It’s not totally untrue. If you’re anything like me, you grew up in the midst of America’s ‘War on Drugs’ and you probably wore a D.A.R.E. t-shirt or the family car sported a bumper sticker. We all saw the commercials, “this is your brain on drugs,” and many of us came closer to crack than we should have as young people. So it has been drilled into our heads that crack kills. Use drugs, you’ll die. Hell, if smoking weed can cause you to run over a pre-teen out for a bike ride, smoking crack has got to be the end of it all, right? Kinda.
I’m no fan of crack cocaine, yall. I know it’s hella bad. As if we needed proof, the Office of National Drug Control Policy lists the health effects from crack use:
Physical effects of cocaine use, including crack use, include constricted blood vessels and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Users may also experience feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.
In addition to the usual risks associated with cocaine use, crack users may experience acute respiratory problems, including coughing, shortness of breath, lung trauma, and bleeding. Crack cocaine smoking also can cause aggressive and paranoid behavior.
Of an estimated 113 million emergency department (ED) visits in the U.S. during 2006, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) estimates that 1,742,887 were drug-related. DAWN data indicate that marijuana was involved in 290,563 ED visits.
According to the National Institutes of Health,
Regardless of how or how frequently cocaine is used, a user can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke, which may cause sudden death. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizure followed by respiratory arrest.
So yeah, there you have it. Crack cocaine can kill. Still, it doesn’t really kill people like they made/make it out to do. How do I know this? Why am I even bringing this up? Well, as you can tell from some of my last posts, I’m back in my hometown. Since I don’t have shit else to do, I spend a lot of time running errands for my fam or going to see my grandfather. I also take a moment to ride around some. As I’m passing through, I keep noticing people who I know for a fact were heavy crack addicts. I’ve seen some of them buy and smoke it with my own eyes, so no speculation is necessary. What bugged me out as I was driving earlier today was that these motherfuckers are STILL around. They ain’t EVEN dead.
Not that I wish they were dead. I’m just kind of surprised. We’re talking 10 years at least that these people have been on that shit. From what I can tell, they’re still on it (that right there is speculation as to one woman, I’d bet the farm on the other). The one I’m speculating to, she just kinda pissed me off cuz I saw her on the same corner I remember seeing her on when I was a kid. Not like a teenager, a kid. Damn… go elsewhere!
When I drove past one chick and saw that she still looked pretty out there, I said to myself damn, I guess crack don’t kill after all. True, it kills your mind, your appearance, your life, your family, your community. It’s one of the most devastating things to happen to our country. But after all that crack kills scare shit they fed us, I really thought that people I knew were going to die in a short matter of time. I had even made my peace with it. Turns out, you can suffer a LONG time with someone who is on that shit. That’s what they need to tell people – – “Crack is highly addictive and bad for you. It’ll destroy your life and you’ll have to live suffer with it for a very looonnnnngggg time.”