Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers Tales of crack

Some quotes from patients and their doctors

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 16 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:163
  1. Stefan Cembrowicz, general practitioner
  1. Bristol.

    Crack cocaine, also known as freebase or Charlie, is a compound of cocaine which is smoked, giving rapid absorption via the lungs and a brief “rush” of euphoria, with feelings of invincibility. It inhibits monoamine reuptake by binding to dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin system membrane transporters. Its half life is 50 minutes, and dysphoria—possibly caused by dopamine depletion—may rapidly follow. Twenty per cent of experimenters are said to become regular users. A small “rock” of crack can cost a few pounds. Crack has become widely available on thedrug scene in the past 10years. Its use is said to be linked with violent crime and prostitution. Some users start on opiates to deal with dysphoria related to crack.

    No substitution treatment is available, but dopamine reuptake blockers such as desipramine are being investigated.

    “I used to take up to £4500 worth in one week. I …

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