Crack Cocaine

Crack is a form of cocaine that hasn’t been neutralized by a salt to make hydrochloric salt. It is used as a very strong and addictive stimulant to give users a “high.” Crack emerged as an abused substance in the 1980’s, but its history dates much further back in time. See, cocaine comes from the coca plant, and in many Indian cultures, coca plant leaves were regarded as mystical and religious, and were even used as a measure of timeit wasn’t uncommon for a native traveler to use the number of mouthfuls of coca he chewed to explain how long a journey had taken. And before Christopher Columbus voyaged to the New World, coca was reserved by the Incas for their chieftains. Later on, in the early 1800’s, it was referred to as the “Elixir of Life” (in a powder form) because some people believed that they could use it as a substitute for a month’s worth of food.
The drug is cocaine that has been processed with baking soda or ammonia and formed into a “rock” that is smoked. Since the 1970’s, crack has been produced in a rock form, and is much cheaper to develop than cocaine in a powder form. Because crack is a stimulant, it increases the user’s heart rate, temperature and blood pressure, and also dilates pupils. When smoked, crack can give the user a high of 5-10 minutes, whereas snorting crack can give the user a high of 15-30 minutes. Crack cocaine interferes with the reabsorption of dopamine, which creates feelings of pleasure while affecting the user’s ability to move. Though it had been used in colonial and pre-colonial times as a medicine to stave off fatigue and hunger, crack is now used for the high it produces. It is very dangerous, like most stimulants, because no matter how frequently or in what quantity it is used, it can cause cardiovascular emergencies such as constricted blood vessels, and also is a perpetrator of respiratory discomfort, nausea, seizures, and severe abdominal pain.
The faster that someone intakes crack increases how high they will get, but also shortens the time that they will actually feel the high. Because of this, crack users develop tolerance and addiction relatively quickly compared to users of other drugs. Most users prefer to smoke crack rather than snort it because this delivers the drug directly to the lungs, immediately creating a high along with initiating the drug’s other effects. In addition to being a dangerous drug on its own, when mixed with alcohol crack cocaine produces a substance called cocaethylene, which magnifies the drug’s effects while greatly increasing the user’s chance of death.
Crack has many street names, such as Cloud, Jelly Beans, Raw, Troop, and even the Devil Drugcocaine use had been banned in Spain in medieval times, under punishment of death, because it was believed to be an agent of the devil. It is increasingly popular amongst high schoolers and teenagers, creating a large problem for high schools across the country. According to a government study, 4% of American high school seniors have admitted to doing crack at least once. Because of how cheap it is to produce in rock form, it is easily accessible to high schoolers, placing them, their friends, and potentially younger siblings at risk for using it the most.
Cocaine comes from the coca plant, and each leaf of this plant holds a concentration of 0.1% to 0.9& cocaine, which can then be used to make crack. To produce crack, one would take powdered cocaine, mix it with water and ammonia, and boiled into a solidthis solid is the “rock” that is broken up into smaller chunks to be sold. Of course, crack cocaine is an illegal substance and is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Along with PCP and methamphetamine, this drug is classified as very dangerous because of how easily people become addicted and experience severely negative psychological effects while using it.
Currently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse is working on better ways to treat crack cocaine addiction in patients, rather than just putting them in a rehab clinic or allowing them to break the habit themselves, in addition to developing a medication to reduce the drug’s effects. The Institute encourages interventions and behavioral therapy for addicts, claiming that these processes have been proven to decrease drug use in patients.