Difference Between Crack and Cocaine

Crack and cocaine are related substances, but there are some very important differences between cocaine vs crack. Both are potent and addictive, but crack is often considered the more dangerous. Keep reading for a comparison of cocaine and crack and their dangers.


Cocaine overview

Cocaine is a stimulant that induces euphoria when taken. It is derived from coca plants, often found in tropical climates. Some of the most common places to find coca plants include Colombia, Bolivia and Peru in South America. The leaves undergo chemical processes that help concentrate it, usually into powder form. Some form of coca has been used for hundreds of years for medicinal purposes, as it can help reduce bleeding in the nose, throat and mouth. In the past, versions of cocaine have been used as local anesthetics. However, these days it is rarely used in the United States for medicine, since there are better (and less dangerous) ways to reduce bleeding and numb local areas of the body.

Cocaine can be snorted, smoked, injected or taken orally. The most common way of taking cocaine, however, is through snorting. It takes longer for the cocaine to reach the brain and cause the feeling of euphoria, but the high lasts longer when cocaine is snorted. When injected or smoked, it doesn’t take as long to reach the brain, and the reaction is more intense. However, it is over more quickly as well.

Some of the effects of cocaine use include restlessness, irritability, alertness, rapid heart beat, anxiety, paranoia in long-term users, and other problems. The crash that follows the high can lead to depression and exhaustion (mental and physical). It is possible for cocaine use to result in convulsions, cardiac arrest, long-term heart conditions, respiratory conditions, stroke and even death. The body quickly develops a tolerance for cocaine, meaning that it takes more and more of the substance to get the same effect. And as the body needs more to get the same result, the chance of death related to cocaine use increases. Withdrawal symptoms resulting from stopping cocaine use can be quite intense, painful and difficult to deal with.

Cocaine can be cut with other substances, making it even more unpredictable and dangerous, since you may not know the purity level.

Crack overview

It is important to realize that crack is a form of cocaine. It is often cooked with baking soda or ammonia in order to help reduce the hydrochloride in the cocaine, and create a substance that is more filtered. This method of preparation, called freebasing, causes the crack to form in rocks that crackle when smoked. Crack is almost always smoked. This causes the euphoric effect to take place much faster than what is experienced by most cocaine users, who snort the powdered substance.

Another important difference between crack and cocaine is the price. Crack is actually cheaper than cocaine. Cocaine was around longer, and it has been considered a designer drug. Crack, on the other hand, is a relatively new development, and it is actually cheaper to make, since the freebasing method quickly gets the drug through the process, and it does not require the refinement of producing cocaine powder. As a result, more users can get crack - and they can afford more of it. This difference in price has led to increased use of cocaine substances, since cocaine powder was considered an occasional luxury for such a long time. However, the cheapness of crack means that it can be bought more frequently, and used a more commonplace manner.

Crack is often considered more addictive than cocaine, since its effects are quicker and more intense, and since the freebase version is purer. The effects on your body are similar to those from cocaine powder, with intense and quick addiction possible. Sudden death due to crack use is also a possibility, and the use of crack can lead to a number of health problems, especially if taken long term.

It is important to remember that crack is a form of cocaine. Both crack and cocaine are rather dangerous and risky drugs. If you know someone who is using crack and/or cocaine, you should do what you can to get them help. There are drug rehab treatment centers available that make efforts to help patients deal with withdrawal symptoms and overcome addiction to crack and cocaine.

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