Can You Snort Crack-Cocaine? (Crack-Cocaine Insufflation)

Can You Snort Crack-Cocaine? (Crack-Cocaine Insufflation) 1

Can You Snort Crack Cocaine? Crack is known to be one of the most addictive drugs available. If you are looking for help with crack cocaine abuse or drug addiction, you can find answers to your many questions and learn what happens during crack cocaine addiction treatment programs in our comprehensive guide on Crack Treatment Programs and Help.

Here, we review what happens if you snort crack cocaine. Then, we invite your questions about crack’s addictive properties or helping crack addiction that you can post in the comments section at the end of the article.

Though more commonly smoked, crack cocaine can be snorted. Regardless of how the drug is used, crack cocaine is highly addictive.

Crack abuse can mental health problems, cardiovascular complications and sudden death. When snorted, a person faces additional risks carried by this invasive method of use. Snorting crack can harm the nose, even going so far as to cause permanent damage.

Occasional crack cocaine use is dangerous, however, the longer a person uses this drug, the greater the possibility of serious adverse health effects. Drug addiction treatment treats many of the physical, mental, behavioral and social changes caused by crack cocaine abuse.

What Is Crack Cocaine?

Crack cocaine is an extremely potent form of cocaine. Also referred to as freebase cocaine, crack is made by processing powdered cocaine with other chemical compounds. What results is a rock-like crystal that is yellowish to white in colour. When abused, crack is typically smoked. This process causes the drug to make crackling noises, hence the name.

Crack is the most addictive form of cocaine. While smoking the substance is one reason that crack is so addictive, crack in any form is still more addictive than powdered cocaine.

Crack is a stimulant drug or “upper.” This means that it speeds up a person’s central nervous system, causing important life-support systems to work faster and harder. This shift causes blood pressure, breathing, heart and temperature rates to climb. Crack’s stimulant properties can also cause a person’s mental and emotional states to become erratic and unpredictable.

Can You Snort Crack-Cocaine? (Crack-Cocaine Insufflation) 2

So… Can you snort crack cocaine?

Crack is a cooked version of cocaine hydrochloride, a white to light brown crystalline powder, shiny in appearance. Crack base is white to beige in colour, and can appear as soapy to flaky solid chunks. Crack is produced by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of water and ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The mixture is then boiled until a solid substance forms. When the solid is separated, it needs to be dried, and then it can be broken into chunks (rocks).

Snorting crack to get high

Users snort crack believing that they will get high faster. But, since we already clarified that it cannot be absorbed by snorting it is obvious that this is not the most efficient administration route. When you sniff crack, it basically passes through the nasal passages, throat, and then ends up in your stomach. So realistically the answer to “Can You Snort Crack?”, is yes but it’s not the most effective use of the drug.

There are some effects that you can feel once crack gets absorbed in the stomach. It can make you happy and excited, but can also affect your mood negatively and lead to sudden mood wings, so you become angry, nervous and paranoid. Often crack users have the paranoid feeling that somebody is after them and trying to hurt them.

After the peak level is reached and when the effects of the crack “high” start to wear off, you may “crash” and feel tired and sad for many days. You also get a strong craving to use again in order to feel better. That is the breaking point to turning into a crack addict!

Can You Snort Crack-Cocaine? (Crack-Cocaine Insufflation) 3

Snorting crack vs oral administration

Is snorting crack effective vs. the oral route of administration? When comparing snorting crack to administering it orally, the biggest difference is the time of onset, or the time it takes for the effects to be felt. In general, cocaine has a very short half-life of 0.8 to 0.2 hours, so time makes a big difference.

However, both snorting and taking crack orally produce a shorter duration of effects compared to smoking. It is interesting to note that the same amount of crack is absorbed by the body in both snorting and oral use. This is basically because snorted crack goes to the stomach, where any orally taken dose also goes.

Snorting crack cocaine side effects

Crack cocaine affects the body in a variety of ways. The heartbeat is increased, the body temperature is raised. Also, lack of hunger and constant insomnia are always present when you are high on crack cocaine. It basically speeds up your whole body.

