Crack cocaine

Crack cocaine is smokeable form of cocaine made into lumps or rocks which make a cracking noise when burnt.

Other names

rocks, white, stones

Appearance

White/yellow rocks

Drugs Wheel Category

Stimulants

Legality

Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) – Class A.
Penalties for possession are up to 7 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine. Penalties for supply are up to life in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

How it’s taken

Crack cocaine is usually smoked.  Injecting is almost always the riskiest way of taking drugs and is strongly discouraged.

Effects

Tolerance to cocaine can build up and there can be a strong urge to re-dose.

Cocaine can make you feel energetic and confident. It also increases your heart rate and breathing. People using it can experience a high with increased alertness, focus and sex drive, as well as a decreased appetite and a strong urge to re-dose. Other effects include restlessness, aggression, paranoia and over-confidence. Cocaine can affect your sleeping pattern which can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing. Cocaine can also cause numbness/stop you feeling pain in the area of the body it touches, increasing the risk of accidental harm.

Risks

  • Cocaine can cause numbness/stop you feeling pain in the area of the body it touches, increasing the risk of accidental harm.
  • May increase over-confidence, aggression, sexual arousal, decrease desire for sleep and reduce appetite.
  • Use safe sex practices – drugs can lower inhibitions!
  • Cocaine can affect your sleeping pattern which can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing.
  • Risk of dependence because of how cocaine interacts with your brain and how you feel pleasure
  • Risk of strain on heart and liver
  • Mixing with alcohol, prescription medication or any other drugs risks unexpected, harmful and unpleasant effects
  • Mixing cocaine and alcohol produces cocaethylene in your body; a chemical which is harmful and can increase side effects.

Harm reduction

All drug use has its risks, but if you choose to take crack cocaine then the following steps can help to reduce harm:
  • Avoid mixing with alcohol, prescription medication or any other drugs, as the effects may be unexpected or harmful and unpleasant.
  • Drugs affect people differently and mixing with other drugs can create unpredictable effects
  • If smoking from foil use clean foil each time. This is available from injecting equipment programs (IEPs).
  • Clean all pipes regularly.
  • Avoid holding smoke in your lungs as this can damage tissue without giving a better ‘hit’.
  • Use glass pipes where possible as these give off less fumes than plastic.
  • Like all stimulant drugs, crack can affect your sleeping pattern which can have an impact on your mental wellbeing.

Detection time

People taking crack cocaine have reported the following detection time, but this cannot be taken as a recommendation; detection of any drug will depend on purity, regularity of use, other medications or drugs you have taken, your body and how it’s taken.
  • 2-4 days in urine.