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Crack Addiction: the Effects of Cocaine Hydrochloride

The chemical cocaine hydrochloride is commonly known as crack. Some users chemically process cocaine in order to take away the hydrochloride. This process is called “freebasing” and makes the drug more potent. “Crack” is a hard form of freebased cocaine. It is named “crack” because it snaps and cracks when heated and smoked. Since crack is a ready form of freebased cocaine, the user does not have to be exposed to the explosive chemicals associated with freebasing. Crack is normally in plastic bags and sold in small quantities, usually 300-500mg or enough for two to three inhalations.

In the 1970s, cocaine was expensive and considered a “status” drug. The introduction of inexpensive crack increased the convenience of this substance, and crack has become the drug of choice for many drug users, especially for inner-city disadvantaged youth. This has been the beginnings of the growing crack addiction. Crack’s convenience, ease of concealment, wide availability, and low cost has increased its use. The reality that crack is smoked rather than snorted has contributed to its popularity.

Moreover, drug addiction is not only occurring to people on the streets. It is not new to us that celebrities have their “shining moments” when it comes to substance abuse. They may look pleasant and very much happy in front of cameras, but their deepest secrets are yet to be revealed. A number of celebrities have already been into rehabilitation to fight their crack addiction, heroin, or even alcohol addiction.

Long before Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears hogged the headlines with their wild child antics, there was Drew Barrymore. At the age of nine, Drew was already smoking cigarettes. She was an alcoholic at 11, a marijuana smoker by 12, and a cocaine addict by 13. She went to rehab twice and even attempted suicide when she was 14. Right now, that is all in the past. Her wild child days behind her, Barrymore has grown into a sober, responsible and productive woman. Aside from starring in a slew of hits, she has also become a producer, forming the production company Flower Films with friend and partner Nancy Juvonen in 1995. Her company is responsible for hits like Charlie’s Angels and 50 First Dates. Quite a turnaround for a woman with a childhood as messed up as hers.

In the controversial Oprah-Winfrey-was-a-drug-addict tale, there are two known sides. On one hand, there’s the remarkable TV moment in the 90s when she tearfully admitted in her own talk show that she had smoked crack cocaine while in her 20s, but never said anything about an addiction to the drug or anything else. On the other hand, there’s the more latest accusation made in a tell-all book by a previous boyfriend that Oprah was actually a regular cocaine user in the 80s, and was in fact under the influence during her show tapings.

Whatever the truth is, it is clear that Oprah has now overcome whatever her drug demons of the 70s and 80s were. As of September 2008, Forbes has predicted Oprah to acquire wealth worth over $2.7 billion. CNN and Time Magazine called her “arguably the world’s most powerful woman”. She is quite the success story, sordid drug past or not.

Anyone of all walks of life could be a victim of crack addiction. Life is tremendously unpredictable. One time we are laughing with friends living the good life, the next time we know, we are shaking and craving for a drug we never thought we couldn’t seem to live without. People may be aware of the effects of drugs if abused, yet they still give in to curiosity, probably, or to pressure and thus end up living miserably. However, there is still hope for every addict in this world. Life doesn’t end in addiction. It ends when one gives up.

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