Cocaine and Crack abuse is a very real and serious problem for Wyoming residents and families.
Cocaine abuse and addiction is not only a problem for Wyoming but has been a consistent problem all across the United States since the early 1970’s. Compounding this is the rise of Crack to national attention in the mid 1980’s. What exactly is the difference between cocaine and crack and what is meant by each of these terms?
There are basically two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt (powder) and freebase (crack). The powdered form is water soluble and can be taken intravenously or intranasally (snorted). Freebase refers to a compound which is not a hydrochloride salt. The freebase or crack form of cocaine is smokable.
“Crack” is the street slang given to freebase cocaine and refers to the crackling sound which is heard when it is smoked. It is processed and heated to remove the hydrochloride. When crack is smoked intense effects are felt in less than 10 seconds as compared to 10 or 15 minutes for cocaine powder, which account for its almost instant rise to popularity. It is also generally cheaper to obtain.
In the United States, including Wyoming, there were a reported 2.4 million cocaine users in 2006 with an astounding 1.7 million reporting abuse, dependence, or addiction.
Estimates of those Wyoming residents using any form of cocaine in the 2005 are as follows:
| Cocaine/Crack use in Wyoming – 2005
|Total cocaine/ crack users||21,000|
|Cocaine/crack users ages 12-17||4,000|
|Cocaine/crack users ages 18-25||7,000|
|Cocaine/crack users ages 26 and older||10,000|
People who are addicted to crack and cocaine should seek abuse drug rehabilitation immediately, before it is too late.