Crack is usually smoked. Smoking crack cocaine
delivers large quantities of the drug to the lungs, producing an immediate and
intense euphoric effect.
Crack is smoked in a variety of homemade pipes which usually consists of a
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA),
the newest method of easily smoking crack, without having to carry around
cumbersome drug paraphernalia, is to use a "smokeless cigarette" called
Premier, manufactured by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. which is a paper
covered tube that can be emptied and repacked with crack cocaine.
A "Love Rose" is most commonly used to smoke crack cocaine. A Love Rose
consists of a glass tube with a paper rose inside of it and is intended to be
used as a romantic gift. These are sometimes called "stems", "horns",
"blasters" and "straight shooters".
A small piece of clean heavy copper or stainless steel scouring pad,
without soap, serves as a reduction base and flow modulator in which the crack
cocaine "rock" can be melted and boiled to vapor. Although the metal scouring
pad used for smoking crack does not have soap, they are often called a brillo
or chore, named after Brillo brand pads or Chore Boy brand copper scouring
Instead of a crack pipe, smokers sometimes smoke through a soda can with
small holes in the bottom. The bottom of small glass liquor bottles can be
removed, and the bottle neck can then be stuffed with chore to use as a
makeshift crack pipe.
Crack is smoked by placing it at the end of the pipe; a flame held close to
it produces vapor, which is then inhaled by the smoker. The effects, felt
almost immediately after smoking, are very intense and usually lasts only 5 to
15 minutes. In a
study performed on crack cocaine users, the average time taken for them to
reach their peak subjective "high" was only 1.4 minutes.
Cravings to smoke more crack immediately after the peak high intensify with
frequent use. Crack houses provide a place for people to purchase crack
cocaine and spoke repeatedly.
When smoked, cocaine is sometimes combined with other drugs, such as
marijuana, often rolled into a joint or
blunt (cigar sized joint).
Cocaine, in any form, is a powerfully
addictive drug, and addiction seems to develop more quickly when the drug is
smoked as crack, than snorted as powdered cocaine typically is.
In addition to the usual risks associated
with cocaine use (constricted blood vessels; increased temperature, heart
rate, and blood pressure; and risk of cardiac arrest and seizure), crack users
may experience acute respiratory problems, including coughing, shortness of
breath, and lung trauma and bleeding. Crack cocaine smoking also can cause
aggressive and paranoid behavior.