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“Crack is wack.”—Whitney Huston
Crack vs, Coke
Crack is just simply another form of cocaine that comes from the leaves of the coca plant. Crack is formed by mixing baking soda with powdered cocaine, so it changes composition to form a solid to what is commonly known as “rocks.”
It burns at a lower melting point than coke, making it smokable instead of snorting it. It is called crack because of its sound when it is smoked. People tend to smoke it because it enters the bloodstream much quicker than it enters the lungs.
People use inhalers because of how quickly the medicine takes effect. When smoke enters the large surface areas of the lungs, it slips through the membrane and goes straight to the brain for as little as eight seconds.
This is much quicker than using powdered cocaine to reach the brain, which takes about 10 minutes. Although once you smoke it or snort, regular cocaine hits the brain, the effects are the same thing.
Initially, people feel alert, energized, and more aware of their senses. In the brain, crack produces double the amount of dopamine, the chemical associated with feelings of euphoria and pleasure.
Crack Doubles Dopamine
This dopamine travels between neurons that bind to receptors that trigger good feelings. Usually, this dopamine gets absorbed back into the neurons by a neuron transporter.
Although, it alters this process by attaching itself to a transporter and blocks the reabsorption allowing dopamine to build up and continually stimulate the receptors. As a result, the user feels suitable for approximately 10 minutes.
However, soon after that, the dopamine levels in the brain plummet, and the person experiences an extreme low with overbearing feelings of depression, which is why many users typically have to smoke more and more to get to the same high as before.
Unfortunately, these dopamine levels will take a long time to reach back to baseline. As a result, psychological dependency and physical addiction increase irritability, paranoia, and restlessness.
In some cases, crack or cocaine abuse can lead to delusional parasitosis, the feeling of insects or bugs crawling underneath the skin. This often leads to self-destructive behaviours like biting or scratching trying to get the bugs out.
In the most extreme cases, it can lead to heart attacks or strokes, resulting in death.
I guess Whitney Houston was right. Crack can get pretty fucking wack.