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Crack cocaine is a highly addictive and potent stimulant that is produced through a simple conversion process from powdered cocaine. In the mid-1980s, crack became popular as a recreational drug. It's abused because it gives you a quick high and is simple and inexpensive to produce, making it easily available and affordable.
Smoking crack cocaine is a cheaper way to consume the drug because it requires less material to make compared to other methods. In addition, the drug is readily available on the street.
Smoking crack cocaine causes damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. Some users may also experience paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, seizures, and strokes.
Powdered cocaine is dissolved in a solution of water, ammonia, or sodium bicarbonate to make crack (baking soda). The mixture is cooked until it forms a solid mass. The solid is separated from the liquid, dried, and then broken down into crack cocaine pieces (rocks).
Crack cocaine typically is available as rocks. Crack rocks are white (or off-white) and vary in size and shape.
Crack is nearly always smoked. When crack cocaine is smoked, huge amounts of the substance are delivered to the lungs, causing an instant and powerful euphoric effect.
Cocaine is a highly addictive narcotic in any form, and addiction appears to develop more quickly when the drug is smoked—as crack is—rather than snorted—as powdered cocaine normally is.
Crack users may experience acute respiratory problems, such as coughing, shortness of breath, lung trauma, and bleeding, in addition to the usual risks associated with cocaine use (constricted blood vessels; increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and risk of cardiac arrest and seizure). Smoking crack cocaine can also lead to violent and paranoid behaviour.
Crack cocaine is, indeed, illegal. The Controlled Substances Act classifies crack cocaine as a Schedule II substance. Schedule II drugs, which also include PCP and methamphetamine, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these substances can lead to severe mental and physical dependence.
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