by Eric Dunbar
Crack cocaine is one of the fiercest and most destructive drugs ever concocted. Crack takes control of every fiber of your being and forces you to love it. Crack drives you to do things that you would otherwise not do, if you were not under its demonic influence.
There are numerous stories written about crack cocaine, its effects on the body, the family unit, and the community. But nothing could prepare me for what crack would do to me over the course of the next decade. Crack is a drug that can turn your life into a living nightmare and coerce you to love every moment of it. I am an experienced, certified old school ex-crack head, and this is my story.
What Is Crack?
Crack is the purest form of cocaine. It is obtained by a process known on the street by dealers and users as “cooking.” The standard recipe for cooking crack is a seven-to-one mixture of cocaine and baking soda, or seven grams of powered cocaine to one gram of baking soda. The mixture is dissolved in water, cooked at a steady but relatively low temperature and then slow cooled to produce a solid, semi-hard white stone known as crack.
During the cooking process baking soda causes the cocaine to bind together, forming an oily substance that floats to the top of the water. Whatever additives were used to increase the volume and street market value of the cocaine remains dissolved in the water as the pure cocaine is transposed into an oily substance that floats to the top of the water.
A skilled crack cook is like a skilled glass blower. He knows all the tricks and moves of the trade required to produce a quality product. Back when I started smoking crack, a crack rock could not be purchased on the street. If you wanted to smoke crack, you had to pay someone to cook it for you or learn to cook it yourself, so I learned how to cook crack, and I was one of the best.
How I Got Hooked
When analyzing the nature of an addiction, it would be so much easier to understand if you were to compare it to a human love affair. In the same way as you might meet the girl or the guy of your dreams and start a relationship, likewise, drug addicts enter into a relationship with the substance of their addiction. I got acquainted with crack through my association with people that were already in a relationship with the drug. I certainly never planned to be a crack addict. Simply put, I fell in love with something that didn’t love me.
As with any compatible relationship, one thing led to another. What had once been a casual acquaintance soon turned into a passionate courtship. When I first became involved with crack, I had no idea what I was getting into. Somehow I had been blindsided by something that I knew nothing about. That lack of knowledge is however, overruled by the passion of desire; thus my desire was to please the object of my courtship — my newly found love — crack cocaine.
Before I realized what was happening I had gone over the edge, past my own expectation and limitations. I had done the unthinkable. I was in a full-bloom relationship with crack and it felt good. I was at a point in the relationship where I couldn’t get out. I was in love.
The Hype of the Crack Pipe
I spent the next ten years of my life as a loyal and committed partner to crack. Crack had become my companion, and it was a very jealous companion. Crack would not allow me to give my attention to anything other than it, and my crack pipe, of course. My family, my job, and my personal interest were jealously pushed to the background. The twenty-minute high was kept constantly before my eyes, and I lost all sense of good morals, dignity and self-control.
Filled with an overwhelming lust for the drug, I forever craved that next hit. Crack was in my thoughts 24/7. The hype of the pipe took my life to a new level — to a place that I was not familiar with. Under the influence of crack I did things that I would have never done. My family was beginning to lose all respect for me. My young children were bewildered by my new behavior. In my own silence I cried out for help, but no one came to my rescue because I never verbally asked for it.
My Life Changing First Step
After eleven years of my association with crack I began to seriously contemplate my future. My wife had insisted that I seek professional help. So for the sake of trying to save my marriage, I agreed to enroll in the Twelve Step Program of Narcotics Anonymous (NA). With the help of my younger brother I was accepted into the program, at which time I was committed to changing my life.
Once I had been accepted into the program I had no outside contact with the world outside the confines of the rehabilitation facility to which I had surrendered. At the facility, I gained twenty of the fifty pounds I lost while chasing that little white stone. I had accumulated a wealth of knowledge concerning drugs, addiction, withdrawal and nutrition. I left the program with high recommendations and I was reunited with my family, and together we rejoiced over my great accomplishment. At last, I was drug free!
