Crack’s Effect on New York City
In the summer of 1985, New York City was introduced to the drug crack. The ensuing seventeen years have culminated into some of the most turbulent, and crime ridden years in the history of New York City. Crack is the street name for a form of cocaine introduced in the mid-1980s. Crack is smoked, rather then sniffed through the nose, or injected, which are all other ways to use cocaine. Users of the drug inhale the vapors that are given off when the crack is heated (Berger pg.20). Crack cannot burn, and in order to give off the drugs vapors it must be heated to a very high temperature. After the crack has been heated the user will proceed to inhale the vapors. The drug will then pass from the lungs to the person’s bloodstream and then reaches the brain, all within seconds. The user will immediately feel the euphoric sensation that crack brings.
Crack is the strongest form of cocaine available. A New York state drug prosecutor put it this way, “Crack is to cocaine what the atom bomb is to TNT” (Berger pg.21). Crack is extremely addictive and users are usually left addicted after just one use. The drug is relatively cheap and a $10 vial is enough for two hits. The drug will eventually become a very expensive habit though. The high that crack gives is very short-lived and the user finds his or herself in a horrible cycle where they will crave the drug over and over. An addicted user will have a habit that will cost any where from $100-$1500 a day. The user will often steal and commit crimes to supplement their habit.
The risks of getting hooked on crack are far greater than with other forms of cocaine. Addicts, who used cocaine only occasionally, said that after switching to crack they were using the drug three to four times a week. It is almost impossible for crack addicts to maintain normal lives. Dr. Jeffery Rosecan, director of the Cocaine Abuse Treatment Program at Colombia-Presbyterian Medical Center often describes crack addicts, often called “crack-heads” as follows, “They first start to suffer personality changes especially paranoia, then their lives start to fall apart, along with their relationships and they move into a life of emotional extremes, crime, illness, and possibly death.”
Crack users range from the Wall Street stockbroker to a homeless person living in Central Park, but by and large this evil drug called crack had its biggest impact on New York’s inner city minority population. A New York doctor, Dr. Mark Gold who is the person who set up and helps run the not for profit organization called 800-COCAINE, a hotline set up to help addicts and perspective users answer questions about the drug and also offers counseling and drug intervention services; suggested that his findings showed that, “occasional users of crack quickly increased, the amount and frequency of crack use until total dependency was achieved.” Men and women who were once law abiding...