Is Crack More Addictive Than Coke?

Crack is a smokeable form of cocaine, and it may be more addictive than cocaine in its powder form. Because crack is smoked instead of snorted, it may cause a stronger addiction response.

Crack cocaine and powder cocaine, or “coke,” are essentially the same drug. Both forms of cocaine are derived from the coca plant.

However, in spite of the similarities between these two drugs, some researchers believe that crack is more addictive than cocaine in its powder form.

As a result of its addictiveness, crack cocaine abuse has become a major concern across the United States.

What Makes Crack More Addictive Than Coke?

Crack cocaine is an addictive substance that begins as white powder cocaine. It is mixed with baking soda and water, boiled until solid, and then broken into small, hard pieces.

This stimulant drug is one of the most common sources of cocaine addiction.

Crack Addiction And Dopamine

Crack is an addictive drug for the same reason why powder cocaine is an addictive drug: a neurotransmitter called dopamine.

Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that the brain dispenses as a reward. Healthy activities such as eating and exercising, for example, produce dopamine.

This dopamine release makes people feel happy, motivated, and accomplished. As a result, they may be more likely to repeat the activity in the future.

Cocaine abuse, like other forms of drug use, impacts this system. Cocaine floods the brain with more dopamine than it needs.

Because this rush of dopamine feels good, it encourages the person to keep using the substance, potentially creating a drug addiction.

Smoking Crack Produces A Fast And Powerful High

Though the chemical structure of crack cocaine is not inherently more addictive than that of powder cocaine, it may be more addictive due to its primary method of use: smoking.

Crack cocaine, unlike powder cocaine, is a smokable drug. The preparation process lowers the drug’s melting point, which allows it to produce vapor when heated.

Powder cocaine, in contrast, is generally consumed by snorting. This type of cocaine use may take several minutes or more for a person to experience the euphoric effects of cocaine.

Smoking crack is more appealing because it lets the drug take effect almost immediately.

Not only does this high take place quickly, but it may also be more powerful than the high from snorting coke.

This fast and powerful high may create stronger cravings when a person is not using the drug.

Smoking Crack May Produce Faster Withdrawal Symptoms

Another factor that impacts addiction is withdrawal, or the discomfort that occurs when a person suddenly stops taking a drug.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • lethargy and fatigue
  • insomnia or hypersomnia
  • poor sleep quality
  • nightmares
  • increased appetite

Crack cocaine withdrawal can occur in a shorter period of time than powder cocaine.

Because a crack cocaine high can begin so quickly, it also wears off quickly.

Crack may leave the body faster than snorted cocaine, which means that a person may experience rapid withdrawal side effects.

Seeking a Prolonged High

As the pleasurable effects of crack may not last as long as other forms of substance use, some people may smoke crack multiple times in a single session to prolong the high.

This repeated crack use floods the brain with yet more dopamine, which may increase the person’s vulnerability to addiction.

Furthermore, this type of repeated substance abuse can increase other cocaine-related risks, including the risk of crack cocaine overdose.

Find Help For Crack Addiction

If you or a loved one may have a crack addiction, know that there are treatment options for substance abuse.

Because addiction is a behavioral health condition, it can be treated with addiction therapy, medical supervision, and other treatment options.

Spring Hill Recovery Center offers both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Our evidence-based rehab center addresses addiction and its long-term effects.

Contact our treatment center today to learn more about your recovery options.

  1. Duke University — Content Background: Why Is Smoked Cocaine (Crack) More Likely To Be Abused Or Addictive Than Snorted Cocaine?
  2. National Institute On Drug Abuse — Cocaine DrugFacts
  3. National Institute On Drug Abuse — Treatment Approaches For Drug Addiction DrugFacts
  4. National Library Of Medicine — Cocaine

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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