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What Does The Drug Crack Do To Your Body 2

Individuals of all ages use crack cocaine--data reported in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that an estimated 6,222,000 U.S. residents aged 12 and older used crack at least once in their lifetime. The survey also revealed that hundreds of thousands of teenagers and young adults use crack cocaine--150,000 individuals aged 12 to 17 and 1,003,000 individuals aged 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.

what does the drug crack do to your body 2

Specific routes of cocaine administration can produce their own adverse effects. Regularly snorting cocaine can lead to loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and an overall irritation of the nasal septum leading to a chronically inflamed, runny nose.15 Smoking crack cocaine damages the lungs and can worsen asthma.2,3 People who inject cocaine have puncture marks called tracks, most commonly in their forearms,7 and they are at risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C (see "Why Are Cocaine Users at Risk for Contracting HIV and Hepatitis?"). They also may experience allergic reactions, either to the drug itself or to additives in cocaine, which in severe cases can result in death.

Creatine kinase may be useful for the detection of rhabdomyolysis. Urinalysis may detect myoglobinuria. A urine drug screen is a must to detect other illicit substances. Most cocaine disappears from the body within 24 hours, but the metabolite, benzoylecgonine, may persist for weeks. This metabolite can also cause neurotoxicity.

CNS stimulants accelerate the heart rate and elevate the blood pressure and "speed-up," or over-stimulate, the body. Examples of CNS stimulants include cocaine, "crack" cocaine, amphetamines, and methamphetamine ("crank").

This happens because Crack Cocaine sets off excess amounts of the happiness-inducing chemical, dopamine, in the brain. With habitual Crack Cocaine use, the natural production of dopamine is diminished as the body becomes dependent upon the drug.

Another difference between crack and cocaine relates to the high produced. The intensity and duration of the high largely relate to how the drug is taken, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Generally, when cocaine is injected or smoked, the drug takes effect more quickly, resulting in a more intense but shorter high. When cocaine is snorted, it takes longer to feel its effects but the resulting high lasts longer.

According to a clinical pharmacist, cocaine and crack produce very different effects in the body, largely related to how they are usually administered. When cocaine is snorted, its effects occur in about 1-5 minutes; they peak within 20-30 minutes; and they dissipate within 1-2 hours. The effects of crack take hold in under a minute, peak in 3-5 minutes, and last 30-60 minutes. If cocaine is injected, however, the effects begin, peak, and last for about as long as crack. While injection is not the most common method of cocaine consumption, it is used by some people.

A 1/8 ounce of cocaine (3.5 grams), or 8-ball, may cost between $120-150, while a 1/10th gram of crack, or a rock, may cost between $10-25. Cocaine is expensive to buy on the streets. Crack was developed as a cheaper alternative to cocaine, making it more easily affordable to users. As a less expensive alternative, it became more accessible to those in the lower socioeconomic demographic. These people had less disposable income available to spend on drugs, but they were seeking options to get high. This brought crack use to low-income and minority communities. By the 1980s, there was an epidemic of crack use in these communities.

As a result, there is a public perception that cocaine is associated with more affluent drug users, whereas crack use is associated with those in lower income brackets and minorities. Despite this widespread belief, information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that in 1991, the majority of crack users were Caucasian.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in the ED of a county hospital with 75,000 visits per year. Our study cohort comprised all patients who presented between January 1993 and April 1995 and who met the definition of a crack cocaine body stuffer. We defined a crack cocaine body stuffer as anyone who admitted to or was strongly suspected of ingesting crack cocaine as a means of escaping detection by authorities, not for recreational purposes or as a means of transporting the drug across borders.

Results: We identified 98 cases; most such patients were brought to the ED by law enforcement agents. Most were male and younger than 30 years. Self-report by patients indicated that the amount of crack cocaine ingested ranged from 1 to more than 15 rocks. Most commonly the drug was unwrapped (28%) or wrapped in a plastic sandwich bag (29%). Generalized seizures developed in 4% of the patients; in all these patients seizures occurred within 2 hours of ingestion. In no patient did dysrhythmias develop. Many patients had minor signs of cocaine intoxication: 54% were tachycardic, 23% were hypertensive, 22% were agitated, and 19% required sedation.

