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Encyclopedia > Crack cocaine
A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks’.
A pile of crack cocaine ‘rocks’.

Crack cocaine is a solid, smokeable form of cocaine and is a highly addictive drug popular for its intense psychoactive high. It is a freebase form of cocaine that is made using baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in a process to convert cocaine hydrochloride (powder cocaine) into methylbenzoylecgonine (freebase cocaine). Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Download high resolution version (1768x1960, 488 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1768x1960, 488 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Flash point Non-flammable. ... Cocaine is a crystalline alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ...

Contents

Chemistry

Crack cocaine, often nicknamed "crack" due to the sound that is made when smoking it, is believed to have been created and made popular during the 1980s. Because of the dangers for manufacturers of using ether to produce pure freebase cocaine, producers began to omit the step of removing the freebase precipitate from the ammonia mixture. Typically, filtration processes are also omitted. The end result is that the cut, in addition to the ammonium salt (NH4Cl), remains in the freebase cocaine after the mixture has evaporated. The “rock” that is thus formed also contains a small amount of water. Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ... The 1980s refers to the years from 1980 to 1989. ... This article is about a general class of chemical compounds. ... Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. ... Precipitation is the condensation of a solid from a solution during a chemical reaction. ... For other uses, see Ammonia (disambiguation). ...

A spoon with a mixture of baking soda, cocaine and a small amount of water, when heated from below, small crack cocaine ‘rocks’ will begin to form in the mixture.
A spoon with a mixture of baking soda, cocaine and a small amount of water, when heated from below, small crack cocaine ‘rocks’ will begin to form in the mixture.

Baking soda is now most often used as a base rather than ammonia for reasons of lowered odor and toxicity; however, any weak base can be used to make crack cocaine. When commonly "cooked" the ratio is 3:4 parts cocaine per bicarbonate. This acts as a filler which extends the overall profitability of illicit sales. Crack cocaine may be reprocessed in small quantities with water (users refer to the resultant product as "cookback"). This removes the residual bicarbonate, and any adulterants or cuts that have been used in the previous handling of the cocaine and leaves a relatively pure, anhydrous cocaine base. The net reaction when using sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3, common baking soda) is: Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 331 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,740 × 1,135 pixels, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 331 pixelsFull resolution‎ (2,740 × 1,135 pixels, file size: 1. ... Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), or sodium hydrogen carbonate, also known as baking soda and bicarbonate of soda, is a soluble white anhydrous or crystalline compound, with a slight alkaline taste resembling that of sodium carbonate. ... Flash point Non-flammable. ... Acids and bases: Acid-base reaction theories pH Self-ionization of water Buffer solutions Systematic naming Electrochemistry Acid-base extraction Acids: Strong acids Weak acids Superacids Lewis acids Mineral acids Organic acids Bases: Strong bases Weak bases Superbases Lewis bases Organic bases edit In chemistry, a weak base is a... For baking soda, see Sodium bicarbonate In inorganic chemistry, a bicarbonate (IUPAC-recommended nomenclature: hydrogencarbonate) is an intermediate form in the deprotonation of carbonic acid. ... Adulterants are chemical substances which should not be contained within other substances (eg. ...

Coc-H+Cl + NaHCO3 → Coc + H2O + CO2 + NaCl

Crack cocaine usually contains 40% cocaine or less, depending on the degree to which it has been bulked out with other substances. The other 60%-90% can be made up of almost any available substance the chemists and/or dealers have chosen to use. For reasons of salability, the person reducing the purity will obviously prefer to do so with a substance that does not excessively alter the color or odor, and a bulked batch will commonly contain some level of acetone and bicarbonate. The health effects of these are generally mild compared to the health effects of the drug, but a number of highly toxic substances may also be used when available, with serious consequences resulting from consumption.


The term "crack" is also used to refer to the water insoluble free base that results from the process of users heating cocaine hydrochloride with dissolved sodium bicarbonate and water. The bicarbonate breaks down into carbon dioxide and sodium carbonate, which then reacts with the hydrochloride from the cocaine molecule,leaving cocaine as a free base and sodium chloride as a byproduct, as in the above reaction. Because the oily free base is not soluble in water, it floats to the top of the liquid and is scraped off for use. The main difference is that it is prepared by the end user, and is less likely to contain intact bicarbonate, being therefore more pure. Because "crack" is a free alkaloid base, as opposed to a salt (like cocaine hydrochloride or cocaine sulfate) it combusts less in the process of "smoking" and therefore is more potent per unit of substance consumed. Because it is more able to be vaporized, less combusts, and so the term "smoking crack" actually refers to a combination of both vaporization and combustion, whereas with most other smoked substances are "smoked" through a process where combustion constitutes a large portion of the total reaction. Impurities that will be found when crack is produced this way include trace contaminants from the initial reaction (sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate) and any other alkaloids that have been used to cut the initial cocaine hydrochloride and can be reduced to their free base by sodium carbonate, or are more soluble in the free base cocaine than in the left-over salt water. Other cutting agents may be more or less soluble in the free base cocaine (crack) and may therefore be either removed from the product of co-purified as contaminants in it. Because the sodium bicarbonate, and sodium carbonate are thought to have little health impact, the result is probably very close to the same as the smoking of crack when prepared with sodium bicarbonate and carbonate left in the mixture. Chemical structure of ephedrine, a phenethylamine alkaloid An alkaloid is, strictly speaking, a naturally occurring amine produced by a plant,[1] but amines produced by animals and fungi are also called alkaloids. ...


