Crack vs. Cocaine: Similarities and Differences to Consider

Legacy Healing Center Blog

It is not uncommon for people unaware of the world of illicit drugs to confuse certain substances with one another. While a lack of interest in trying these drugs is always beneficial, it is still worth considering the ways that they differ and the risks that abusing them can result in. Understanding the distinctions between crack vs. cocaine is useful information that should be understood by people faced with the prospect of trying either substance. Legacy Healing Center is exploring the similarities and differences between these powerful stimulants. 


Are Crack and Cocaine the Same Thing?

You might be asking, are crack and cocaine the same thing? Yes and no. They are similar in that these drugs are chemically identical and present serious risks to those who elect to use them. The lack of pharmacological differences contributes to the misinformation surrounding these forms of drug abuse, while other similarities also blur those lines. For instance, using both substances can result in a serious addiction, even after just a couple of tries. Also, they produce similar sensations to the user, like intensified energy and alertness. Still, these substances possess a variety of distinctions that are worth considering.


What Is the Difference Between Cocaine and Crack?

There are a number of ways that these substances differ. Being able to comprehend and consider these differences can inform a person’s understanding of addiction as well as the risks involved with abusing drugs. 


Cocaine is derived from the coca plant of South America, with cocaine first growing in popularity in the late 1800s. At that time, it was not considered a dangerous drug but rather a medicinal substance that was even used in soft drinks for a time. It was eventually outlawed around the country. Crack, on the other hand, was not discovered until the 1980s.


When comparing crack vs. cocaine, one of the most well-known distinctions is the amount of money it will cost to upkeep that individual’s habits. Crack costs considerably less than cocaine. Since the cocaine that it is made with gets cut with other substances, the price is much lower. Typically, a gram of crack will cost up to $60, while a gram of cocaine can be as much as $200.

Socioeconomic and Legal Impact

In America, being arrested for crack possession will usually hold a heftier sentence than possession of cocaine. This, unfortunately, has contributed to a disproportionate impact on poorer communities that hold higher numbers of crack addicts. Not only are these people more likely to exhibit tell-tale symptoms, but the prison sentence is likely to be longer and more intense as well.

How It Is Taken

A major difference between crack and coke is how the user will ingest them. In the former case, it is a rock that is typically smoked. In the latter case, it is a powder that can be injected, swallowed, and, perhaps most infamously, snorted through the nose. 

Level of Danger

Make no mistake, both drugs are extremely dangerous. They each hold a high risk for addiction, overdose, and even death. That being said, being high on crack is often considered to be more dangerous than its derivative. This is mainly due to the reduced time it takes to feel the effects, along with the heightened levels of intensity and withdrawal symptoms that are experienced by users.


Legacy Healing Can Help

If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to either cocaine or crack, getting them the appropriate care can quite literally save their life. Our Legacy Healing Detox center is equipped to address the often distressing withdrawal symptoms that are associated with stimulant abuse, after which patients have the option to pursue cocaine addiction treatment. 

Our distinct levels of care ensure each patient will receive the type of care that will be most effective in addressing their unique addiction. While some individuals may fare better with residential treatment, less severe cases can opt for partial hospitalization or our outpatient programs.


To learn more about which treatment option may be right for you, call our Legacy Healing Center locations at 888-534-2295 today.


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