Here is a list of the possible side effects that crack abusers often experience.

  • abdominal pain and nausea
  • auditory hallucinations
  • constricted blood vessels
  • decreased appetite and malnutrition
  • increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • paranoia

Of course, this is not a full list of all possible effects of crack abuse and what you experience varies depending on many factors. These factors include the amount taken, frequency of use, the general medical state, are any other substances (alcohol or other drugs) taken along with crack, etc. It is important to seek immediate medical help if you start feeling any abrupt and unusual effects after taking crack cocaine.

Crack cocaine is a processed and less expensive form of the illegal street drug, cocaine. Crack can be smoked, snorted, or injected. Regardless of the mode of use, this drug can lead to dependence and addiction after a single use.

Crack cocaine can be identified as a white or off-white “rock” of powder, that makes a crackling noise when smoked. Snorting crack cocaine, or using this drug in any form, can lead to cardiovascular and mental health issues.

When a person snorts crack cocaine (insufflation), they risk permanent damage to their nose and nasal passages. Snorting any drug can result in sores and infection inside the nose, and crack cocaine can cause holes (perforation) in a person’s septum.

What Happens When You Snort Crack Cocaine?

Snorting crack cocaine causes side effects similar to cocaine, including extreme energy, increased body temperature, and dilated pupils. This central nervous system stimulant may also cause a person’s body to shake or twitch with tic-like movements.

The high from crack cocaine is intense but short-lived. A person abusing crack cocaine will likely experience strong cravings for the drug soon after their last dose.

This intense craving, coupled with the stimulant properties of crack cocaine, can cause a person to exhibit paranoia and violent behavior. Crack impacts and changes the brain’s reward system, and snorting this drug can lead a person to think and behave in unpredictable ways.

Why Do People Snort Crack Cocaine?

When powder cocaine is processed with other chemicals, it results in freebase or crack cocaine. Individuals that snort crack may be addicted to the intense rush that the drug causes.

Sometimes called an “upper,” crack cocaine can result in feelings that range from excitement to paranoia. Crack cocaine speeds a person’s entire body up, causing the heart to race and the body to overheat.

A person may snort crack cocaine for a number of reasons, including curiosity about what happens if you snort crack instead of smoking it.

Individuals addicted to crack cocaine may also be in a situation without the necessary paraphernalia (usually a glass pipe). When this happens, a person craving a hit of crack cocaine may resort to snorting the drug instead of smoking it.

Some people may wrongly assume that snorting crack cocaine is safer than smoking it. But this drug, whether smoked or snorted, is the riskiest form of cocaine and can cause long-term damage to the body and mind.

Snorting crack cocaine dangers

There is no safe way to use crack. Any route of administration can lead to absorption of toxic amounts of cocaine, possible acute cardiovascular emergencies, and seizures—all of which can result in sudden death. Furthermore, the user is exposed to risk for/AIDS and hepatitis, from sharing needles or having unsafe sex. Regularly snorting crack cocaine can lead to crack addiction (moving to frequent smoking from snorting), loss of sense of smell, sudden nosebleeds, pain when swallowing and an overall irritation of the nasal septum, which could result in a chronically inflamed, runny nose.

Repeated doses of crack cocaine are frequently taken to avoid the ”crash” that often follows the initial intense euphoric effects. Crack cocaine is frequently used in combination with other drugs; injected with heroin (“speedball”) or taken with alcohol to reduce irritability; smoked with phencyclidine (“tick”); and smoked in marijuana blunts (“turbo”). However, it is extremely dangerous to combine crack with other drugs because of the unpredictable intensity of the effects of both of the narcotics.

Can You Snort Crack?

Can You Sniff Crack Cocaine Safely?

Snorting or sniffing, beside its high risk, is not a common route of administration for crack cocaine. But, people still tend to experiment and want to see what happens.

An important factor in the quality of the experience of snorting crack is the purity of crack HCL (hydrochloride). Depending on the demographic region – street purity varies a lot, because the powder is often diluted with a variety of substances such as sugars, other CNS stimulants like caffeine, or local anaesthetics.

