SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SINCLAIR STAMMERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Crack. Polarised light micrograph of crystals of the drug crack cocaine. Crystals of crack cocaine are prepared by mixing conventional cocaine (cocaine hydrochloride) with ammonia. Pure alkaloidal cocaine is precipitated as crystals. These crystals are compacted into "rocks", the standard form of street crack cocaine. Rocks of crack can be smoked, unlike conventional cocaine which is destroyed by heating. Smoking crack means the drug is absorbed through the lungs faster than "snorted" cocaine. Smoking crack produces an intense but short- lived rush which can be extremely addictive. Magnification: unknown.
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