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The History of Crack

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In the 1980’s, cocaine became very popular. Some cocaine users began freebasing the drug to achieve a quicker, more powerful high. Freebasing cocaine means smoking the pure rock form of the drug with ether and flame source. This is a dangerous process. As a result, many individuals were burned or died.

Crack rocksIllicit drug chemists then realized that they could create a safer way to smoke pure cocaine. They removed several of the chemical elements involved in the freebasing process. The cocaine was processed using only water. With this introduction in chemistry, the crack epidemic began. Crack usage exploded across the country, most notably in low-income areas. Crack was a cheap, fast, powerful high. For a financially-challenged drug addict, this drug became very popular. In addition to the inexpensive nature of the drug, crack also became popular because of the speed in which the rush was delivered -often as little as ten seconds. Cocaine can make a person feel full of energy, but also restless, scared, or angry.[1]

The Painful Toll

As crack cocaine grew in popularity, the drug devastated a nation. Individuals became addicts. Many people would steal or participate in other criminal activities to support the crack addiction. Tough government drug laws were put into place. As a result, prisons began to fill up with crack addicts. Women turned to prostitution and gave birth to the infamous “crack babies.” These are newborns who entered the world with an addiction to the drug already in their system. Drug dealers continue to flood the streets with the highly profitable drug

The War Against Crack

Baby in the NICUIn the 1990’s, the crack epidemic came to an abrupt halt. While many theories exist for why this happened, one theory argues that the end came because of the Roe v Wade case. The theory is that Roe v. Wade allowed poor women to have abortions. If these children had been born, they would have been prime candidates for criminal activity and heavy drug use. When the early 1990’s came around, these children were simply “not there,” and as such there was a dramatic decrease in drug use, including crack cocaine.

This is an interesting theory, and although not everyone agrees with it, one thing is true: crack use is now much less common than it was in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Statistics show that only 1.4 percent of 12th graders have used crack cocaine in their lifetime.[2] Drug use is still a very serious problem in our country, but crack cocaine as a nationwide phenomenon no longer exists. There are still those who use the drug, however, and they are at risk.

If you know someone who is struggling with crack cocaine addiction—or any other drug—please contact the professionals at Michael’s House by calling 760.548.4032. Our caring experts on staff will help those closest to you get the help they need. Now is the time to begin a life free of chemical dependency.

[1] Cocaine (Coke, Crack) Facts.

[2] Cocaine Brief Description.