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Crack Cocaine Facts

  • Of the 4.2 million Americans who have ever tried crack, about 600,000 are currently addicted.
  • Some experts call it the most addictive drug; and some users say they were addicted the moment they first put a pipe to their lips.
  • Crack is a form of cocaine that has been chemically altered so that it can be smoked. The process changes cocaine into a chemical "base" which places it in a category of cocaine known as freebase.
  • When smoked, crack reaches the brain within seconds, producing instant effects which last eight to fifteen minutes.
  • Serious respiratory problems are often seen in crack users, including lung damage, chest congestion, wheezing, spitting up black phlegm, extreme hoarseness, and burning of the lips, tongue and throat.
  • Other physical side effects of crack include body burn-out and malnutrition and possible liver damage. The drug depletes levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in regulation of mood, attention, and motivation.
  • Intense cravings are a main feature of addiction. In fact, most hooked users will keep right on using until they run out of money or run out of the drug.
  • Chronic use can trigger a full-blown psychosis, with the same symptoms as paranoid schizophrenia.
  • In the early 80.s the use of freebase cocaine became popular among those searching for the .highest. high.
  • Crack is sold in small plastic vials in the form of small white, gray or beige rough chunks that can be smoked in a marijuana or tobacco cigarette, or in a pipe stem often made of glass.
  • Crack can be purchased in small amounts enough for two uses for an average of $5 to $10.
  • Regular users frequently report feeling "wired" a hyperaroused state which users often try to deal with by using sedative drugs, including alcohol and opiates.