Crack Cocaine vs, Powder Cocaine

Topics: Cocaine, Drug addiction, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs Pages: 8 (2683 words) Published: March 29, 2007
The Disparities between Crack Cocaine and Powder Cocaine

The Disparities between Crack and Powder Cocaine
Coca is a leafed plant that grows in the eastern slopes of the Andes. Cocaine is the world's most powerful stimulant made naturally. This plant has been used be Indians for at least 5000 years. Traditionally, the leaves of the coca plant have been chewed for social, mystical, medicinal and religious purposes. Columbia is the lead producer of cocaine they supply eighty percent of the world's cocaine (Coca and cocaine).

The United States has faced a major problem with the illegal drug and has decided on different sentencing guides for cocaine claiming that crack is more addictive than powder.
There is several different ways to produce and cut cocaine, the same is true with the methods it is put into the body and the outcome it will have. The United States has different sentencing guides for the use of cocaine and how it affects the users.

Cocaine sulfate is produced by macerating coca leaves along with water that has been acidulated with sulfuric acid. This form of cocaine is a cheap form and is popular in South America. This type of cocaine can be smoked or added to tobacco.

Freebase is the base form of cocaine, not the same as the salt form of cocaine hydrochloride. Freebase is insoluble in water and therefore is inhaled, absorption is immediate and the rush is intense. The effects only last for minutes and the user will seek their next high before the first is gone. Freebase cocaine is very dangerous the mixture used for this is ether and is extremely flammable. The powerful contents of this drug cause the user rapid decline of health.

Crack cocaine is a less pure variety of freebase cocaine and does not use flammable solvents to produce. It is made by mixing two parts of cocaine hydrochloride with one part of baking soda in about 20ml of water (Coca and cocaine). In The United States crack cocaine is extremely inexpensive and comes in small packages. Crack cocaine is smoked and the rush is more intense than snorting.

Insufflation is the most common method of ingestion of powder cocaine. It is absorbed through the mucous membranes lining the sinuses. This typically takes 10 to 15 minutes for the user to feel the full effect of the drug. Tolerance builds rapidly to this form of use and the users will consume more to produce greater effects.

Some users will inject the drug into the veins; this provides the shortest amount of time for a high. It is the exhilarating rush that follows the users crave. This can be dangerous due to the toxic effects of the cocaine itself. The risk from infection is also high from the use of contaminated needles.

Cocaine has been federally regulated with the passing of the Harrison Act in 1914. The Harrison Act banned non-medical use of cocaine; prohibited its importation; imposed the same criminal penalties for cocaine users that were levied against users of opium, morphine, and heroin (DEA). As a consequence of The Harrison Act cocaine became scarce in the United States and by the 1950's it was no longer considered a problem.

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, meaning that it has high potential for abuse, but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses (DEA). This Act was prompted by the sudden raise in cocaine use in the 1960's.

Powerfully addictive an individual may have difficulty predicting or controlling the extent to which he or she will continue or want to use the drug. Short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels; dilated pupils; and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure (DEA). The larger amounts used can lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior.

Long-term use of cocaine is thought to be primarily a result of its ability to inhibit the reabsorption of dopamine by nerve cells. Dopamine is released as part of the brain's...
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