Crack (rock) and cocaine are both stimulant drugs, which are widely used in our country today. They both present problems for us because of their potency and highly addicted addicts that can not seem to escape their grasp. Crack and cocaine also have various street names such as coke, snow, blow, base, C, ice, flake, sniff, rock and the list goes on.
Cocaine is sold in a white powder form, which is sniffed, injected, or smoked (free-basing) and is much more expensive than its cousin crack (rock). Crack is a powerful form of cocaine and comes in a small crystal form, which is smoked, in a crack pipe or suitable utensil. “Cocaine by binding to the sites that normally reabsorb neurotransmitter molecules, cocaine blocks the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The extra neurotransmitter molecules therefore remain in the synapse, intensifying their normal mood altering effect and producing an euphoric rush. When the cocaine level drops, the absence of these neurotransmitters produces a crash”(D.G.Meyers PG 233). The high that a user will experience from cocaine lasts approximately fifteen to thirty minutes.
Crack is another name given to cocaine, which has been processed with hydrochloride to a free basing state. ” Rather than requiring the more volatile method of processing cocaine using ether, crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water and heated to remove the hydrochloride, thus producing a form of cocaine that can be smoked. The term “crack” refers to the cracking sound heard when the mixture is smoked, presumably from the sodium bicarbonate”.(NIDA’s home PG 1). This process produces a small white to tan looking pellet that has the texture of porcelain. Crack smoke reaches the lung tissue through the bloodstream to the brain in seconds. Its instant effect or high can last from eight to ten minutes. This form of cocaine also depletes the level of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter involved in regulating attention, motivation, and mood. Intense cravings follow the quick high and the user will now usually keep on using until they are out of crack or money.
Both of theses potent stimulants are extremely strong and effect the central nervous system. Crack and cocaine accelerate the heart rate and at the same time constrict the blood vessels. These are two of the most powerful drugs out and users should be aware that they could suffer cardiac arrest from either form on the first time.
” In 1986, before mandatory minimum for crack offenses became effective, the average federal drug offense sentence for blacks was 11% higher than for whites. Four years later following the implication of harsher drug sentencing laws, the average federal drug offense sentence was 49% higher for blacks”. (Drug war facts pg. 1of2)
According to this quote above their was a point in time that blacks did have a higher percentage rate for drug offenses and in years to follow it got worse. Why the government discriminates that crack is worse to possess than powder cocaine I do not know. To me they are equally as deadly. Most statistics that I have come across have been similar to the one I have chosen. This discrimination I feel is one between drugs and not color of skin and will continue until the government realizes that whitey with the powder cocaine is just as bad homey with the crack rock.