Crack or Cocaine: Is One Worse Than the Other?

Which is worse? Powder cocaine or its “rock” form, crack? When it comes down to it, there’s no easy answer to that question. According to The Wall Street Journal, the drugs may be too different to compare. Cocaine is often viewed as a “party” drug and used – often regularly – by those who do view themselves as addicts. Crack, on the other hand, is usually viewed as the drug of choice by those who are poverty-stricken criminals who have hit rock bottom.

These two stereotypes may seem to define crack as by far the worse substance, but in reality, that may not be the case at all.

The Road to ‘Rock Bottom’

It has been suggested that crack and cocaine may be used by those on the road of addiction at different points in their drug-using “careers.” Cocaine is more expensive and therefore more likely to be abused by those who are employed, have money, and are utilizing the substance for recreational purposes. Those who continue to abuse the drug heavily, however, and develop a dependence, may not be able to maintain employment for long and may ultimately switch their drug of choice to crack. Crack is cheaper and the high is somewhat stronger, so it may serve to solidify the user in addiction differently than cocaine abuse. Rather than one being objectively worse than the other, it may just be that users tend to abuse one drug over the other during different periods of their descent into addiction.

The Effects of Crack and Cocaine

While cocaine and crack may look different and act slightly differently in the body, both can produce negative effects in users’ lives and lead to dependence. Some of the effects associated with both drugs include:

  • Legal problems
  • Family or relationship problems
  • Financial problems
  • Heart damage
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Increased risk of infectious diseases
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Malnutrition
  • Aggression and/or violence
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Chest pains
  • Hallucinations

No Version of Cocaine Is Safe for Use

No matter what the stereotypes, neither crack nor cocaine can be safely used in any amount. Even intermittent use of either substance can lead to the development of drug dependence and all the other issues listed above.

Treatment for use of either substance is equally effective, however. If your loved one is fighting a cocaine or crack abuse problem, we can help here at Axis. Contact us now to learn more about the choices your family has in effective drug addiction treatment.