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The Difference Between Crack vs. Cocaine

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If you’re wondering if it is less dangerous to use cocaine than to use crack, or vice versa, the answer is that both forms of the drug are highly dangerous. One is not safer than the other, and both are highly addictive substances.

If you need cocaine or crack cocaine rehab in Maine, call Liberty Bay Recovery at (855) 607-8758 and learn how our specialized cocaine and crack cocaine rehab programs can help.

Crack vs. Cocaine: What’s the Difference?

Crack and cocaine are both derived from the coca plant. Cocaine is the powdered form, and crack is the solid form of the processed coca plant. Both forms of the drug affect the body in similar ways.

Cocaine is a hydrochloride salt. As a fine powder, it is inhaled through the nostrils (snorted), rubbed onto the gums, or mixed with water and injected directly into the bloodstream.

Crack cocaine is the base form of cocaine and has a slightly different chemical structure than powdered cocaine. It is typically created by mixing powdered cocaine with water and a third alkaline substance (typically baking soda) and heating. After heating, it is cooled and turns into a solid form. It is then broken into smaller pieces, sometimes referred to as rocks.

The slang term crack is derived from the cracking sound the substance makes when broken into smaller pieces. Crack is most commonly ingested by smoking in a pipe. It can also be ingested by crushing it into a powder and snorting or mixing it with water for injection with a needle.

Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse

There are many dangerous risks and side effects of cocaine use. Cocaine stimulates the nervous system, elevating body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.

People who use cocaine may become more talkative or feel an increase in self-confidence. They might also feel more focused and energized. These pleasurable symptoms are short-lived. Continued use of cocaine can lead to the following problems:

  • Death by overdose
  • Mood disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Dangerous weight loss
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Damage to nose cartilage
  • Altered sleep patterns

People who inject cocaine are also at risk for infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. This drug can also worsen the symptoms of existing mental health disorders or contribute to new ones such as depression.

Side Effects of Crack Cocaine

In addition to the side effects of cocaine abuse listed above, crack users are at risk for severe respiratory problems such as lung damage and shortness of breath. Long term effects include:

  • Severe damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys
  • Aggressive and paranoid behavior
  • “Crack lip,” a condition caused by blistering the lips with a hot pipe
  • Delirium/psychosis

The different substances that crack is mixed with also pose health risks. Burning crack releases unknown toxic fumes that can lead to a variety of health problems when inhaled.

The side effects of crack cocaine and powdered cocaine are similar, and both can be deadly. Both drugs interfere with brain function and can cause users to lose interest in the other areas of their life, including work, school, hobbies, and relationships.

Fight the Effects of Cocaine Abuse at Liberty Bay

When it comes to treatment for crack vs. cocaine, the compassionate experts at Liberty Bay understand that both substances are highly addictive and require medical attention.

Cocaine use disorder is not something a person can overcome with willpower. A qualified rehab program provides the support needed to detox safely and address any lasting mental or physical damage the substance has caused. Call Liberty Bay today at (855) 607-8758 and learn more about our cocaine rehab programs.

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