Psychological effects

Cocaine is a substance that affects the brain chemistry of the user. Its main effect is to release a large amount of dopamine, a brain chemical inducing feelings of euphoria. In addition, smoking freebase cocaine releases methylecgonidine into one's body, something which insufflating or injecting powder cocaine does not do. Methylecgonidine is a methylated form of cocaine in much the same way that methamphetamine is a methylated form of amphetamine. The high usually lasts around 15 minutes, after which time dopamine levels in the brain plummet, leaving the user feeling depressed and low. A typical response among users is to have another hit of the drug; however, the levels of dopamine in the brain take a long time to replenish themselves, and each hit taken in rapid succession leads to increasingly less intense highs. It is the intense desire to recapture the initial high that is so addictive for many users. For other uses, see Dopamine (disambiguation). ... Euphoria (Greek ) is a medically recognized emotional state related to happiness. ... This article is about the psychostimulant, d-methamphetamine. ... Amphetamine or Amfetamine(Alpha-Methyl-PHenEThylAMINE), also known as beta-phenyl-isopropylamine and benzedrine, is a prescription stimulant commonly used to treat Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children. ... In everyday language depression refers to any downturn in mood, which may be relatively transitory and perhaps due to something trivial. ...


Health issues

When large amounts of dopamine are released by crack consumption, it becomes easier for the brain to generate motivation for other activities. The activity also releases a large amount of adrenaline into the body, which tends to increase heart rate and blood pressure, leading to long-term cardiovascular problems. It is suggested by research that smoking crack or freebase cocaine has additional health issues beyond other methods of taking cocaine. Many of these issues relate specifically to the release of methylecgonidine, and the specific effect of methylecgonidine on the heart,[1] lungs,[2] and liver.[3]


As noted previously, virtually any substance may have been added in order to expand the volume of a batch. Occasionally, highly toxic substances are used, with an indefinite range of corresponding short- and long-term health risks.


The task of introducing of the drug into the body further presents a series of health risks. Crack cannot be snorted like regular cocaine, so smoking is the most common consumption method. Crack has a melting point of around 90 °C (194 °F), and the smoke does not remain potent for long. Therefore, crack pipes are generally very short, to minimise the time between evaporating and losing strength. This often causes cracked and blistered lips, colloquially "crack lip", from having a very hot pipe pressed against the lips. The use of "convenience store crack pipes" - glass tubes which originally contained small artificial roses - may also create this condition. These pipes are not durable and will quickly develop breaks; users will typically continue to use the pipe until it is only about 1/3 of its original length.[citation needed]


Legal status

Crack cocaine is illegal in most parts of the world[citation needed]. In the United States cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act since it has high abuse potential but also carries a medicinal purpose. Under the DEA listing of schedule II substances, crack is not considered separate from cocaine since they are essentially the same drug compound in different forms. In the United Kingdom it is a Class A drug. In the Netherlands it is a List 1 drug of the Opium Law. In Iran, the term crack refers to heroin rather than crack cocaine and is a major problem in healthcare. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. ... The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) was enacted into law by the Congress of the United States as Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. ... For other uses, see Heroin (disambiguation). ...


Law enforcement running drug stings to catch purchasers of crack cocaine often use macadamia nuts to simulate the drug.[4] When chopped, these nuts resemble crack cocaine in color. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Species Macadamia integrifolia Macadamia tetraphylla The macadamia nut is the fruit of a tree native to the east coast of Australia. ...


