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Crack pipe


Everyone knows crack is highly addictive, but how much else do you know about its effects or the risks involved in taking it?

Crack is a smokeable form of freebase cocaine. It is much purer and more concentrated than soluble cocaine, and the body absorbs it at a faster rate.

What are the effects of taking crack?

  • The effects are similar to cocaine (feelings of wellbeing, mental exhilaration and euphoria). The hit is more intense, but quickly fades. The high can last as little as 10 minutes, followed immediately by a coming down period.
  • Anxiety, paranoia, depression, and often the inability to sleep can occur during a come down period, plus a restless craving for more. This can encourage users to repeat the dose in order to maintain the effect.
  • Other effects can also include tremors, muscle twitching, rapid pulse, nausea, anxiety, loss of confidence, high blood pressure, cold sweats, and mood changes.

What are the risks of taking crack?

  • Smoking crack carries a risk of lung damage.
  • Users can develop a strong psychological dependence, often taking more to deal with the comedown.
  • A crack habit can quickly get of out control.
  • High risk of overdose, since it's absorbed so quickly at such high levels. Without treatment, overdose can cause convulsions, or even death.
  • Injecting crack in liquid form is becoming more common. As a rule, never share needles. It carries the risk of transmitting diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

Crack and the law:

Crack cocaine is a Class A drug. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, it is illegal for a premises (private or public) to be used for the preparation or supply of cocaine. It's illegal for an individual to possess or supply crack or cocaine. Maximum penalties are seven years for possession and life imprisonment for supply.

Slang terms for crack:

Stone, wash, rock, pebbles, base and freebase. 

If you are planning on taking crack:

Keep track of the amount used as tolerance builds up. The more you take to get the same effect, so the risk increases of a hit your body may be unable to handle.

Updated: 12/04/2010

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