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The Difference Between Cocaine and Crack

A young man sits on a bed, nervously running his hand through his hair.
Both crack and cocaine are extremely addictive—and destructive.


Cocaine is expensive and for rich kids and yuppies. Crack is an inner city drug. Cocaine use can be controlled, but crack will hook you from the minute it hits your system.

Those are all commonly held misconceptions about crack and cocaine.

Since crack came on the scene in the 1970s, it’s been demonized to an extent that we don’t see with cocaine. In fact, before the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, those who were caught with crack were sentenced more harshly than those caught with cocaine.

But let’s get one thing straight. Both cocaine and crack are extremely addictive and can be deadly.

Crack vs. Cocaine

Cocaine comes from coca leaves and is usually snorted or injected. Crack is made by boiling cocaine with another substance (usually baking soda), letting it cool and then breaking it up into “rocks.”

Both drugs produce feelings of energy, confidence and euphoria, but it only takes about 10 to 15 seconds to feel the effects of crack. Cocaine, when snorted, takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Crack is generally considered to be cheaper and, because it takes effect more quickly, more psychologically addicting. Most people think of crack as a drug that’s prevalent in lower-income minority communities, but there is evidence that the majority of crack users are Caucasian.

The long term effects of both crack and cocaine include mood changes, irritability, anxiety and depression. But the U.S. Drug Enforcement warns of even worse consequences: “sudden cardiac death, stroke and convulsion.”

Crack and cocaine may start out seeming like a good time, but they always take more than they give. And that’s when many people realize that they want to live a better life—and need help.

Cocaine Rehab Center in Denver

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver that believes addiction isn’t just a physical problem. That is especially true of crack and cocaine, which change the way the brain works. Our team of doctors, therapists, nurses and even a nutritionist knows how to best help—and give hope to—those in recovery for crack and cocaine abuse. We’d love to answer any questions you may have. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the cocaine addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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