Crack cocaine is known to produce an almost immediate high. Learn about how this happens and what it does to the brain and body.

Psychoactive Ingredients

Crack is a form of cocaine that is processed to look like a rock. This is smoked after processing from cocaine hydrochloride. It is then prepared by adding baking soda to aqueous cocaine hydrochloride and heating it until the free-base cocaine precipitates into small pellets. The mixture is cooled and filtered. Rocks are smoked inside a crack pipe. Crack is a form that allows it to be vaporized at a lower temp without burning and destroying the excess.

Central Nervous System

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant which interferes with the reabsorption process of catecholamines, especially dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. Cocaine produces CNS effects by blocking the dopamine transporter, which eventually shows up in a person as a euphoric ‘rush’ or high following consumption. When smoked, the drug goes into the lungs straight to the brain. It causes release of brain chemicals in the pleasure centers of the brain which results in the desired stimulation and euphoric effects. Intranasal cocaine may enter the nose and require 5 to 10 minutes for effects to be felt. These effects consist of intense euphoria, pleasure and ecstasy where everything pleasurable is intensified.

Getting High

How long and strong the pleasurable effects of cocaine are depend on the way it is administered. Injecting or smoking cocaine delivers the drug rapidly into the bloodstream and brain, producing a quicker and stronger but shorter-lasting high than snorting. The high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes. To sustain a high, people who use the drug often go into a binge pattern. This results in taking the drug repeatedly within a short period of time. This will result in increasingly higher doses. Eventually this can lead to addiction, a chronic relapsing diseases caused by changes in the brain and characterized by uncontrollable drug-seeking no matter the consequences for self or others.

Mixing Crack with Substances

Cocaine is more dangerous when combined with other drugs such as alcohol. The combination of cocaine and heroin (“speedball”) carries a very high risk of fatal overdose. Mixing crack and alcohol can intensify the CNS depressant effects of alcohol, thus clouding perception, judgment and decision making.

Cocaine has varying effects on the mind and body. Pupils dilate, blood vessels constrict and the body temperature will increase. Headaches can begin along with gastrointestinal issues such as nausea. Cocaine tends to decrease appetite and those who uses cocaine on a regular basis will become malnourished as a result.

Hired Power has resources to help individuals addicted to cocaine or other substances. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate recovery from addiction and reclaim your life.

Most Recent Blog Posts

5 Ways To Forgive Yourself In Recovery

    Sometimes, in active addiction, we do things we aren’t proud of. We may have hurt the ones we love, do things we are ashamed of, and caused harm to ourselves. We may feel guilty, embarrassed, and angry. Although you may have gotten substance abuse treatment and are...

    Read More

    Recognizing A Problem With Alcohol

      It can be fun and relaxing to go out for drinks with your friends on Friday nights after a long work week or have a cocktail before bed. Many people drink alcohol and do so regularly, but how do you know when your drinking has become a problem? When many of us think...

      Read More

      Which 12-Step Program Is Right For Me?

        12-Step programs are a common part of addiction recovery. Many treatment programs utilize a 12-Step approach, and many of those recovering choose to attend meetings after they complete their treatment. Attending meetings can help individuals maintain their recovery...

        Read More


        21062 Brookhurst St. #201, Huntington Beach, CA 92646

        ©2021 All Rights Reserved. Design & Development by Goldman Marketing Group | Sitemap | Privacy Policy The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions. If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact us at