In some South American countries, the paste itself is smoked instead of being furtherprocessed into powder. The practice of smoking coca paste has never been popularized inthe United States . Coca paste is almost invariably converted into powder cocaine in theproducing country before being exported to the United States. This is accomplished by,first, dissolving coca paste in hydrochloric acid and water, and then adding potassiumsalt, which causes undesirable substances to separate from the mixture. When ammonia isadded to the remaining solution, powder cocaine precipitates out, and is then removed anddried. While the active ingredient in powder cocaine -- cocaine alkaloid -- does notdiffer from that in coca paste or crack, the salt that is added during this processrenders cocaine hydrochloride unsmokeable.(1) However, thesalt renders the cocaine hydrophilic: i.e., readily dissolvable in water. Thus,cocaine hydrochloride can be mixed with liquid and injected into the bloodstream orinsufflated (snorted) and absorbed through the nasal mucous membranes. Injecting andinsufflating are referred to as "routes of administration."

The route of administration determines the rate at which a drug is absorbed into thebloodstream, which in turn determines the intensity of the body's reaction to a drug.Absorption of a drug is affected by two factors: the amount of blood flowing to the siteof consumption and the surface area over which the drug is absorbed. When cocaine isadministered through nasal insufflation, it is absorbed through the relatively small nasalmucosa in the nasal cavity. It appears in the bloodstream three to five minutes afteradministration; maximum psychotropic effect is achieved in 20 minutes; and the effects aresustained for roughly one hour after peak effect. When cocaine is injected, it immediatelyreaches the bloodstream; reaches the brain within one minute; maximum psychotropic effectis reached in four minutes; and the effects linger for about 30 minutes. Injecting andinsufflating are inefficient routes of administration when compared to smoking, thecharacteristics of which are described below.

When cocaine is smoked as coca paste or crack, the intensity of the sensation is saidto be indescribably intense. The absorption of a drug through the air sacs of the lungs,which have the surface area the size of a tennis court, is rapid. Crack takes about 19seconds to reach the brain. Maximum psychotropic effect is attained approximately twominutes after inhalation. The physiological and psychotropic effects of crack aresustained for approximately 30 minutes after the peak effects are attained.

Crack cocaine is only detectable in urine for one to four days after it is used. Like other testing methods, the exact amount of time depends on the amount the user has used, the rate the body metabolizes, and the frequency of use, among other factors. In some cases, if an individual has been abusing crack cocaine for a long time, it can remain detectable in urine for weeks.

Although the high created by crack cocaine is short, it can be detected in the body for quite sometime after use through a variety of testing methods. Often use is detected by the metabolite benzoylecgonine (a product created when the body metabolizes a drug), rather than the presence of cocaine itself. There are various forms of testing for crack cocaine.

Since each person who uses crack cocaine has a different body and history with the drug, it is difficult to estimate how long the drug can remain traceable. To best estimate this timeframe, all these factors must be taken into consideration.

Users typically insufflate (snort) or first dissolve in solution, then inject powdered cocaine. However, people who use crack typically smoke the substance. While uncommon, crack can be dissolved in aqueous solution and injected, similarly to its powdered counterpart. Smoking the drug produces a faster, more intense high than snorting does because it reaches the bloodstream and brain more quickly. However, the effects of smoking cocaine are shorter in duration, lasting only 5 to 10 minutes verses 15 to 30 minutes for insufflated powder.

People of any age and gender can become dependent on crack. Crack dependency occurs after users develop a tolerance to the drug and begin using more often and in larger amounts to achieve the desired effects.

This frequent exposure to crack cocaine causes users to depend on the substance to help them avoid negative moods and feelings; those ensnared by crack dependency will experience extreme anxiety when they are not able to obtain the drug. 076b4e4f54


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