Cocaine Addiction & Treatment
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain. There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine — hydrochloride salt and “freebase”. The hydrochloride salt, or powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and can be taken through a needle or through the nasal passages. Freebase refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is smokable.
Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder. Street dealers generally dilute it with substances such as cornstarch, talcum powder, and/or sugar, or with active drugs such as procaine (a chemically related local anesthetic) or with other stimulants such as amphetamines.
Crack is the street name given to the freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or baking soda and water and heated to remove the hydrochloride. Because crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in less than ten seconds. This immediate and euphoric high is one of the reasons crack became enormously popular in the mid 1980s. Crack is inexpensive both to produce and to buy. In 2002, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimated the number of crack users to be about 567,000.
Adults 18-25 years old have a higher rate of current cocaine use than those in any other age group. Cocaine makes the user feel euphoric and energetic. Common health effects include heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes and seizures. Large amounts can cause bizarre and violent behavior. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter.
To learn more about Kansas City Community Center and alcohol or drug abuse, or to get more information about our Kansas City alcohol and drug treatment programs in the metro area, please contact us at 866-242-6670 or send us an e-mail.