Drug Myths Debunked: Cocaine and Crack
Alright…another volume in our Drug Myths Debunked series. Today we will be looking at cocaine and crack to demystify some of the tales that are circulating about these close cousins. And remember, this is for informative and curiosity-quelling purposes. This article in no way advocates or promotes the use of cocaine, crack, or any other drug. The most effective weapon against substance abuse is education, so with that, let’s begin.
Myth #1 – Crack and Cocaine are two different drugs.
Truth – Crack is Cocaine, just in a form that allows it to be smoked and therefore felt more quickly and intensely by the user, versus being snorted in powder form, which is known as cocaine.
Myth #2 – Crack is instantly addicting and is more addictive that cocaine.
Truth – But the great majority of people who try crack do not continue to use it. For 20 years, the government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health has found that about 80% of those who have ever tried crack did not use it again. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that crack cocaine is not significantly more addictive than cocaine in powder form.
Myth #3 –Harsh sentences for crack are necessary to deter “serious” and “major traffickers” of crack because it is worse than cocaine.
Truth – More than three-fourths of people arrested for crack possession are merely users and low-level sellers caught with tiny amounts. Small-time crack sellers serve up to five times longer in prison than the cocaine-powder dealers caught with the same weight. These laws have helped triple the prison population and given the United States the highest rate of incarceration in the world. This costs U.S. taxpayers billions each year, but it has never made so much as a dent in our most serious drug problems.
Myth #4 – Crack Cocaine is the direct cause of violent crime.
Truth – Research now indicates that other factors, such as poverty, high unemployment, hugely profitable illicit drug markets, and easily available firearms are responsible for many of the ills previously thought to be associated with cocaine and crack cocaine use.
This becomes clear when looking at the fact that Crack use is no longer a hot button issue like it was in the 1980sbut its use has persisted at nearly the same levels yet violent crime has declined dramatically over the last decade or so.
Myth #5 – Crack is worse because it’s smoked but you can only snort cocaine, which is less harmful.
Truth – First of all, both crack and cocaine have the same health effects since they are the same drug, just in different forms. Besides of the effects on the brain and heart, snorting cocaine can definitely have horrible consequences: loss of cartilage in the nose leading to a deformed facial appearance. This is something that is difficult to reconstruct with surgery. Snorting a drug is no less harmful than smoking it. Also, both crack and cocaine can be injected which brings a whole new set of health risks.
If you or someone you love is in need of Crack or Cocaine addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice