Snorting crack

Want to more about the dangers of snorting crack and whether they can be avoided or not? What it’s like to get high from snorting crack here, plus a section for your questions at the end.

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Crack is known to be one of the most addictive drugs available. If you are looking for help with crack cocaine abuse or addiction, you can find answers to your many questions and learn what happens during crack cocaine addiction treatment programs in our comprehensive guide on Crack Treatment Programs and Help.

Here, we review the risks and danger of snorting crack cocaine. Then, we invite your questions about crack’s addictive properties or helping crack addiction that you can post in the comments section at the end of the article.

Crack: What are you really snorting?

Crack is a cooked version of cocaine hydrochloride, a white to light brown crystalline powder, shiny in appearance. Crack base is white to beige in color, and can appear as soapy to flaky solid chunks. Crack is produced by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of water and ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The mixture is then boiled until a solid substance forms. When the solid is separated, it needs to be dried, and then it can be broken into chunks (rocks).

How does snorting crack affect the body?

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that interferes with the reabsorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated with pleasure and movement. When you use crack, it blocks the normal reabsorption and elevates the levels of dopamine, which leads to chronic stimulation of the opioid receptors. That is why you feel the euphoric “rush” and sudden “crash”.

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These processes are many times faster when crack is smoked rather than snorted. Crack is not water-soluble, so it CANNOT get transferred through the nasal tissue and into the bloodstream. Cocaine HCL, on the other hand, is a salt (which is soluble in water) and can be easily absorbed by the mucus membrane and get into the bloodstream, and then reach the brain.

Snorting crack to get high

Users snort crack believing that they will get high faster.But, since we already clarified that it cannot be absorbed by snorting it is obvious that this is not the most efficient administration route. When you snort crack, it basically passes through the nasal passages, throat, and then ends up in your stomach.

There are some effects that you can feel once crack gets absorbed in the stomach. It can make you happy and excited, but can also affect your mood negatively and lead to sudden mood wings, so you become angry, nervous and paranoid. Often crack users have the paranoid feeling that somebody is after them and trying to hurt them.

After the peak level is reached and when the effects of the crack “high” start to wear off, you may “crash” and feel tired and sad for many days. You also get a strong craving to use again in order to feel better. That is the breaking point to turning into a crack addict!

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Snorting crack vs oral

Is snorting crack effective vs. the oral route of administration? When comparing snorting crack to administering it orally, the biggest difference is the time of onset, or the time it takes for the effects to be felt. In general, cocaine has a very short half-life of 0.8 to 0.2 hours, so time makes a big difference.

However, both snorting and taking crack orally produce a shorter duration of effects compared to smoking. It is interesting to note that the same amount of crack is absorbed by the body in both snorting and oral use. This is basically because snorted crack goes to the stomach, where any orally taken dose also goes.

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Snorting crack side effects

Crack affects the body in a variety of ways. The heartbeat is increased, the body temperature is raised. Also, lack of hunger and constant insomnia are always present when you are high on crack. It basically speeds up your whole body.

Here is a list of the possible side effects that crack abusers often experience.

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  • abdominal pain and nausea
  • auditory hallucinations
  • constricted blood vessels
  • decreased appetite and malnutrition
  • increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • paranoia

Of course, this is not a full list of all possible effects of crack abuse and what you experience varies depending on many factors. These factors include the amount taken, frequency of use, the general medical state, are any other substances (alcohol or other drugs) taken along with crack, etc. It is important to seek immediate medical help if you start feeling any abrupt and unusual effects after taking crack cocaine.

Snorting crack dangers

There is no safe way to use crack. Any route of administration can lead to absorption of toxic amounts of cocaine, possible acute cardiovascular emergencies, and seizures—all of which can result in sudden death. Furthermore, the user is exposed to risk for/AIDS and hepatitis, from sharing needles or having unsafe sex. Regularly snorting crack can lead to crack addiction (moving to frequent smoking from snorting), loss of sense of smell, sudden nosebleeds, pain when swallowing and an overall irritation of the nasal septum, which could result in a chronically inflamed, runny nose.

