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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 118669 Find in a Library
Title: Crack: The Scourge of the Ghettoes
Journal: Police  Volume:21  Issue:8  Dated:(April-May 1989)  Pages:28-31
Author(s): J S Farrell
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 4
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The effects of Crack, an inexpensive derivative of cocaine, are examined, and statistics on Crack use in Dade County, Fla., are provided.
Abstract: As recently as mid-1985, Crack was not in the working vocabulary of most U.S. police agencies. The Drug Enforcement Administration states that Crack literally exploded on the drug scene in 1986 and was available in 28 States and the District of Columbia. By 1987, 48 States reported Crack sales. The process used to make Crack is simple. Cocaine hydrochloride (white powder) is mixed with baking soda and water in a solution and heated. It is then dried into pieces or rocks; this rock is not water soluble but, when heated or burned, volatilizes into a gas of cocaine that can be inhaled. Crack is smoked not sniffed and goes directly to the brain through the capacity of the lungs. Drug researchers indicate that cocaine disrupts the brain's electrical activity and depletes the central nervous system of energy resources. Psychological effects of Crack include depression, increased irritability, paranoia, and the intense need for more Crack. Because of the wide availability of cocaine powder and the simplicity of making Crack, an extensive cottage industry has evolved. The low unit price for Crack has helped turn on blue collar workers and the poor to cocaine. In early 1986, Dade County felt the exponential effects of smoking cocaine, with dramatic increases in street robberies and burglaries. As of 1988, approximately 80 percent of career criminals in the county are known to be substance abusers, with Crack apparently the overwhelming drug of choice. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of all drug cases examined by the Dade Crime Lab involve Crack. Throughout the U.S., police officers must be aware of the possibility of sudden death associated with cocaine psychosis. Government agencies must address the provision of adequate health care, especially to poor, inner city residents who are at most risk of Crack use.
Main Term(s): Crack
Index Term(s): Drug effects; Drug manufacturing; Florida
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