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Crack is cocaine that has been cooked down until all impurities have been removed and only the pure drug remains. The powdered cocaine sold on the street has usually be mixed with other substances such as baking soda, flour, or sugar, just to name a few.

Doing this allows the buyer to hold on to more pure cocaine so that more sales can be made. However, mixing the cocaine with other substances causes the cocaine's strength to become diluted. Mixing the cocaine with water then heating it at a high temperature causes the impurities to burn off. At the same time, the heat causes the cocaine to harden into a solid mass that may resemble old-fashioned rock candy or even small pieces of white or light-colored grave. For this reason, a piece of crack cocaine is sometimes called a "rock" of crack.

Depending on their circumstances, crack addicts will cook powdered cocaine in either large or small amounts. Most of the time, the cooking process must be done surreptitiously, which means that only small amounts can be cooked at a time. When this is the case, crack users will sometimes use an ordinary metal tablespoon to hold the cocaine powder, and an eyedropper to add the water. A cigarette lighter or other device that will produce an open flame is then held under the spoon, and the mixture is cooked until it becomes solid.

Once the "rock" has been formed, it is usually smoked through a special kind of pipe, most often homemade, so that more of the fumes will be taken into the body. A piece of steel wool is sometimes placed in the bowl of the pipe, along with the "rock", so that any remaining impurities can be filtered out. The fumes emitted by heating the crack rock are almost entirely pure cocaine, and the user inhales as deeply as possible in order to draw as much of the drug as he can into his body.

Crack cocaine produces an almost immediate euphoric or happy feeling. The crack user also experiences a brief burst of energy. However, both the euphoric feeling and the energy boost fade quickly. As a result, the euphoric feeling is immediately replaced with feelings of depression or anxiety that are just as strong as the euphoric feeling.

In an effort to avoid the "crash", crack users will continue to smoke crack. However, instead of achieving a better high, crack users will actually feel the negative sensations more strongly.
When used for a long period of time, crack cocaine can cause mood swings, restlessness or nervousness, and irritability. In addition, the user may experience feelings of paranoia, and may also hallucinate. If crack use continues, addiction can and usually does occur.

Before that happens, your city wants users or those who know a crack user to take advantage of the treatment facilities that are available for crack users. Our crack hotline is staffed 24 hours a day by members who understand how serious a crack addiction can be and want to help. The sooner a call is made, the faster treatment can be sought.

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