There has been some controversy over the disproportionate mandatory sentences for crack cocaine under U.S. law since 1987. Whereas it is a 5-year minimum sentence for trafficking 500g of powdered cocaine, the same sentence can be imposed for mere possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine, a 100:1 ratio. There is no mandatory minimum sentence for mere possession of powder cocaine. [5] The United States Sentencing Commission has recommended that this disparity be rectified and existing sentences reduced. [6] Some claim that this disparity amounts to institutional racism, as crack cocaine is more common in inner-city black communities, and powder cocaine in white suburban communities. A mandatory sentence is a judicial decision setting the punishment to be inflicted on a person convicted of a crime where judicial discretion is limited by law. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Institutional racism (or structural racism or systemic racism) is a theoretical form of racism that is supposed to occur in institutions such as public bodies and corporations, including universities. ...


Effects in pregnancy and nursing

"Crack baby" is a pejorative term for a child born to a mother who used crack cocaine during her pregnancy. There remains some dispute as to whether cocaine use during pregnancy poses a genuine threat to the fetus. The official opinion of the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the United States warns about health risks while cautioning against stereotyping: It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... This article is about human pregnancy in biological females. ... For other uses, see Fetus (disambiguation). ... Cover of a NIDA educational booklet. ...

Many recall that “crack babies,” or babies born to mothers who used crack cocaine while pregnant, were at one time written off by many as a lost generation. They were predicted to suffer from severe, irreversible damage, including reduced intelligence and social skills. It was later found that this was a gross exaggeration. However, the fact that most of these children appear normal should not be overinterpreted as indicating that there is no cause for concern. Using sophisticated technologies, scientists are now finding that exposure to cocaine during fetal development may lead to subtle, yet significant, later deficits in some children, including deficits in some aspects of cognitive performance, information-processing, and attention to tasks—abilities that are important for success in school.[7]

They also warn about the threat of breastfeeding: "It is likely that cocaine will reach the baby through breast milk." The March of Dimes advises the following regarding cocaine use during pregnancy: An infant breastfeeding International Breastfeeding Symbol (Matt Daigle, Mothering magazine contest winner 2006) Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant or young child with milk from a womans breasts. ... March of Dimes official logo March of Dimes is the name of health charities in both the United States and Canada. ...

"Cocaine use during pregnancy can affect a pregnant woman and her unborn baby in many ways. During the early months of pregnancy, it may increase the risk of miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, it can trigger preterm labor (labor that occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or cause the baby to grow poorly. As a result, cocaine-exposed babies are more likely than unexposed babies to be born with low birthweight (less than 5½ pounds). Low-birthweight babies are 20 times more likely to die in their first month of life than normal-weight babies, and face an increased risk of lifelong disabilities such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy. Cocaine-exposed babies also tend to have smaller heads, which generally reflect smaller brains. Some studies suggest that cocaine-exposed babies are at increased risk of birth defects, including urinary-tract defects and, possibly, heart defects. Cocaine also may cause an unborn baby to have a stroke, irreversible brain damage, or a heart attack.

See also

Massive mark-ups for drugs, areas/drugs/index. ... Comparison of the perceived harm for various psychoactive drugs from a poll among medical psychiatrists specialized in addiction treatment[1] This article is an overview of the nontherapeutic use of alcohol and drugs of abuse. ... Crack Cocaine The crack epidemic refers to a six year period between 1984 and 1990 in the United States during which there was a huge surge in the use of crack cocaine in major cities, and crack-houses all over the USA. Fallout from the crack epidemic included a huge...

References

  1. ^ Scheidweiler KB, Plessinger MA, Shojaie J, Wood RW, Kwong TC (2003). "Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of methylecgonidine, a crack cocaine pyrolyzate". J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 307 (3): 1179–87. doi:10.1124/jpet.103.055434. PMID 14561847. Retrieved on 2008-02-24.
  2. ^ Yang Y, Ke Q, Cai J, Xiao YF, Morgan JP (2001). "Evidence for cocaine and methylecgonidine stimulation of M(2) muscarinic receptors in cultured human embryonic lung cells". Br. J. Pharmacol. 132 (2): 451–60. doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0703819. PMID 11159694. Retrieved on 2008-02-24.
  3. ^ Fandiño AS, Toennes SW, Kauert GF (2002). "Studies on hydrolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways of anhydroecgonine methyl ester (methylecgonidine) using microsomal preparations from rat organs". Chem. Res. Toxicol. 15 (12): 1543–8. PMID 12482236. Retrieved on 2008-02-24.
  4. ^ "Nuts! Cops use holiday treat in drug sting", Chicago Sun Times, December 24, 2004. Accessed 21 November 2007.
  5. ^ Sabet, Kevin A. Making it Happen: The Case for Compromise in the Federal Cocaine Law Debate
  6. ^ http://www.ussc.gov/PRESS/rel0407.htm
  7. ^ http://www.drugabuse.gov/ResearchReports/Cocaine/cocaine4.html#maternal

A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

External links

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