Did you know crack and cocaine are almost chemically identical? It’s understandable why both substances are often lumped together. Even though crack and cocaine share many characteristics, there are notable differences between the two drugs. Join us as we go through the key differences between crack and cocaine while giving you detailed information on where you find personalized addiction treatment for both of these dangerous substances.

What Is the Main Difference Between Cocaine and Crack? 

Though they share a very similar molecular makeup, crack and cocaine physically look different. Cocaine comes in the form of a powder, and crack has the shape of a rock. Why does this matter? Their physical shape directly plays into how each drug is taken. When someone takes cocaine, they have the option of snorting it through their nose, injecting it into their body, or swallowing it. However, crack can only be smoked. Since crack needs to be smoked, many addiction professionals believe it poses more of an immediate risk than cocaine. Three facts about crack back up this claim: 

  • In many states, the law treats possession of crack more harshly than it does cocaine, which often leads to longer prison sentences. 
  • Our society tends to stigmatize crack more than cocaine, which can potentially lead to harsher societal consequences. 
  • Since crack is smoked, the drug tends to affect the body faster, which can become the catalyst for addiction. 

Facts About Crack that Separates It from Cocaine

Crack is a derivative of cocaine that’s created when a pure version of cocaine is turned into a solid form by using baking soda and water. From there, it’s broken into smaller pieces that can fit into a pipe so it can be smoked. Outside of how crack is made, two other major factors separate crack from cocaine. 

The Price of Crack Compared to Cocaine 

Cocaine is sometimes referred to as “the rich man’s drug” and has a strong association to corporate America and wealthy individuals. Part of the reason why cocaine is expensive is based on the short-lived high linked to the drug. This makes it so people struggling with cocaine addiction often buy the drug frequently, which becomes quite a financial burden. 

Crack on the other hand is less expensive, which is part of what fueled the drug’s rise in popularity when it became a substitute for cocaine in the 1980s. The lower price of crack unfortunately can make it easier for anyone struggling with addiction to continue dangerous behaviors. 

 The Length and Immediacy of Crack’s Effects 

When someone smokes crack, the high takes effect almost immediately and lasts an even shorter time than the high from cocaine. When cocaine is snorted or ingested, it takes a few minutes for the drug to work its way into your system, and the high can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. On the other hand, the high from crack lasts less than 10 minutes. The short-lived high from crack often creates a cycle of abuse based on experiencing the same level of euphoria the initial use caused.

Withdrawal of Crack and Cocaine

Now that we’ve gone over the key differences between crack and cocaine, it’s time to examine a key characteristic they both share. Since both drugs are almost chemically identical, the withdrawal symptoms for both drugs follow that trend. The withdrawal symptoms for crack and cocaine start quickly after the last time they were used. The severity of withdrawal symptoms increases the longer someone quits crack or cocaine. Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms of crack and cocaine include: 

  • Insomnia 
  • Intense cravings for the drug 
  • Mood swings and irritability 
  • Loss of concentration and poor cognitive function 
  • Drowsiness 

If you or a loved one is struggling with a crack or cocaine addiction, there is hope to reach lasting recovery. By finding the right addiction treatment center, you can break free from the hold these substances have over your life. 

Discover Premier Addiction Treatment in Arizona

As Arizona’s number one private luxury addiction treatment center, Fountain Hills is ready to help you or a loved one reach lasting recovery from a crack or cocaine addiction. With an individualized approach, our expert staff strives to learn about the underlying issues that are fueling your addiction. We’re here to help ensure you get the support needed to enjoy a sober lifestyle. If you’re ready to break free from crack or cocaine in a compassionate and healing environment, contact our admissions team today.