Crack Cocaine is a more potent, concentrated cocaine variety that is processed by mixing powder cocaine with baking soda and water, which forms solid crystalline “rocks.”
Crack cocaine gets its name from the “crackle” that occurs when it is smoked – the most common form of crack cocaine intake.
Can Crack Cocaine Be Snorted?
Crack is typically smoked or dissolved and injected. Due to its crystal-like, solid consistency, crack cannot be snorted.
People may attempt to snort crack cocaine in an attempt to feel its effects more quickly and intensely.
Snorting is a common route of ingestion for powder cocaine, which can deliver the drug rapidly across the blood-brain barrier and into the bloodstream through blood vessels in the nose.
Snorting crack cocaine cannot be safely done and should never be attempted. Cocaine use in any form can be highly addictive and carries real risks of heart attack, stroke, and mental health conditions.
About Crack Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is the second-most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, after marijuana. It typically comes from South America from processed leaves from the coca plant.
As a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, it produces an intense feeling of euphoria, alertness, and well-being, and is prone to abuse and drug addiction.
Also known as “freebase”, crack is cheaper than powder-form cocaine and produces a short-acting, but intense rush of euphoria.
Side Effects Of Crack Cocaine Abuse
In the short-term, crack cocaine’s effects can be felt within minutes of intake. Crack use can produce some very intense euphoric effects that people seek out, but create many unpleasant side effects, especially when the cocaine is taken in excess.
Short-Term Side Effects Of Crack Cocaine Abuse
Abusing crack cocaine produces nearly instant effects.
Ingesting fast-acting crack cocaine can produce both desired and unwanted effects like:
- excessive energy
- dilated pupils
- intense cocaine cravings
- loss of appetite
- increased heart rate
- increased breathing rate
- increased blood pressure
- increased body temperature
- tremors and muscle twitches
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Short-term psychological effects of crack cocaine drug use include:
- increased aggression
- unstable moods
Long-Term Effects Of Crack Cocaine Use
Crack cocaine places stress on the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems. Smoking cocaine or snorting freebase cocaine creates an increased risk for long-term health effects.
A person that is suffering from crack addiction may be at increased risk for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C because of the association with risky sexual behavior and potential for intravenous drug use.
Some effects of prolonged or intense crack cocaine use may cause long-term problems like:
- heart attack
- sudden cardiac death
- heart disease
- brain bleeds
- respiratory failure
- male infertility
- Parkinson’s disease
- dental problems
Crack Cocaine Overdose
Crack cocaine, when smoked, will create a strong rush of euphoria. Although crack cannot be ingested through intranasal insufflation, people that smoke crack may also seek out other drugs such as opioids, stimulants, or benzodiazepines to take at the same time to enhance the effects.
onset As with other addictive drugs, people may immediately seek out the euphoric feelings by taking in more crack, which can lead to a potentially deadly overdose when the system cannot process the volume of drugs quickly enough.
An overdose can happen in several ways, all of which results when the body is overwhelmed by the amount of a substance in the system.
Overdose can happen due to cocaine-snorting or crack smoking binges, where a person continually takes cocaine without allowing the body to fully process the drug.
Overdose can also happen when a person stops taking cocaine for a period of time and then uses the same amount of the addictive substance that they had become accustomed to ingesting. When the body loses its built-up tolerance to a drug, overdose becomes more likely.
With cocaine, an influx of dopamine brought on by too much cocaine in the system can make a person aggressive, violent, and homicidal.
The signs that a person has overdosed on crack cocaine are diverse and can be dangerous.
Overdose symptoms can include:
- high blood pressure
- heart attack
- elevated body temperature
- excessive sweating
Nasal Damage Caused By Snorting Cocaine
Ingesting any drug through the nose may cause damage to the delicate nasal tissues and respiratory system.
Snorting crack cocaine is unsafe and ineffective.
It can cause adverse physical reactions that may include:
- upper respiratory infection
- runny nose
- damage to the throat
- hoarse voice
- pulmonary embolism
- loss of smell
- damage to the nasal septum
- damage to the mucous membrane
Crack Cocaine Addiction And Withdrawal
The intensity of crack cocaine’s effects can be physically and psychologically addictive and may lead to other addictive behaviors.
Physical addiction and dependence will lead to withdrawal symptoms when a person stops using the drug.
When a person forms a pattern of crack cocaine use and then suddenly stops taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms can occur.
Symptoms are not similar to the vomiting and shaking associated with alcohol or opioid withdrawals but are unpleasant still.
- lack of pleasure
- anxiety and irritability
- intense cravings
In some cases, drugs like propranolol and vigabatrin can be used in medically supervised detox programs to help prevent relapse, manage symptoms, and encourage full recovery.
Treatment For Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine use in any form is dangerous and detrimental to a healthy life. If you or a loved one is using any form of cocaine, the time to get help is now.
Crack cocaine is dangerous and habit-forming; people that try to snort crack may experience severe physical harm.
Our substance abuse specialists are here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about your addiction treatment options for substance use disorders.
We offer a range of treatment methods, from supervised detox at inpatient centers to outpatient behavioral therapy.
Find out what will work best for you to get on the path to a happier, drug-free life. Contact us now to begin.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Medscape — Cocaine Toxicity
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Cocaine withdrawal
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: Medline Plus — Cocaine