“The Rock Drug” or Crack Cocaine in Johannesburg.
At Crossroads Recovery Centre in Johannesburg, we frequently come across a range of addictions, including crack cocaine or “the rock drug”. Crack cocaine is also known by other street names such as – rocks , ball, base, candy, cloud, cookies, or crumbs.
What is the “Rock Drug”?
Crack cocaine is hard, off-white in colour and crystal-like in appearance. The name was initially used as it describes the crackling sound it makes when heated. Unlike the powdered form, crack is smoked rather than snorted.
How Does the “Rock Drug” Differ from Cocaine?
Crack is a derivative of cocaine. It is produced by combining cocaine with water and baking soda to create a mixture that eventually forms into solid crystals. Crack is far more potent than cocaine. The side-effects are thus more far-reaching and devastating. Cocaine has a high street value, while crack is sold cheaply and is therefore easier to acquire. Unfortunately, the substances that are often used to produce crack include toxic substances such as rat poison or arsenic. For those addicted to crack cocaine, there are simply no guarantees as to what is being taken into the body and what the effects thereof will be.
Crack is a strong central nervous system stimulant. It interferes with, and releases excess amounts of dopamine throughout the brain. It is regarded as the most potent and most addictive form of cocaine as the effects wear off quite quickly and this results in needing multiple “hits” during one session. It often leads to bingeing for days, sometimes weeks until the person can no longer function effectively.
Crack addiction is highly destructive and is not commonly found as an isolated addiction. In most cases, crack addicts use additional substances such as heroin, crystal meth and CAT in addition to crack cocaine. The combination of these drugs is used in order to avoid the intense ‘come-down’ that comes with smoking crack. An addict will get an intense high from smoking crack and then use heroin to avoid the sharp ‘come-down’. The result is a highly dangerous combination of extreme highs and lows throwing the body into a confused state of being.
South Africa is by far the largest market for illicit drugs entering the Southern African region with Johannesburg considered one of the largest city with the most potential users.
Drug trafficking and abuse have escalated since the end of Apartheid (1992). The extreme income inequalities between the different broad ethnic segments affect drug affordability and thus consumer choice. Heroin, cocaine powder, crack, and methamphetamine (called tik) are less common, but have grown significantly over the past few years. Drug distributors also attempt to expand the market for other drugs by mixing cannabis with heroin, cocaine, crack, mandrax, methamphetamine, and other drugs.
Similar to other countries located along the major drug-trafficking routes, South Africa has started to fall victim to a major drug epidemic of crack-cocaine. The relative affluence of South Africa in the region make it an attractive ‘emerging market’. South African society is already characterized by high rates of crime, violence and firearms, all of which contribute to the availability and usage of crack in the metropolitan areas.
There are no signs that the current epidemic is coming to an end soon. In fact, in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, crack-cocaine appears to be the second most used substance after cannabis.
At Crossroads Recovery Centre, Johannesburg we have found an exponential growth in the number of people presenting at our doors and testing positive for crack cocaine.
If you or a loved one are battling an addiction to crack cocaine and are in search of assistance in Johannesburg, know that help is readily available. The road to recovery is not always an easy one but getting yourself or your loved one the best care from the team at Crossroads Recovery Centre, Johannesburg, provides you with a map to sober, healthy living. No matter how bad things seem, there is hope and it’s just a phone call away. If you or anyone close to you needs help with an addiction to sex, gambling, substances, alcohol or food, please contact us for a free assessment.
Stories of Recovery
- The encouragement, love and support from the team at Crossroads allowed me to eventually see that I was worth something - that my life could be turned around and that I could accomplish the things that had long been a forgotten dream.Oliver VGRead more
- On the last day of my stint at Crossroads I could only express gratitude towards all who works there. A wise councillor once commented on my question when one is ready for rehab by explaining that when one is ready for rehab, rehab is ready for you.Johan BRead more
- I was lost and my soul was broken until I ended up at Crossroads and was introduced to the Twelve Steps. With the help of their excellent staff and amazing support I have recently been clean for 18 months, I could not have done it without them!Carla SRead more
- "Just for today I am more than three years in recovery. I have Cross Roads to thank for this wonderful gift. Cross Roads helped me to set a firm foundation in my recovery on which I can continue to build."Angelique JRead more