Crack cocaine is the crystal form of cocaine, which normally comes in a powder form.1 It comes in solid blocks or crystals varying in color from yellow to pale rose or white.
Crack is heated and smoked. It is so named because it makes a cracking or popping sound when heated.
Crack, the most potent form in which cocaine appears, is also the riskiest. It is between 75% and 100% pure, far stronger and more potent than regular cocaine.
Smoking crack allows it to reach the brain more quickly and thus brings an intense and immediate—but very short-lived—high that lasts about fifteen minutes. And because addiction can develop even more rapidly if the substance is smoked rather than snorted (taken in through the nose), an abuser can become addicted after his or her first time trying crack.
Because of cocaine’s high cost, it has long been considered a “rich man’s drug.” Crack, on the other hand, is sold at prices so low that even teens can afford to buy it—at first. The truth is that once a person is addicted, the expense skyrockets in direct ratio to the increasing amount needed to support the habit.