Only two sculpted faces remain, however; the other fixtures have been replaced by cheap lightshades. Scattered about are vials, stems of glass, and broken lighters. It is three in the morning. In the darkened hallway leading to the crackhouse, which properly speaking, is a single apartment in this building, I see two women standing against the wall lighting up a pipe. The interior is not much to look at.
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A set of stark, neglected rooms provide a minimalist sensory arena for guests and family. The doors are always open to a steady mix of people: men and women, Latino and Asian, black and white—but more than half of its regulars are women under Women do not run crackhouses, but they do play a key role in crackhouse culture.
Everybody is here to get high. The center of attention is a small glass vessel, known as a shaker, in which small particles of cocaine are mixed with baking soda and water. Preparing the drug is an aesthetic experience. Ritual is used to focus attention, to help strip the mind of outside concerns so total absorption can take place.
Reactions to crack cocaine use vary.
Some people become active, moving about the room, touching people and things. They rise slowly, retreat to a favorite location, a chair, a room, a corner spot—depending on whether they are interested in sex or just conversation.
The crackhouse has a language all its own, much of which, oddly enough, has been transported from the old television show Star Trek. They speak about him intimately, in matter-of-fact tones, lending a surrealistic quality to the conversation. The smoke and despair are everywhere. Ambient smoke penetrates my skin, covering my clothing, rushing in through the pores.
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The place is so full of odors competing for the olfactory senses: marijuana, tobacco, sulfur matches, butane torches. The night rituals have begun: the cooking, the smoking, and the compulsive sex. As for the despair, all here know that the she-wolf, crack cocaine, is insatiable.
The more she devours, the more she seeks to devour. In case you have been wondering why I am here, I am an ethnographer. My profession is probing urban nocturnal subcultures that thrive far from the sunlit mainstream.
Tonight, my Virgil is Headache, the street name of a Jewish man who turned to cocaine. Headache, who introduced me to the Washington Heights crack scene, is 46, short, and powerfully built. His hair is streaked with gray. He has cauliflower ears and a Kirk Douglas dimple. Born into a family of wealthy merchants, he graduated from college, married, and became a salesman.
He bought real estate in Harlem and began using cocaine and procuring it for his wealthy downtown friends. To avoid being an absentee landowner, he says, Headache moved into this Washington Heights apartment. Eventually he started freebasing with his girlfriend, an imposing West Indian woman named Joan. His apartment became a crackhouse. My Beatrice is a Puerto Rican woman named Monica. At 23, Monica is one of the crackhouse regulars, a woman with little means, large lips, and elegant vulgarity.
She struts, talking constantly, pressing others to respond. Her blouse is open at the top, to tease. It is Monica who gives me precise instructions about how to navigate the many passageways where crack and women cohabit.
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Headache, like Virgil, could only take me so far. I need to know about the women, and Monica takes the lead. Crack cocaine is far more addictive than regular cocaine, which is likely due to the ingestion method. Crack is primarily cooked to a liquid, then smoked by the drug user, rather than snorted.
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Because the drug is smoked, it enters the bloodstream through the lungs and has a much more potent and dangerous effect on the brain. Users become highly addictive and seek the drug more often, as the crack high itself is short-lived. This then becomes a regular cycle of seeking a crack high, which can lead to chronic addiction. It can cause a cycle of chemical dependency and addictive behavior. Don't wait another day.
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A History of Crack Cocaine Emerging in the s in urban circles around the world, crack cocaine known as the modern, cheaper, more destructive derivative of cocaine. The Crack Cocaine Epidemic s and s The largest explosion of crack cocaine users originally occurred in the late s with the spread of crack around the USA. Crack Cocaine Addiction Crack cocaine is far more addictive than regular cocaine, which is likely due to the ingestion method. They will also, in such a state, not use protection, which could lead to several negative consequences. They will also expose themselves to unwanted pregnancies, a dire situation that could result in the birth of a baby suffering from crack baby symptoms.
A woman taking the drug for long will experience similar long-term effects to her male counterparts. They will experience heart issues, significant weight loss from malnutrition and contracting opportunistic diseases, a decline in cognitive capacity, confusion, and damage to their oral structures. Also, women on the drug fall victim to providing sexual favors in exchange for drugs or money to buy drugs mostly resulting in the person inadvertently getting into prostitution, which holds the promise of a steady supply of money or crack for sex.
Such wanton sexual behavior often results in unwanted pregnancies, with most addicts resorting to dangerous abortions or baby abandonment. If the baby survives, they are born a crack baby, a serious condition that requires extensive treatment if the baby is to survive. Combining crack cocaine and sex can lead to a powerful psychological dependence that is difficult to break.
For a person caught in this trap, the only option is rehabilitation. In such a case, they will need to be weaned off both the drug and the sexual cravings they have. If not treated properly, the person may lapse as they try to go back to having the experience they used to have. Crack cocaine sex is a risky activity that leads to dangerous consequences related to both drug addiction and sexually transmitted diseases.
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As the man continues taking the drug and having wild sex, long-term effects may set in. Long-term effects of smoking crack include cardiovascular damage, malnutrition, cognitive decline, delirium, psychosis, and depression. When a woman uses crack cocaine and sex, she exposes herself to contracting sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea, as well as more severe infections like HIV and Hepatitis C.
Published on: June 26th, Updated on: September 10th,