11 Things You Didn’t Know About Crack Cocaine

1. Crack cocaine is thought to be the most addictive form of cocaine.

2. In 2010, 85% of the arrested crack smokers were black men.

3. Smoking crack leads to an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease and sexually risky behavior.

4. Crack saw a boom in the mid-1980s, which spiked in 1987. A study showed that about 3.9% of 12th graders used crack in 1987. It saw a gradual decline until into the early 90s, where the rate picked up slightly until 1999, where it peaked at 2.7%. In 2011, an estimated one out of 53 high school seniors have tried crack.

monitoringthefuture.org
monitoringthefuture.org
monitoringthefuture.org
monitoringthefuture.org

5. Crack cocaine vaporizes at 90ºC (194ºF), which is why it is frequently smoked.

6. The years 1987, 1988 and 1989 saw an unprecedented increase in children placed in foster care. In New York, it jumped from 29,197 to 45,746 from 1987 to 1988 and to 52,187 in 1989. This was said to be an indirect result of the crack epidemic.

image - Flickr / TedsBlog
image – Flickr / TedsBlog

7. A crack high hits the user in 15 to 20 seconds of smoking, versus 3 to 6 minutes with cocaine. The incredibly quick high and the Superman Syndrome led to paranoia, which inadvertently led to physical violence within the family.

Who do people who are paranoid pick on first? They don’t pick on strangers. They pick on family and friends, and that is really what began to happen in the crack community. The level of violence amongst families that we saw just exploded. Before the advent of crack, most drug addicts were men. Statistically, women didn’t become drug addicts. What crack did was make women into drug addicts, which meant that a society which was dominantly matriarchal no longer had a natural head of the family, because the natural head of the family became a junkie. And that caused unbelievable social changes in the inner city. These kids no longer had a mother who was the head of the family, because mommy was a junkie. So who was taking over the family? The grandmothers. – Robert Stutman

8. As the crack epidemic went into decline, so did crime. According to Steven D. Levitt, the strong economy of the 1990s, policing strategies, gun control, and even harsher capital punishment were not factors in the decline of violence. Instead, it was the rising number of police officers, inmates, and the decline of crack.

9. Atlanta, New York, Newark, Philadelphia and San Francisco have the highest average levels of crack use.

10. The sentences given for crack abusers were significantly harsher than for cocaine abusers. The Fair Sentencing Act was passed to minimize the disparity between the two.

11. Abortion played a role in lowering crime rates in the late 80s and early 90s. TC mark

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