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Crack/Cocaine is one of the most powerfully addictive
drugs. Crack is cocaine that has been transformed into a rock to be
smoked. It is essentially cocaine that has been processed from powder
into a smoke-able form. Once known as "freebase," crack is
powdered cocaine that has been mixed with either ammonia or baking
soda and water, and then heated to remove the hydrochloride. Because
smoking crack induces such a fast rush or high, it is quickly absorbed
and therefore extremely addicting.
Crack is a highly addictive stimulant that affects
the central nervous system and disturbs the reabsorption process of
dopamine. Its physical effects are constricted blood vessels, dilated
pupils, and increased blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature.
The faster the absorption of crack, the shorter its effects last. Some
effects are, euphoria (a high), are hyper stimulation, mental clarity,
and reduced fatigue. The high from smoking crack lasts about five to
10 minutes. When the user smokes more crack over a period of time,
the less he or she will feel high, thus on the road to addiction.
Reported side effects include anxiety, restlessness,
and irritability. Tolerance may develop, and many addicts say they
try but fail to gain the amount of pleasure they had from their first
hit. While users may experience tolerance, they might also become more
sensitive to crack with continued use, but without raising their dose.
During crack binges, users repeatedly use increasingly high doses and
might become paranoid or irritable. In severe crack induced highs,
users may experience psychoses or lose touch with reality. Crack can
cause abnormal heart rhythm, heart attacks, strokes, seizures, chest
pain, respiratory failure. Like cocaine , crack decreases appetite
and its users can become malnourished. Crack and cocaine related deaths
are usually the result of cardiac arrest, or seizure with respiratory
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