Crack Cocaine is the freebase form of cocaine that can be smoked or injected. Statistics show that about .08% to 1% of teenagers will abuse crack cocaine during their high school years; last year there were about 625,000 who reported using crack cocaine. Crack cocaine is said to be the most potent form that cocaine appears in. Crack Cocaine is between 75% and 100% pure, which is a far more potent than the powder form of cocaine and makes it highly toxic to users; it may also be called rock, work, hard, iron, cavvy, base, or crack. Users typically feel a ‘rush’ followed by a sense of alertness, calm and ease.
Crack cocaine increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and increased movement. The pleasant effects produced by crack cocaine wear off rather quickly, in about 5 to 10 minutes. Users of crack cocaine say that they never get the same feeling that they did when they took their first hit, so they are constantly “chasing” that initial feeling. When crack cocaine wears off users report feeling depressed or down more so then before taking the drug.
One of the biggest signs of crack cocaine abuse is when someone starts to build a tolerance. This means this person has been using frequently. Tolerance happens when the body starts to adapt to the amount of crack being put into it and starts requiring larger amounts of it for the same effect to be produced. Withdrawal symptoms can occur from crack cocaine use. These symptoms include flu-like symptoms and mood swings. Physical warning signs to watch out for are dilated pupils, lack of appetite and insomnia. Mental warning signs of abuse include obsessive thoughts about smoking crack cocaine, the inability to stop smoking crack cocaine even with a strong desire to stop, and putting crack cocaine before everything including family, friends, work and finances.