Crack is made by cooking cocaine powder with baking soda, then breaking it into small pieces called rocks. It got its name because it crackles when it is heated and smoked.
Crack cocaine looks like white or tan pellets (sort of like gerbil or dry cat food). Both cocaine and crack are very addictive — and very, very dangerous.
Cocaine is a stimulant, which means that it produces a fast, intense feeling of power and energy. Then it wears off (crack wears off very quickly) and the user feels depressed and nervous and craves more of the drug to feel good again.
Cocaine is so addictive that someone can get hooked after trying it just once.
Snorting cocaine can damage the septum between the nostrils, causing a hole in the middle of the nose.
Cocaine makes the heart beat faster and blood pressure and body temperature go up. It also can make the heart beat abnormally. Cocaine is so dangerous that using it just once can cause a heart attack, stroke, or even death.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2014
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.
Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:
In This Issue
Download Fall 2014 (PDF)
This 30-second video features Dr. Samuel R. Browd, attending neurosurgeon and medical director of Seattle Children’s Sports Concussion Program, defining concussion, listing the signs and urging you to get medical care right away if you think your child may have a concussion.
In early 2014, Microsoft reached an incredible giving milestone with Seattle Children’s – $5 million donated! Microsoft supports our efforts in so many ways: matching employee gifts, corporate grants, in-kind contributions and more. Thanks to the generosity of this amazing company, headquartered in our community, the Science Adventure Lab has the...
Dr. Daniel Rubens explains how newborn hearing screens may be an indicator of SIDS.