Everything You Should Know About Freebasing - Banyan Treatment Center Pompano

Everything You Should Know About Freebasing


Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that speeds up the central nervous system and boosts energy.

Although it is illegal in the United States, this drug is still circulated throughout the country. While it is most commonly snorted, there are other ways people will ingest this drug, including freebasing. 

What Is Freebasing?

Freebasing is the process of inhaling the vapors from a purified and solid form of a drug (the freebase) after applying it to heat. Freebasing gets its name because it involves freeing the drug of most of the additives so that only the base is left. While it is possible to get the freebase of other drugs, freebasing cocaine is the most common. 

The Difference Between Smoking Crack & Freebasing 

Freebasing cocaine and smoking crack are similar. In its normal form, powder cocaine cannot be heated and smoked, so people will need to get the freebase form of cocaine using ammonia. This process can be dangerous. Because manufacturers are dealing with flammable ingredients and chemicals, several explosions from trying to make freebase cocaine have occurred. After the freebase cocaine is created, many users will use a small glass pipe and a heat source to inhale the vapors that are released when the powder is heated. 

Crack cocaine is a “safer” alternative to freebase crack in terms of production only. Crack is the crystalline solid form of cocaine that has grown in popularity in the last few decades. It is manufactured using water and baking soda instead of ammonia. Like the freebase cocaine, it is then heated and smoked. 

Dangers of Freebasing 

Regular users of cocaine should be aware of the risks of their drug use, but freebasing cocaine can be especially dangerous. Not only is making freebase cocaine extremely dangerous during production, but it can also lead to serious damage to a person’s health. Because it is such a pure form of cocaine and inhalation is a fast route of drug administration, freebasing leads to strong and almost immediate effects. These effects typically last only around a half-hour and are often accompanied by an unpleasant crash. 

Along with the crash, some effects of freebasing may include:

  • Rush of euphoria 
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased body temperature
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia or anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Depression 

Over time, the effects of freebasing cocaine or ingesting cocaine in any way can become more severe. Some long-term cocaine smokers may experience cardiovascular problems, psychosis, lung damage, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal problems, malnourishment, bleeding in the brain, movement disorders, and stroke.1 

Because freebase cocaine is so pure, it is also highly addictive. Its use can quickly lead to dependence. Those who find themselves unable to quit should get cocaine addiction treatment. Its high potency also means it has a high risk of overdose. 

Regardless of the route of administration, regular cocaine use is not only dangerous, but also often accompanied by uncomfortable and sometimes even serious withdrawal symptoms. In order to avoid these symptoms, many users will go on cocaine binges. Because withdrawal is both physical and psychological, it is best that people trying to quit enter a comprehensive treatment program like our partial hospitalization program in Pompano

Cocaine is a hard drug that can lead to serious long-term and sometimes permanent damage. If you know someone who is abusing cocaine or you are hooked on it yourself, get help. Our Pompano treatment center helps people just like you overcome their addiction to cocaine and other drugs so that they can build a better future.

If you or someone you care about needs help for a substance abuse problem, call now at 888-280-4763. At Banyan Pompano, we want to help.


  1. NIH - What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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