) and convulsant (seizure-inducing) effects of cocaine without increasing the dose taken; this increased sensitivity may account for some deaths that occur after apparently low doses of cocaine.
Main article: Substance addiction
Crack is generally consider to be the most addictive form of cocaine. However, this claim has been challenge: Morgan and Zimmer wrote that the available data indicate that “smoking cocaine alone does not significantly increase the likelihood of dependence…. The claim that cocaine is much more addictive when smoke should be revised.” They argued that cocaine users who are already prone to abuse are more likely to “switch to a more efficient mode of ingestion” (i.e., smoking).
It is the intense desire to come home the top that is addictive for many users. On the other hand, Reinarman et al. wrote that the nature of crack addiction depends on the social context in which it is used and the psychological characteristics of the users, noting that many crack users can go days or weeks without drugs.
A typical response among users is to take another dose of the drug; however, dopamine levels in the brain take a long time to replenish, and each dose taken in rapid succession leads to progressively less intense peaks. Nevertheless, a person can gorge for 3 or more days without sleep by inhaling puffs from a bong.
Excessive cocaine use, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and in increasing doses, leads to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness and paranoia. This can lead to a true paranoid psychosis, in which the individual loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations.
Large amounts of crack (several hundred milligrams or more) intensify the user’s high, but can also cause bizarre, erratic and violent behavior. Large amounts can induce tremors, dizziness, muscle spasms, paranoia or, with repeated doses, a toxic reaction very similar to amphetamine intoxication.
Society and Culture
Synonyms used to refer to crack include atari; base; bazooka; light bulbs; beams; drink; bee bee; bay; drunk; bowl; bomb; block; rocks; butter; caine; dog; Casper; Gaspar the Ghost; Guinea pig; chemical; chew crackers; a cloud; a cloud; goose bumps; crush and chew; diving; famous pennies; fan; fish scale; french fries; fry; glo; golf ball; gravel; crunch; salute; hamburger; attendant; hubba; ice cube; kangaroo; kibble and pieces; kibble – savory meatballs; krill; a little; pasta; pathetic; pebbles; peepee; pony; believed; Ready; ready stones; red rocks; hoarse; swing; rooster; purple; Roxana; race; scotty; run; scruples; scruples; Seven up; sherma; shermes; melting snow; snowballs; rocks; tooth; Voltage; top gun; spin; End; Wash; White cloud; works; yahoo; Yale; Hurrah; Hurrah; Yes the; yo-yo; Yes ; and ew.
Crack can be combine with amphetamine (“croar”); tobacco (“coolie”); marijuana (“buddha”; “caviar”; “chronic”; “cocoa breath”; “fried daddy”; “gimmie”; “gremmie”; “juice”; “prime”; “torpedo”; “turbo”; ” woolie “; “big boy”); heroin (“moon rock”); and phencyclidine (“clicker”; “p-funk”; “space base”).
Crack smoking (“hit the pipe”; “puff”; “teleport (to Scotty)”) is commonly practice with tools such as pipes (“bowl”; “devil stick”; “glass stick”; “horn”; ” Uzi “); improvised pipes made from plastic bottles (“Masarati”); bongs (“bong”; “hubbly-bubbly”); and laboratory pipettes (“demo”).
U.S. Food and Drug Administration anti-crack poster.
Cocaine is listed as a Schedule I drug under the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, making it illegal for non-state manufacture, manufacture, export, import, distribution, trade, use, and possession. In most states (except the United States), crack falls into the same category as cocaine.
In Australia, crack falls into the same category as cocaine, which is listed as a Schedule 8 controlled drug, indicating that any substance and preparation for therapeutic use that falls into this category has a high potential for abuse and dependence. It is permitted for certain medical uses, but is prohibited.
As a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, crack is indistinguishable from cocaine and other coca products. However, the court may weigh the socioeconomic factors of crack use in the decision. As a rough guide, Class I drugs carry a maximum prison sentence of 7 years for possession for a punishable offense and up to life imprisonment for trafficking and manufacturing. A summary conviction for possession is punishable by a fine of US$1,000 to US$2,000 and/or imprisonment of 6 months to one year.
In the United States, cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act, indicating that it has a high potential for abuse, but also has a medical purpose. Under the Control Substances Act, crack and cocaine are consider the same drug.
The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 increased the penalties for possession and use of crack. It imposed a mandatory minimum sentence of five years without parole for possession of five grams of crack; to receive the same penalty with powder cocaine, one had to have 500 grams. This sentencing disparity was reduce from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1 by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.
In the United Kingdom, crack is a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. In the Netherlands, it is a Schedule 1 drug under the Opium Act.
Rob Ford, the 64th mayor of Toronto, was film smoking crack while in office. Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry was film smoking crack in 1990 during an undercover operation.