Amber Mileski
English 111
Compare and Contrast
26 March 2017

Fighting the Battle Against Drugs
The use of drugs has increased in recent years, according to numerous articles in medical journals. They threaten communities all over the world because of how affect the organs of the body and their functions. Crack and cocaine are two of these dangerous drugs. Thus, it is important for health care professionals to have knowledge about them in order to deal with any problems related to their use that patients may experience. They are similar but very different.
Crack and cocaine have three similar effects on the human body. Although crack is heat resistant and cocaine is destroyed by heat, both cause hypertension. Also, crack and cocaine brin g about physiological and psychological damage, depending on pre-existing conditions and the extent of drug use. For example, hallucination, psychosis, paranoia, and aggressive behavior may occur, and an overdose of either may cause cardiac collapse or convulsion. Finally, use of both drugs can lead to addiction.
The high from smoking crack and cocaine can be outweighed by numerous amount of negative effects. The most common side effects that have been reported are i rritability , anxiety, headache, depression, a ggressive, paranoid behavior , a bdominal pain , and sudden death due to a heart attack or stroke (The E ffects of Crack Use, 2017). They both have short term and long term effects on the body.
The short-term physical and mental effects of using crack and cocaine are generally more intense than the effects from snorting powdered cocaine and are like what is experienced when injecting cocaine. These effects are also like other commonly abused stimulants such as methamphetamine. People who use it often don't eat or sleep properly. They can experience greatly increased heart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. The drug can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious even when they aren't high.
Regardless of how much of the drug is used or how frequently, crack cocaine increases the risk that the user will experience a heart attack, stroke, seizure, or respiratory failure (The E ffects of Crack Use, 2017). Long-term effects from use of crack cocaine include severe damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys. Users are more likely to have infectious diseases. Continued daily use causes sleep deprivation and loss of appetite, resulting in malnutrition. Smoking crack cocaine also can cause aggressive and paranoid behavior.
Despite crack and cocaine's similarities, they have three major differences. First, although crack and cocaine are derived from the coca plant, they differ in form. The actual chemical effects of crack vs. powder cocaine are not different. However, the chemical makeup of crack vs. powder cocaine does differ. Powder cocaine is the hydrochloride salt form , this is how is exists in nature. Powder cocaine is a white powdery substance that is abused by snorting and which can be dissolved in water .
Crack is one the form bases of cocaine. Crack is essentially powder cocaine mixed with water and baking soda which is dried into a solid mass. This mass is ‘cracked' into rocks that are smoked. Another difference is that the criminal punishment associated to their use and possession are very different. P ossessing 500 grams of powder cocaine carries the same penalty as possessing 28 grams of crack (Cocaine.org, 2014).
Normally, the brain releases dopamine in these circuits in response to potential rewards, like the smell of good food. It then recycles back into the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between nerve cells. Cocaine prevents dopamine from recycling, causing excessive amounts to build up between nerve cells. This flood of dopamine ultimately disrupts normal brain communication and causes cocaine's high. Another major difference is how they enter the body.
Powder cocaine is usually snorted through the nose and absorbed through nasal mucosa membranes, and also can be injected (Cocaine.org, 2014). Crack is t he crystal that is heated to produce vapors that are inhaled into the lungs. This form of cocaine is called Crack, which refers to the crackling sound of the rock as it's heated . C rack contains as much as 90 percent pure cocaine whereas cocaine contains from 15