Dangerous Side Effects Of Snorting Crack Cocaine

There are serious health risks associated with snorting crack cocaine. Regardless of the method of use, the side effects of this drug can be hazardous to a person’s physical and mental well-being.

Additional side effects of snorting crack cocaine include:

  • agitation
  • aggression
  • depression
  • extreme alertness
  • sleeplessness
  • nosebleeds
  • restlessness
  • agitation
  • euphoria
  • runny nose
  • mood swings
  • erratic or unpredictable behaviour

When a person snorts crack cocaine, they also run the risk of damaging their nasal passages. This can cause permanent issues with the nose, including respiratory problems, loss of sense of smell, and recurring infection.

Crack abuse can also cause severe damage to a person’s mental health. Even one instance of crack cocaine use can result in a person suffering from hallucinations, delirium, and severe mood disturbances.

Crack is also linked to a number of potentially fatal health risks, including:

  • stroke
  • malnourishment
  • brain bleeds
  • congestive heart failure
  • heart attack
  • heart disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • tuberculosis
  • respiratory failure
  • seizure
  • sudden death
  • overdose

Crack Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Individuals abusing crack cocaine may swiftly find themselves in the cycle of dependence and addiction. Any amount of crack cocaine use can also result in fatal and nonfatal overdose.

When a person becomes dependent on crack, their body requires regular doses of the drug in order to function. This can cause a person to become preoccupied or solely focused on obtaining more of the substance (addiction).

Crack cocaine is a highly processed chemical that can be diluted or “cut” with many different substances. When a person abuses crack cocaine through insufflation, they are ingesting large amounts of unknown substances along with high doses of the drug.

Frequent, high doses of crack cocaine can result in overdose. If a person snorts crack cocaine and is also taking other substances, the risk of overdose heightens.

A person suffering crack cocaine overdose may display symptoms such as:

  • confusion
  • high blood pressure
  • elevated body temperature
  • psychosis
  • tremors
  • stupor
  • seizure
  • nausea
  • excessive sweating
  • stroke

Crack Is Even More Dangerous When Mixed With Other Drugs

Cocaine is frequently mixed or cut with other substances, many of which themselves are harmful. This can include other drugs. A person may not be aware that these substances are present, a fact that can make crack even more dangerous and up the potential for deadly overdose.

When snorted, certain chemical fillers may cause additional irritation to the nose. But in the most severe of cases, cocaine may be cut with other potent and addictive drugs, mainly opioids.

Cocaine-related deaths were on a steady decline, however, over the past several years these deaths have been on the rise. Experts believe this increase is quite likely due to potent opioids being laced into cocaine, such as heroin and fentanyl.

For instance, in the summer of 2018, in Philadelphia, 20 people overdosed on fentanyl in just two weeks. Authorities suspected that many people who died were cocaine abusers, not opioid abusers, leading them to believe that fentanyl-tainted crack could be to blame.

Some people intentionally snort crack cocaine and heroin together to intensify the euphoric feelings associated with these two drugs. And according to the DEA’s 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment, when fentanyl is present with cocaine it is usually for this same purpose. Despite this, a person may unknowingly use crack that’s been cut with heroin or fentanyl. The DEA also notes that carfentanil, a drug 100 times more potent than fentanyl, has been found in cocaine.

Getting Help For Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crack cocaine is considered one of the most addictive substances in the world. For individuals and families that have experienced the devastation of crack cocaine, help is available in the form of addiction treatment.

Inpatient (residential) treatment centres are supervised, protected environments that offer on-site detoxification and therapy. Outpatient rehab programs provide treatment on a more flexible schedule.

Because crack cocaine can lead to mental health concerns, dual diagnosis treatment can assist individuals that suffer from mood disorders.

To learn more about the dangers of snorting crack cocaine, or to find the best treatment options near you, reach out to one of our specialists today.

Reference Sources:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Cocaine
NIDA: What are long term effects of cocaine use

Topics