The Difference Between Crack and Cocaine
Most people, when they think about crack or cocaine, tend to lump them together. That is understandable—cocaine, or “coke,” refers to the powdered form of the drug, while crack is what’s called a “rock,” or more solid, version of cocaine. But there are some notable differences between these two forms of the same drug that prevent them from being interchangeable.
What is Crack Cocaine?
Crack is most commonly made by taking cocaine and combining it with sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, and water. That mixture is then heated to a boiling point, when it takes on its rock formation. When you think about what does crack look like, you can picture this rock broken up into smaller pieces, which is why crack has slang names such as “nuggets,” “hail” or “dice.”
How Crack and Cocaine are Alike
Before delving into the differences between crack and coke, it’s crucial to understand that they both have the same dangerous effect on the body. Cocaine is a stimulant that triggers a rush of euphoria-inducing dopamine into the brain. It creates a powerful high that can overload the brain’s reward centers, which means when the high wears off, the letdown can be intense, and to avoid the resultant sadness and depression, it’s tempting to keep using cocaine and crack again and again. That means both crack and cocaine are highly addictive.
Both coke and crack can take a similar toll on the body, although it can be more severe if cocaine is injected or crack is smoked, compared to cocaine that is snorted through the nose. There are many signals that someone may have a cocaine or crack addiction, including: weight loss, erratic sleep habits, hallucinations and loss of interest in relationships, job, school or other outside activities, among other signs. In fact, if there is any question about is cocaine or crack addictive, the answer is most certainly yes; some people may even get addicted after one use. Crack or cocaine users also run the risk of arrhythmia, seizures, stroke and even sudden cardiac death.
However, while there are significant similarities, there are also significant differences between crack and cocaine.
The Differences Between Crack and Coke
Below are some of the major differences between the two drugs:
Crack generally sells for less money on the street because it is cheaper to produce. Because the cocaine in crack is cut with other substances, there isn’t as much pure cocaine in crack, so the price is less.
Although crack is cheaper to buy and produce, cocaine in its powdered form is still used more frequently. Of the 1.9 million people in the United States who used cocaine, only about a quarter of them used it in crack form, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Adminstration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The use of the coca plant dates back to the B.C. era, and cocaine first became popular in the late 19th century—although at the time, it wasn’t considered an illicit drug. Eventually, cocaine was made illegal, but it experienced another wave in popularity starting in the late 1960s. Comparatively, crack is a newer invention, and its use first became widespread in the 1980s.
Generally, crack possession is considered a bigger crime than cocaine possesion and carries stricter prison sentences. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, this has translated into “a disproportionate impact on poor people and people of color. Statistics show that black people are more likely to be convicted of crack cocaine offenses…and white people are more likely to be convicted of powder cocaine offenses.”
Crack is faster acting than cocaine—because the smoke is inhaled, it takes immediate effect. On the other hand. It takes longer to feel the effects of cocaine, roughly three to five minutes when snorted through the nose, and 15 to 30 minutes when it is injected into the body.
While there are some key differences between cocaine and crack, misuse or addiction to either of them requires professional rehabilitation treatment. If you have a loved one who may be suffering from crack or cocaine addiction, a facility specializing in cocaine rehab may be helpful. This type of center should offer comprehensive treatment. The program should allow for customized, individualized treatment plans for each patient. It should also include medically supervised detox, as the withdrawal symptoms from cocaine use can be dramatic and intense. Once that detoxification process is complete, treatment can turn towards a holistic plan that can include group and individual counseling, family support and attendance at support group meetings, among other initiatives. Finally, a high-quality cocaine rehabilitation program should offer residential treatment services, as well as those for the partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and after care stages, too. Cocaine and crack addiction can be dangerous, and even deadly, so don’t hesitate to get help today.
Addiction and Danger
Crack is considered a more dangerous and addictive substance in comparison to cocaine. This is partially due to the fact that it takes far less time to take full effect in the human body when it is inhaled, in addition to the higher purity levels common in crack.
Purity and Form
Crack is typically a purer substance than cocaine is.
Crack comes in the form of a white crystal rock; while cocaine comes in the form of a white powder.
Cocaine is a type of illegal drug derived from coca leaves. This drug distorts the body’s sense of movement and pleasure as well as gives off feelings of euphoria and energizes the body. Cocaine can be snorted or injected. Crack, a freebase form of cocaine, is smoked.
If you have a loved one who may be suffering from crack or cocaine addiction, cocaine rehab treatment center may be helpful. These facilities offer incredible cocaine rehab as well as drug treatment for numerous other chemical dependency problems.