Repeated doses of crack are frequently taken to avoid the ”crash” that often follows the initial intense euphoric effects. Crack is frequently used in combination with other drugs; injected with heroin (“speedball”) or taken with alcohol to reduce irritability; smoked with phencyclidine (“tick”); and smoked in marijuana blunts (“turbo”). However, it is extremely dangerous to combine crack with other drugs because of the unpredictable intensity of the effects of both of the narcotics.

Snorting crack safely

Snorting, beside its high risk, is not a vary common route of administration for crack cocaine. But, people still tend to experiment and want to see what happens.

A very important factor in the quality of the experience of snorting crack is the purity of crack HCL (hydrochloride). Depending on the demographic region – street purity varies a lot, because the powder is often diluted with a variety of substances such as sugars, other CNS stimulants like caffeine, or local anaesthetics.

Questions about snorting crack

Is there anything else you would like to know about snorting crack? Our team is more than happy to help you! All you need to do is post your question right in the section below, and we will try to provide a personal answer as soon as possible.

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Reference Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Cocaine
NIDA: What are long term effects of cocaine use
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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    1. Hi Margie. Cocaine is white powder, while crack is found in a rock form that can be white, cream, tan, or light brown.

  1. Hi,
    My husband is addicted to cocaine. At least, that is what I thought. Does crack taste the same way? (Numbed feeling). I almost feel he may be doing crack. He started to see doctor (went 2x so far). Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to help yet.
    What is the best way to get help and end this miserable situation. I know he needs more then to see somebody once a week. Probably rehab for at least a week..? We are in Portland area OR. Any recommendations are very welcomed. As well, I feel he should avoid completely any drinking,weed smoking etc.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Denisa. Call the Cocaine Helpline listed here on 1-888-497-6879 to get in touch with dependable hotline professionals available 24/7.

  2. I have two friends, brothers actually, that both smoke and snort crack. I am trying desperately to help them, to now avail. What are some tips on confronting them that you could offer? I have tried the logic and reason approach, presenting facts on the psychological and physiological effects. I made an appeal to emotion sharing how much I cared and how it hurts their mother. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I just give up and let natural selection take course?

  3. I bought what I was told was coke but ended up being crack and me being a newb I snorted close to half a gram, what are the chances I fucked up my nose for life?

  4. I tried crack by snorting it. it took around 5 minutes to hit and lasted for 10 hours so that bs saying it doesnt last long is bs.

  5. This is the most ridiculous bunch of bullshit I have ever read . Crack cocaine is not water-soluble, therefore needless to say ( unless you’re a stupid fucking idiot which you actually are) the desired effects cannot be achieved through snorting . Crack is a freebies for cocaine it is not water-soluble and must be smoked in order to achieve the desired effects . Cocaine HCl (powder cocaine) is water-soluble and definitely observes much faster thru the nasal passages. Crack Cocaine would have little to no effect if snorted.

    1. Hi, Dan. Thanks for noticing the mistakes in our article. We’ve edited and updated it. Hope that now it’s good! Once again, thank you.

  6. This is actually a general question about what it means when I read about how long a “high” is. Let’s take powder cocaine, something I was hooked on 3 times in my life, each time for many, many years. It was always my experience that the initial, oh, 30 seconds of the first snort was the best, but there was no high after that, only playing with cocaine (chopping it into lines, etc) to forestall the next snort because of the never ending need to attain that very first snort’s high, which never happens until you get some sleep and don’t do the drug until you’ve not done it for at least a few hours of being awake, and it’s the same cycle all over again. So what does the length of it’s effect, in medical terms, mean. I felt an immediate crash at best, a minute maybe two later but usually I was tooting more lines before that long of a period of time passed.

    This question applies to all other drugs of every category except pot and in the ’70s, acid. Heroin had a long effect as did morphine. Oxycontin’s and hydrocodone’s did too, with the euphoria last at least 2 hours, longer with heroin. But then it just left me comfortable for a couple hours more. And then the itch, of course. But my experience has always been that any upper drug had a much shorter euphoric effect, much, much shorter, than any downer type drug which admittedly, were always my drug of choice. I know I mentioned the several cocaine addictions, it’s only due to it being such an easily available drug. When my heroin connection got busted, that was pretty much it. I wasn’t hooked on it, thankfully, but I miss it’s high 40 years later while at the same time being happy to be away from the whole illegal drug situation, with the exception of pot, the drug I always went to when I had to quit others as opposed to the gateway drug it is supposed to be.

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