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Crack cocaine, an extremely powerful stimulant made from the chemical cocaine hydrochloride, contains very dangerous and highly addictive properties. Powder cocaine is combined with sodium bicarbonate or ammonia to create crack rocks or flat pieces that look like chips or flakes.
The drug is usually smoked, thus the name comes from the crackling sound it makes when burned. Some users chemically process crack by melting or cooking the drug down to remove the hydrochloride to produce a more pure form, which causes an exhilarating, but dangerous effect.
While cocaine is known as the rich man’s drug and is usually associated with glamour and money, crack is known as the indignant or poor man’s drug. The high produced from crack cocaine usually lasts about ten minutes, but the feeling is so intense that it makes a person instantly want more. Because of this, crack addiction is generally related to demoralization, violence and crime. Due to the fact that crack addiction can be far more devastating than powder cocaine, the penalties for crack possession have become much more serious.
Crack cocaine can have both physical and psychological effects on the user. Some immediate psychological effects on the user include:
While, the psychological effects of crack cocaine are short lived, the physical effects of the drug can cause serious health problems and even death. Crack cocaine has a direct effect on the autonomic, as well as the central nervous systems.
When a person smokes crack, the drug mimics neurotransmitters that directly control the body’s nervous systems. Using crack cocaine for a period of time will actually increase neurotransmitters in the brain causing memory, as well as emotional problems.