- Weedguru Higher
- Posts: 14620
- Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2003 1:31 pm
- Location: Canada
(AKA Rocks, Stones)
Crack cocaine is simply another form of cocaine base. The substance is so named for the crackling sound that occurs when it is heated. Also derived from powder cocaine, manufacturing crack cocaine involves dissolving the powdered form of the drug in a solution of sodium bicarbonate and water. The solution is heated and a solid substance separates from the boiling mixture. This solid substance, crack cocaine, is removed and allowed to dry. The crack cocaine is then broken or cut into "rocks," each typically weighing from one-tenth to one-half a gram. One gram of pure powder cocaine will yield approximately 0.89 grams of crack cocaine. Crack cocaine purchased on the street though is not necessarily pure because many times additives or fillers are used in the manufacturing process.
Home "freebasing" (producing pure cocaine with an ethyl ether-based distillation process) became popular in the 1970s. However, after a number of highly publicized accidents—including one in which comedian Richard Pryor set himself on fire with the ether and nearly died—the danger of working with ether in an already intoxicated state became well known. In the mid-1980s it became known that sodium-bicarbonate or ammonia could be substituted for ether for the same result with much less hazard. Around this time, drug gangs began to market the new product vigorously.
Cocaine base (including coca paste, freebase cocaine, and crack cocaine) is usually smoked in pipes constructed of glass bowls using fine mesh screens to hold the drug. The user heats the side of the bowl (usually with a lighter), and the heat causes the cocaine base to vaporize. Alternatively, crack cocaine can be sprinkled in marijuana or tobacco cigarettes and smoked.
Crack has the same effects as other types of cocaine but much more intense. The effects, however, are also more short lived, and once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a "coke crash" that includes depression, irritability, and fatigue, a greatly increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, stroke and death.
Long-term consequences include: the coughing of black phlegm, wheezing, lung trauma and bleeding, hoarseness, parched lips, tongue and throat from inhaling hot fumes, mental deterioration, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, social withdrawal and violent behavior.
Physical Dependence: Moderate
Psychological Dependence: Severe
Crack is a highly addictive substance, at least in the psychological sense. While the physical withdrawal is relatively short-term, the psychological cravings associated with withdrawal can last for months. Crack withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings for the drug, hunger, irritability, apathy, severe depression, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, loss of sex drive, insomnia or excessive sleep. Often, more crack is used to reduce these unpleasant effects. More than one user of cocaine has said that using the drug was more important than food, sex, friends, family, or jobs. Their main concern was how to ease the undesirable effects of being without the drug.
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