What is Freebasing and Why is it Harmful?

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that offers people feelings of euphoria. A cocaine high is not meant to last, but people often chase it over and over again because their brains get addicted. A drug like cocaine can be addictive from the first hit. Even when a person quits, it may change the brain for good. Freebasing is a dangerous way to use cocaine since inhaling the vapor from it can be more harmful than other ways of inhaling or using cocaine. Find out why it is harmful and how to help a loved one with addiction or challenges using cocaine.


Freebasing cocaine is inhaling the vapor from applying a heat source to the drug. It is referred to as freebasing but is not the same as smoking crack or attempting to smoke powdered cocaine. Freebasing involves putting the cocaine into a glass pipe and heating until it boils into vapor. Some copper may be put in there to assist in the boiling process. Freebase cocaine:

  • Hits the bloodstream and brain faster than other forms
  • Faster than injection
  • The high is more intense
  • The comedown is worse

Freebasing is a way to make the effects hit instantly, but they are more serious, as a result. By a chemical process, the cocaine becomes free from the sodium base. This is where ‘freebase’ comes from. The step takes the form of ether to dissolve the cocaine. This is highly combustible and often results in explosions in the labs that create cocaine.


When a person feels the effects of freebase cocaine, they don’t last long. After 30 minutes they are gone and the person comes down from the drugs. As it wears off, they may experience fatigue, anxiety, or even paranoia. This can lead to difficulty physically and emotionally. Short-term, the effects are insomnia, excess sweating, and nausea, but long-term, the person may experience depression, paranoia, and anxiety. There are many health risks when a person smokes toxic drugs. The health risks are greater the longer a person uses drugs. To seek help for drug use, a person should find support from rehab centers that provide space to heal from addiction.

Are you suffering from a substance abuse addiction and need help? The Last Resort provides substance abuse addiction treatment programs for men suffering from addictions to a variety of substances, including meth, heroine, cocaine, and alcohol, among others. We can help you overcome your addiction, so you’ll never have to think about the ramifications of freebasing ever again.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Contact us today to learn more.