By John S. Duff
John S. Duff is Narconon's Director of Drug Education and co-author of The Truth About Drugs, The Body, Mind and You.
Crack is a form of cocaine that is smoked.
Cocaine is an oil that comes from the leaves of the coca bush that grows at high altitudes. Coca leaves are collected from coca bushes that grow mainly in Columbia, Bolivia, Peru and. Ecuador. These leaves are crushed and the oil is extracted. This oil is purified and changed into a powder that can be mixed with water. When cocaine arrives in the United States it is in this water-soluble powder form.
During the 1970s, drug dealers began to change the water-soluble powder back into an oil in a rock form. This process is called "freebasing" or literally freeing up the base. This changes the drug from a water-soluble powder to an oil form of the cocaine that can be smoked in a pipe.
There are several problems with smoking cocaine. The effects of cocaine only last several minutes when smoked. So people smoking crack must use it over and over at a mad pace. When cocaine is smoked in an oil form like "crack" or "rock" it is more likely to accumulate in the body because of its natural attraction to the fatty tissue of the body. Therefore, the cocaine can build up in the body more quickly and cause toxic effects faster than expected. There have been many unfortunate deaths from crack cocaine.
Cocaine is a powerful chemical and when it is put into the lungs it causes harm. How much is yet to be seen, but keep in mind that the lungs were only designed to take oxygen in and to get rid of carbon dioxide. Powerful chemicals coming in contact with the delicate tissues of the lungs can only cause harm.
Cocaine is mentally addictive and puts an enormous stress on all organs of the body. It alters eating and sleeping habits, depletes nutrients, can cause deep depression after long periods of use, and can cause death.
Some people use cocaine and it makes them feel very good or smart for a few minutes but when the drug wears off they feel dumb again. It is just a dirty trick, an illusion. Intelligence is not smoked in a pipe.
Any way a drug can make you feel, you can feel by yourself without drugs. When you get pleasures through hobbies, sports, reading, traveling, careers and friendships you don't pay such a heavy price in terms of mental and physical problems. Life contains many possible pleasures that an individual may obtain, and crack cocaine will only take these pleasures away.