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Crack Cocaine and Powdered Cocaine: How Do They Differ?

I have a personal thirst for knowledge. On any given day, there’s a minimum of a dozen times where a question pops into my head, leading to some googling and online research, or-at the very least- using prior knowledge to compose a hypothesis. That thirst for knowledge has been with me since childhood and has turned me into somewhat a purveyor of random knowledge.

I hope it never changes.

Now that thirst for knowledge has finally proven useful! Each day I do tons of research in order to bring you the latest news regarding substance abuse as well as content which I hope inspires thought and consideration. I write to spark intrigue; I write to be the voice you need to hear in those low, vulnerable points of your recovery.

I write purely for you.

So, I’ve decided to start a new series of blogs, called “What’s the Difference?”, aimed at providing clarification and education on a number of topics related to substance abuse, addiction, and recovery. Eventually, I would love suggestions for topics of which to cover, but for now, we’re going to start with something I once wondered about from time to time:

What’s the Difference? Crack Cocaine Versus Powdered Cocaine

As one of the big three drugs which are currently ravishing the United States, cocaine overdoses claim thousands of lives every year and destroy thousands more. While we may know that cocaine is dangerous and potentially lethal, most people probably know very little about what cocaine actually is, let alone the actual differences between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine.

Of the two, powdered cocaine is probably the most readily recognizable- mostly thanks to Hollywood movies and their obsession with the drug. And while we know that “crack is wack” thanks to the quote made famous by Whitney Houston, most people don’t realize that the chemical composition, effects, and methods of manufacturing differ vastly between the two sibling drugs.

Cocaine: Powdered Versus CrackDid you know that 500 grams of powdered cocaine carries the same penalty as possessing 28 grams of crack cocaine?

Did you know that the basic components of cocaine are found in four different forms? The two we are talking about here are powdered cocaine and cocaine base, known colloquially as crack, while the other two- coca leaves and coca paste- are more direct derivatives of the erythroxylon plant.

Powdered cocaine is what most people are referring to when they talk about cocaine. This white, powdery substance can be snorted or combined with water to create an injectable variant- but it cannot be smoked. This expensive form of cocaine is created through a combination of coca paste and hydrochloric acid, which is non-flammable. The popular snorting method of ingestion takes up to 20 minutes to effect the brain, but those effects last for about an hour. Injection delivers cocaine to the brain faster at only one minute, but it also leaves the system faster, with only 30 minutes of effectiveness.

Crack cocaine is a greater menace to American society. Cheaper and more psychologically addictive than its kin, crack is essentially powdered cocaine combined with water and baking soda, then dried into the “rocks” we are familiar with today. This form of cocaine can be smoked, which delivers effects to the brain in around 20 seconds- much faster than the powdered counterpart. However, this only lasts for about half an hour, which contributes to the “fiending” some associate with the drug; desperate to maintain the high, people under the influence of a cocaine abuse have been done to go to extreme lengths.

Whatever the form, cocaine abuse is not a path anyone should follow- it leads nowhere good. If you are someone you know are struggling with cocaine abuse, reach out today and get the help you need to overcome addiction.

Did I miss any differences between crack cocaine and powdered cocaine? Do you have a suggestion for my next “What’s the Difference?” Comment below!

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