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Man smoking crack cocaine

Man smoking crack cocaine

M372/0088

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Credit

JAMES PRINCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES PRINCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Smoking crack. A man smokes crack cocaine through a freebasing pipe. A small blowtorch is used to vaporize the drug. Crack is the street name for an almost pure form of the drug cocaine. Conventional cocaine powder consists mostly of cocaine hydrochloride, which is destroyed by heating and therefore impossible to smoke. Crack is prepared by mixing ammonia with a solution of cocaine hydrochloride, which causes the alkaloidal pure cocaine to be precipitated (free base). This is then compacted into "rocks" and smoked in a pipe. The drug is absorbed through the lungs much more quickly than sniffed cocaine, producing an intense but short-lived "rush".

Release details

Model release available. Property release not required.

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