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What Crack Looks Like: Color, Forms, and Paraphernalia

What Does Crack Look Like_

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Has one ever wondered how does crack look like? Crack cocaine is a freebase form of cocaine sold at accessible prices but also coming with a plethora of severe dangers to health. On the street, those who make crack usually sell it in crystalline ‘rocks’, which are then typically smoked through a pipe to achieve the desired effects.
And while its ‘high’ only lasts for about 15 minutes, the effects are extreme. The drug creates a sense of exhilaration, with users generally feel energetic, alert, and euphoric. However, because of a relatively short duration of its effect, it also tends to create intense cravings for more – often making the person hooked after his or her first use.

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Table of Contents

How To Identify Crack Cocaine?

The substance commonly comes in a off-white or pinkish hue.Crack cocaine mostly comes in a solid form. The rocks, chunks, or chips of the crystalline substance are off-white or pinkish and are often cut or diluted with other stimulants. The color of the drug will greatly depend on the substance it has been cut with. For example, common additives such as caffeine and sugar can make the batch appear purer by whitening it. That’s not the only reason why adulterants are added, though. Drug dealers mix the substance with a wide range of chemicals, sometimes highly toxic, to boost the drug’s potency and earn more money.
Users can get hold of the ‘rocks’ off the streets fairly easily and at a far lower price than powder cocaine. They then place them in a tube-shaped device, such as a pipe, before burning them and inhaling the smoke. What does crack look like after burned? The pure form of the drug will melt when introduced to flame or water, turning black and producing a strong, intoxicating, odor all around.

How to Spot the Paraphernalia?

Addicts are known as masters of creativity when it comes to makeshift devices used to smoke the drug. Missing lightbulbs, tinfoil, straws, and of course, pipes, all point towards abuse. Spotting these signs early can help to take action before it’s too late. The longer the problem is left unaddressed, the more difficult it is going to be to achieve full recovery.

Crack Smell and Taste

As opposed to powdered cocaine, crack’s primary method of administration is smoking. A crack pipe, the main tool of the trade is where the rocks are placed and burned. What does burning crack smell like? When burned through a pipe, the substance has a strong toxic smell, similar to burning rubber or plastic.
The smell can be highly unpleasant. Unfortunately, because addicts cannot overcome their dependency, they tend to consume the drug inside their homes, where their family lives. In turn, the released fumes can damage other people’s health, and in some cases, children fall victim to the dangerous side effects.
Very little can cover the smell of crack, meaning one should be able to identify fairly easily something strange is going one with their loved one. Moreover, the taste of crack is another massive giveaway – the drug has a powerful numbing sensation which remains on the tongue and lips of a user for a while.

Getting Help for Crack Addiction

doctor is talking with young female patient and making notes while sitting in his office.What makes the drug so risky is the fact there’s no set recipe for making it, meaning the product’s contents are always uncertain. This is what makes crack cocaine overdose so common and unpredictable. Furthermore, because the drug’s effects are so short, and the onset is almost instantaneous, the chances of dependence are significant.
A ‘coke crash’ that succeeds the euphoric high includes depression, fatigue, irritability, and intense cravings for the next high. And the person going through the withdrawal symptoms is often aggressive, paranoid, and depressed because of a strong chemical imbalance in the brain.
When an abuser gets hold of his or her next batch, the permanent intoxication signs will include:

  • A burst of energy
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Aggression and agitation
  • Rapid speech and euphoria
  • Jittery behavior as the dopamine receptors are affected
  • A sore throat and bloodshot eyes with dilated pupils

All these signs can help a person to spot the signs of someone on crack, and help them take action quickly. People on crack, perhaps even more than other addicts, tend to deny their addiction and commonly claim it’s only an every-so-often habit of theirs. They may say it helps them stay focused or that it takes the edge off, but in reality, it is clear the drug is rapidly taking over their life.

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Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


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