According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- 8 million people reported using cocaine in the past 12 months in 2021
- 4 million people had a cocaine use disorder in the past 12 months
- In 2021, approximately 24,486 people died from an overdose involving cocaine
Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the coca plant and is found in both powder (cocaine) and rock (crack cocaine) forms. It can be extremely addictive, as it produces fast effects in the brain that include euphoria, heightened alertness and decreased appetite. Cocaine addiction is typically an expensive habit and can lead to overdoses, which can result in convulsions, comas and death.
Differences Between Cocaine & Crack Cocaine
While crack and cocaine are both regarded as the same kind of drug, they can produce varying effects and are distributed differently, depending on socioeconomic status.
Crack is powder cocaine mixed with water and baking soda and got its name from the crackling sound that is made when the drug is heated. Crack is typically smoked, which produces instant effects that can last up to 10 minutes. Because the effects wear off quickly, it’s common for users to develop a physical dependence.
Cocaine is hydrochloride salt in powdered form that is snorted, taking about 5 minutes to take effect and lasting up to 30 minutes. If it’s injected, cocaine can take up to 30 minutes to take effect and last up to an hour. Cocaine is relatively expensive and is thus known as a party drug taken by those in a higher socioeconomic bracket, while crack was specifically developed as a cheaper alternative to cocaine and is more accessible to low-income communities.