Last updated: September 25, 2023
A crack pipe is a form of drug paraphernalia used to smoke crack cocaine. The pipes are often nothing more than a glass tube. Some have a bulb or bowl at the end to place the crack cocaine in. The Biden administration recently came under scrutiny when the news broke that “safer pipes” were an approved purchase with grant monies received by nonprofits. They were to be included in “safe smoking kits” and distributed to addicts at no cost.
Regardless of whether or not the administration intended to supply addicts with the means to use, people suffering from an addiction to crack cocaine should be encouraged to seek help for their addiction. The danger of overdosing on the drug increases over time because as the brain builds up a tolerance to the drug—meaning it considers crack in the system to be a normal occurrence—it takes more crack to achieve the effect the addict is used to feeling.
That alone is sobering but it’s even more so with fentanyl flooding across the border into the United States. Drug dealers are scooping it up because it’s so cheap. They mix it into other drugs, such as crack cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and the like, to increase their profit. Of course, they fail to mention that fact to their customers who are dying in record numbers.
How is crack produced?
Crack is produced by adding powdered cocaine to a mixture of water and ammonia or sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda. After the cocaine dissolves, the mixture is boiled until a solid substance forms. The solid is removed from the remaining liquid, dried, and then broken into chunks for distribution.
Signs of crack cocaine use
Lots of drug addicts are able to hide their addiction from others, however, that’s rarely the case with someone who is addicted to crack cocaine. Because the effect of the drug only lasts a short time, addicts are often taking breaks every 15 or 20 minutes to hit their pipes. There’s also a strong mental obsession associated with crack cocaine. It can be so severe that many addicts can’t hold a regular conversation due to their obsession to obtain their next “hit.”
It’s entirely possible for an addict to pull out their crack pipe in anticipation of using it no matter who is around them.
These are the signs of crack abuse:
- Appear overly confident
- Dilated pupils
- Increased rate of breathing
- Uncharacteristic irresponsibility
- Burned or cracked fingers or lips
Smoking crack delivers a large quantity of the drug to the lungs. It produces an immediate and intense—albeit short-lived—euphoric effect.
Any form of cocaine is powerfully addictive, but addiction seems to form more quickly when smoking the drug. Crack cocaine is nearly always ingested by smoking it.
There are also associated health risks.
- Constricted blood vessels
- Increased temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Rise in blood pressure
- Risk of cardiac arrest
- Risk of seizure
- Acute respiratory problems
- Shortness of breath
- Lung trauma, such as bleeding
- Aggressive and paranoid behavior
Crack cocaine is widely available on the black market all across the nation. In fact, a 2010 survey determined that 23% of eighth-graders, 32% of tenth-graders, and 45% of twelfth-graders reported that crack was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain. They’re all in their 20’s now hopefully none of them have fallen prey to addiction.
Judging from the alarming rise in the number of overdose deaths, the odds don’t look very good though, do they?
Crack cocaine is an illegal substance classified as a Schedule 2 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Schedule 2 drugs include PCP and methamphetamine. They have a high potential for abuse and addiction. Abusers run the risk of suffering severe psychological or physical dependence.
The list of names that are used on the street when searching for crack cocaine is quite extensive. We came up with 37 and our list may not be all-inclusive. The names are regional, of course, so someone on the east coast may not recognize the terminology if on the west coast.
Here’s the list:
- Crunch & munch
- Devil drug
- Electric kool-aid
- Fat bags
- French fries
- Hard rock
- Ice cube
- Jelly beans
- Snow coke
The first name on the list certainly fits. Users are often up for days at a time due but coming down usually means crashing hard.
Recognize overdose symptoms
Someone can experience an overdose and die the first time that they use crack cocaine. It all depends on the amount that’s ingested. The risk increases when consuming alcohol at the same time. Moreover, some people use other drugs, such as heroin, or meth. Considering that all three may have fentanyl mixed into them, their overdose risk increases exponentially.
If someone is overdosing on crack cocaine, seek medical attention immediately.
Signs of overdose include:
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Heart attack
- Difficulty breathing
- High body temperature
- Extreme agitation or anxiety
What good is a crack pipe?
No good. After learning of all the dangers associated with a crack cocaine addiction, including a crack pipe in a safe smoking kit sounds pretty ludicrous, doesn’t it? There’s no safe way to smoke crack.
It’s an illegal substance that damages both the user’s body and mind. We shouldn’t encourage using the drug in any way because then we become enablers. Instead, we should offer support to the people addicted to crack cocaine. Help them find resources to enable them to beat their drug addiction.