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What Does Crack Look Like?

Published on January 27, 2021
What Does Crack Look Like?

A crack rock is a whitish solid chunk made of powdered cocaine and baking soda. Crack cocaine looks like crystals or rocks, which is where it gets its name.

Crack rocks look different from other forms of cocaine and are produced differently via a cooking process.

Crack Vs. Other Forms Of Cocaine

Cocaine (and all its derivatives) comes from the coca plant, which is native to South America. Several South American countries legally grow coca plants for cocaine production. However, cocaine is illegally smuggled into the United States through Mexico.

Common street names for various crack and cocaine variants include “blow,” “coke,” “flake,” and “snow.”

Powder Cocaine

The most recognizable form of cocaine is powder cocaine, which is a fine white crystalline powder. It looks similar to common white powders such as sugar, and drug dealers often mix cocaine with common powders to sell more of the drug. 

Snorting is the most common method of drug use for powder cocaine.

Powder Cocaine
Picture Of Powder Cocaine

Cocaine Hydrochloride Solution

Cocaine hydrochloride solution is a liquid form of cocaine that can be injected or snorted. As of 2020, the FDA has approved one of these cocaine solutions for legal use as an anesthetic, but many unapproved versions are still distributed illegally.

Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is a derivative of crack. Crack rocks stand out from other cocaine forms due to their solid, rock-like appearance. 

Smoking crack is the most common method of use. This is done with specialized paraphernalia known as crack pipes. The effects of crack are similar to the effects of cocaine, but crack usually lasts for a shorter amount of time and produces a more intense high.

Pictures of crack cocaine
Crack Cocaine Picture

How Crack Rocks Are Made

Crack comes from the base form of cocaine, also known as the freebase. This freebase is mixed with baking soda and heated to remove any harmful ingredients. The process makes crack rocks, which are white, hard, solid substances that can be put into pipes and smoked.

Crack is made in underground labs or in simple home kitchens. Making or selling any form of crack is illegal, and may end in a prison sentence or fines.

Dangers Of Smoking Crack

Crack is a Schedule II controlled substance with a high potential for physical dependence and drug addiction. Crack affects the amount of dopamine in the brain, and its effects encourage repeated use over a short period of time.

The intense high or “rush” caused by smoking crack can cause euphoria, excitement, increased heart rate, and alertness. However, side effects from smoking crack can be dangerous or even life-threatening, even in the short-term.  

Short-term side effects may include:

  • high blood pressure
  • constricted blood vessels
  • heart attack
  • convulsions

Long-term side effects can also be serious, and may include psychosis, breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, and malnutrition.

Crack Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Crack cocaine addiction is a serious problem in the United States. Becoming dependent on crack can be harmful to you or your loved ones. Knowing what these substances look like can help you tell if a friend or family member struggles with crack cocaine abuse.

To learn about our addiction treatment options for crack cocaine and other forms of substance use, please contact us today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - Drug Fact Sheet: Cocaine
National Institute on Drug Abuse - What is Cocaine? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
U.S. National Library of Medicine - DailyMed - COCAINE HYDROCHLORIDE solution​​​

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