One week after returning to my home I attended my first NA meeting. I got excited when my sponsor asked me to tell my story. But then he told me that I would have to introduce myself as a drug addict. I refused to say I was an addict because I was no longer addicted. I believed with all my heart that I had defeated crack cocaine. I couldn’t bring myself to say anything that would contradict my hard won victory, so I go up and walked out.
But my celebration of freedom was short lived. In less than 30 days I was back to using crack, more aggressively than before I threw in the towel. Six months later my world came crashing down. That little white stone and that fragile glass pipe had ruined my life. I eventually lost everything that was dear to me – everything! With my family now gone I was alone and frightened. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to do something. But what could I do? Where could I go? Who could help me escape this awful prison camp?
Everything was happening so fast. In less than two months I had gone full circle. Six weeks ago I was a crack head. Four weeks later I was graduating in the top 1 percent of my rehab class, only to find myself once again strung out on crack cocaine.
I was desperate; I knew if I didn’t do something, crack would kill me. I needed a life changing miracle — a bible moment. I needed a rain down on me from heaven, take up your bed and walk kind of miracle. So I began to pray relentlessly, with more intensity than I had ever prayed before. What I am about to tell you sounds incredible, but it is the actual account of how God delivered me from a twelve-year crack cocaine addiction.
It was a regular Saturday morning — meaning I had been high on crack since Thursday night. I had spent my last penny on crack cocaine and I still wanted more. Depression and boredom was beginning to take control of my mind, so at about 10 a.m. I decided to go to the cemetery to visit my brother’s grave. I often visited his grave when I got depressed. Talking to him seemed to do something for me. While I was there I began to pray for God to intervene in my situation. I cried out to God like never before. I was certain that didn’t want to smoke crack cocaine any more.
I had become overwhelmed by my addiction and I felt as if God had abandoned me. I became enraged with anger against God. Tears rolled down my face as I cursed at God. “If You really loved me,” I said, “you would free me from this terrible addiction. Don’t send no f—— bible toting Christian to me with no ‘Jesus loves you message’. If you don’t help me this drug will surely kill me!”
I was talking so loud, I attracted the attention of other visitors in the cemetery. I could see them in the distance, looking at me. I was sure they had heard me cursing at God. I felt so ashamed, but at the same time I didn’t care. I threw my hands up in disgust. I said to God, “What’s the use, You don’t care about me!” When I walked through the gate of the cemetery I heard a calm, quiet voice say to me, “I heard you.” I heard it audibly, as though someone was standing right next to me.
A few nights after this incident, I was sitting in the lone chair in the living room of my house when I saw a figure standing in the center of the room. He laughed uncontrollably at me, as though someone would laugh at a real funny joke. As I watched this thing laughing at me I heard a voice say, “This is the crack demon. Do with him what you wish.” It was the same voice that I had heard speak to me in the cemetery, but this time I heard it speak from within. At first I thought I was hallucinating, so I just sat there gazing at this strange looking creature. Suddenly I knew that the voice that I had heard was the voice of God.
I had a 100 pound Rottweiler at the time. He saw the demon too. When I stood up, my dog stood up. The hair on his back stood on end and he began to growl. I slowly walked toward the creature that I saw, and so did my dog. The creature seemed to be afraid the moment he realized that I could see him. Immediately his laughter ceased. The dog charged and he backed right through the wall. I could hear this thing say on the other side of the wall, “I’ll be back sucker,” as he started to laugh once again.
The next day I realized that I no longer had the insatiable urge to smoke crack. I have not smoked crack cocaine since that day in 1993.
Addiction is a very serious and life threatening situation. But faith is as real as addiction, and your faith in God can make the difference in whether or not you obtain the freedom that you so badly want. When you have exhausted all of your efforts to be free of your addiction, you might want to try God. “All things are possible if you believe” (Mark 9:23) if you “Have faith in God…” (Mark 11:22).