The chemical cocaine hydrochloride is commonly known as crack. "Crack" is a solid form of freebased cocaine. It is called "crack" because it snaps and cracks when heated and smoked.
Crack is inhaled and rapidly absorbed through the lungs, into the blood, and carried to the brain. The chances of crack overdose and poisoning leading to coma, convulsions, and death are greatly increased.
Crack's rapid rush - 5 to 7 minutes of intense pleasure - quickly subsides, leading to depression that needs to be relieved by more crack. This cycle enhances the chances of addiction and dependency.
Even first-time users of crack cocaine can experience a fatal overdose. One of the most dangerous aspects of using crack is the high risk of overdose. Since crack is more potent than street cocaine, it enters the bloodstream more quickly and in higher concentrations. Which is particularly risky since smoking the drug makes it difficult to estimate dosage.
The most frequent overdose symptom experienced from smoking crack cocaine is mild, and is felt as a very rapid heart beat and hyperventilation. These reactions are often accompanied by a feeling of impending death. A crack cocaine overdose can cause anxiety, panic, aggression, insomnia, agitation, paranoia, tremors and seizures. Crack cocaine users may lose consciousness and slip into a coma, In severe cases, acute psychosis can occur. This is a condition in which the patient experiences hallucinations, delusions and a break from reality. Unfortunately, crack cocaine overdose often leads to death. Most commonly the death is due to a heart attack; complete respiratory failure; or arrhythmias, which are irregularly fast heartbeats. This can occur even if the patient is a first-time user of the drug or in patients who have developed a tolerance to cocaine.
Although most people experiencing crack overdose survive, several thousand are killed by overdosing on crack every year. All forms of cocaine and crack cocaine use have been linked with heart failure in users. This also includes otherwise healthy users.