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Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine term papers report that "crack" is a form of cocaine, but is manufactured at four to ten times the strength of cocaine.  It is often smoked with marijuana or regular tobacco in a pipe.  The name “crack” may have evolved because the drug resembles paint chips or slivers of soap, and makes a crackling sound when smoked.

Crack Cocaine

As the drug is inhaled, it enters the body through the lungs and then in a matter of six to ten seconds its effects reach the heart and lungs.  Healthnet reports, “by disturbing the brain’s electrical messages and the heart’s rhythms, users can die of respiratory failure, cardiac arrest or strokes” (2001).

Crack is highly addictive due to the nature of its effect on the body.  The euphoric high lasts only about 15 to 20 minutes, and is followed by a much-longer state of crushing depression.  The result is a fierce desire to take another dose.  A survey by the National Cocaine Hotline reported that 54 percent of those asked reported becoming addicted to the drug the first time they used it.

In 1991, a New York State report estimated that the cost of care for a crack baby could exceed two billion dollars over the next 15 years.  Harlem Hospital researchers expected care for these babies would cost the United States over 500 million a year.  Estimates indicate that more than 45,000 babies exposed to cocaine before birth are born each year in the United States.

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