- What Is Addiction?
- Prescription Drug
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Cocaine vs Crack
In cocaine vs crack it is important to know cocaine and crack are derived from the same plant, but they are different forms of the drug and these differences are important. A parallel might be drawn with alcohol. Beer and whiskey both have alcohol and both will get someone drunk, but whiskey is much more powerful in the sense that it has a stronger “punch.” For alcoholics the difference might not be much, they just drink more. However with cocaine vs crack, inhaling the powder and smoking crack gives distinctly different experiences.
For addicts, the cocaine vs crack issue is about how quick and how much. The faster the drug is absorbed into the blood stream, the more intense the experience is. The “how much” is about using the drug as efficiently as possible to save money. From an addict’s point of view with cocaine vs crack, the best high would be the fastest and the cheapest. This is an advantage crack has over regular cocaine.
Inhaling cocaine powder will put the drug into the blood stream through the lining of the nasal cavity and sinuses. This takes time, about 15 minutes to reach the peak. With crack, users experience a rush in as quickly as a minute and a half. This is one reason why crack is more addictive than snorting cocaine. Crack also costs less. On a unit per unit basis, inhaling cocaine is much more expensive – it takes more to reach the same level of euphoria with powdered cocaine than with crack.
The reason crack can be smoked and the vapor inhaled is because it has a slightly different chemistry than cocaine powder. Cocaine powder is water soluble (allowing it to dissolve in nasal membranes) and crack is not. It must be heated and the vapor inhaled. This allows it to absorb in much higher amounts into the lung tissue and right into the blood stream. The only way to duplicate this with regular cocaine is to dissolve it in water and inject it – a risky procedure with risk of infection and disease (HIV, Hepatitis).
These cocaine vs crack differences have spawned differences in how each is treated by law enforcement. A much smaller quantity of crack cocaine will give the same penalties as a larger amount of cocaine powder in most jurisdictions. Crack is also considered more addictive, although studies show that using either form of the drug will result in serious addiction.