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Crack - A Cheap and Deadly Cocaine Is a Spreading Menace

NCJ Number
Time Dated: (June 2, 1986) Pages: 16-18
J V Lamar
Date Published
3 pages
This article discusses the prevalence, product production, effects, and user characteristics of 'crack,' an inexpensive, highly potent, and quickly addictive form of cocaine.
Because 'crack' is inexpensive (vials of 'crack' pellets may sell for as little as $10) and produces an immediate high, it has spread rapidly in the Nation's drug centers. The National Cocaine Hotline reports receiving 700 to 900 calls daily from 'crack' users having problems with the drug. Usually smoked in a glass pipe, the drug passes quickly from the lungs to the brain to produce an intense high followed by an equally intense low that leaves the user craving more. Addiction occurs in 4 to to 6 weeks, compared to the 3 to 4 years associated with regular cocaine. Users are typically young black males aged 25-35 living in an inner city. Property crime usually increases in areas where 'crack' use is high, and violent behavior is frequently one of the drug's behavioral effects. Some cities are mounting all-out assaults on the 'crack' trade, but crackdowns have not slowed the spread of the drug. In inner cities, 'crack' is produced and marketed by local entrepreneurs who battle one another for market dominance. Police believe organized crime has not yet taken over the trade.