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The Effects of Crack Cocaine

The effects of crack cocaine on the central nervous system, gastrointestinal system, and cardiovascular systems are exceptionally similar, with only a few key differences.


Crack cocaine is essentially a more concentrated version of powder cocaine. Normally, crack is produced from heating powder cocaine in backing soda and water until all of the water has evaporated. When finished, it has the appearance of white or off-white rocks which can be smoked in a pipe.

Effects of Crack Cocaine
Effects of Crack Cocaine


The effects of crack cocaine on the central nervous system are the same as those of powder cocaine; a notable difference is that the concentrated crack cocaine reaches the brain much faster. Likewise, because of its quick effect, another one of the effects of crack cocaine can be stronger addiction to the substance than may be the case with cocaine powder. Some studies have shown that animals addicted to crack cocaine preferred the substance to food, even when facing starvation.

The differing effects of crack cocaine> to powder cocaine are perhaps most observed in the gastrointestinal system. There appears to be a greater incidence of upper gastrointestinal perforation in crack cocaine users than in powder cocaine users. This leads to an increased risk of abdominal pains, nausea, bloody diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems. 


Similarly, the effects of crack cocaine on the cardiovascular system are similar to those of powder cocaine, except for the fact that crack cocaine introduces higher concentrations of the drug into the blood stream. The resultant effects of crack cocaine can lead to an increased chance of experiencing heart attacks, strokes, convulsions, and other cocaine-related effects.

While the effects of crack cocaine and cocaine are very similar, the greatest difference lies in the ability of crack cocaine to intensify and increase the drug’s adverse effects on the body.