Crack vs Cocaine? Is there such a big difference between these two types of drugs?

Where crack and cocaine are similar is in the overdose deaths that they cause. In 2019, there were 15,883 deaths involving cocaine, and in 1999 there were just 3,822 in comparison.

If you are struggling with addiction or know someone who is, you need more information on these types of drugs.

Do you want to learn the differences between crack and cocaine? Keep reading this guide to understand the differences and similarities between the two!

What Is Crack?

Crack, or crack cocaine, is highly addictive and made from powdered cocaine. It is a crystal form of cocaine. You typically smoke crack, and smoking crack sends a rush to your brain. Smoking crack gives a lot more of a kick than snorting it does, and this rush lasts up to 10 minutes.

Crack is a mood-altering drug and changes the way you feel for the better. Your problems don’t seem quite as bad anymore. You feel euphoric and on top of the world.

The more you use crack, however, the more you crave it. This craving is what causes people to lose control of their crack use:

Signs You’re Addicted to Crack

Crack is highly addictive, even if you have only tried it a few times. Signs you could be addicted are:

  • You no longer get the same high you used to
  • You constantly think about when you can use it again
  • Spend all your money on crack and don’t care about work or family
  • You continue using crack even though it causes significant problems

Effects of Crack

You gamble with your health and life when you start using crack, even in small amounts. Crack can cause medical effects like:

Using crack can lead to a stroke, heart attack, or seizure, even if you are generally healthy. 

Crack can make you aggressive, paranoid, and angry. It can also make you hallucinate and become delusional temporarily. 

Crack can often be contaminated with other substances used as cutting agents, like the drug Levamisole, intended initially to treat hookworm infections.

When cocaine is laced with Levamisole, it causes widespread complications like black skin lesions and a low white blood cell count.

What Happens When You Stop Using Crack?

After you stop using crack, you will experience a feeling of coming down or a crash. Once you crash, you no longer feel that euphoria you once did. 

You will probably feel cranky, hungry, exhausted, and want to sleep for a long time. Long-term crack use can make it harder to quit permanently, as you will still experience cravings for a while after you stop.

What Is Cocaine?

The coca plant (Erythroxylum) is a plant in South America and cultivated for cocaine for many years. In 1850, European scientists isolated cocaine from coca leaves and called it a “wonder drug.” 

Cocaine hydrochloride is a form of cocaine that is snorted or injected. Cocaine is sometimes cut with cornstarch, talcum powder, or other drugs to increase the amount.

Cocaine can also be mixed with other drugs like alcohol and cannabis, then dissolved to make an injection. This mixture is known as a speedball.

Cocaine makes you feel energetic, alert, euphoric, and more talkative. You may feel more aware of your senses and sexuality.

Taking a lot of cocaine for a long time can lead to:

  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Jealousy
  • Seeing and smelling things that aren’t there
  • Bizarre and violent behavior

When you use cocaine regularly, you can start to become resistant to the euphoric effects, driving the need to take more:

Signs You’re Addicted to Cocaine

Cocaine doesn’t always cause addiction, and people can use cocaine without actually becoming addicted. But if you do end up addicted, it is one of the toughest drug habits to break.

Once you become addicted to cocaine, you easily lose control of your entire life. The need for it becomes more important than anything. More important than your work, money, or loved ones.

The rapid and intense effects leave you needing more to feel the same high. And the larger amount of cocaine you use, the more likely it is you will become addicted.

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine can be very dangerous and cause a lot of harmful effects such as:

  • It causes your blood vessels to thicken
  • Raises your blood pressure
  • It makes your heart muscle work harder
  • You can overdose on a small amount

Cocaine increases your risk for strokes and heart attacks.

What Happens When You Stop Using Cocaine

Once you stop using cocaine, you will go into withdrawal quickly. Symptoms include insomnia, restlessness, depression, irritability, hunger, suicidal thoughts, and intense cravings for more cocaine.

The memory of cocaine euphoria stays in your brain and brings the risks of relapse along with it.

The Differences Between Crack and Cocaine

Crack and cocaine mostly differ in appearance, effects, and how long these effects last.

The effects of cocaine can last up to 30 minutes, while smoking crack only lasts up to 10 minutes.

Cocaine is from the coca plant in South America, while they make crack by dissolving powdered cocaine in water and baking soda. This process results in a rock you can break down into smaller pieces.

Cocaine can be:

  • Swallowed
  • Snorted
  • Dissolved and injected
  • Mixed in with tobacco in a pipe
  • Dissolved on your tongue

While crack is smoked chiefly using a water or glass pipe. Crack is also snorted or injected, but this isn’t common.

The costs are also different. Cocaine is usually significantly more expensive, an average of $93 a gram in 2016. In contrast, crack averaged about $60 a gram in 2016. 

Crack vs Cocaine

Now you know the differences between crack vs cocaine, you can take your next steps. Whether it’s for yourself or someone you love, help is out there for you.

The professionals at Healthy Life Recovery will offer you an individualized level of care to meet your needs. Reach out and contact us today. You aren’t alone!

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