Crack is also known as 'rock' or 'white' and when mixed with heroin is known as 'snowballs' or 'speedballs'
Crack cocaine is the base form of cocaine, from which the hydrochloride has been chemically ‘washed’. Crack also contains impurities produced as by-products of the washing process. It is, like cocaine, a powerful stimulant; unlike cocaine, which is unsuitable for smoking due to its high melt temperature, crack can be readily smoked.
Crack, ‘rock’ or ‘white’ is sold as white or off-white, pearly or waxen lumps. It is smoked through pipes, and it may also be injected ran on foil or smoked in a joint if combined with an acidifier to make it water-soluble. In either way, the drug reaches the brain very rapidly and produces an intense but short-lasting ‘rush’ followed by a 10 minute high. Users often attempt to regain these highly pleasurable effects by taking another dose when they begin to come down; this, in combination with a quickly developing tolerance, makes crack a highly compulsive drug, though there is no physical dependence of the kind associated with opiates. The side-effects of crack use are anxiety, tooth-grinding, exhaustion and repetitive behaviour such as raking or (compulsive repetitive foraging disorder) and spot-squeezing(skin picking) . There may also be serious long-term health effects.
It is common to mix crack with heroin in ‘snowballs’ or ‘speedballs’ to allay its ‘edginess’ and heroin may be used to relieve the come-down.
Crack cocaine is a Class A, schedule 2 drug. Possession without a prescription is illegal. It is illegal to supply or produce cocaine.
Possession of Class A drugs carries a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment and a fine. Supply or production carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a fine.
Free, confidential information and advice is available by calling the Release Drugs Helpline on 0845 45 00 215