“Chasing the dragon” typically refers to a way a person smokes the illicit opioid heroin. An individual will place heroin powder on a small piece of aluminum foil and heats it up underneath with a lighter. This creates “the dragon” effect. When the drug is heated up, it wiggles around the foil like a Chinese dragon. The heroin smoke will then rise up from the foil, and the user takes a piece of a straw or a tube and inhales the smoke. The heated heroin wiggles around the foil giving the individual the sense they have to chase it around hence ” chasing the dragon”.

“Chasing the dragon” can also refer to something else. Sometimes it is used to mean the person is chasing the same intense euphoric high they experienced from the very first time they used it. The heroin is the “dragon” and the “chase” is trying to catch that very first euphoric feeling they felt. It is a vicious cycle and something that will never be achieved.

Can You Smoke Crack by Chasing the Dragon

Smoking Crack Using Aluminum Foil

Crack cocaine is a smokable form of cocaine that has been mixed with water and baking soda and heated it up or “cooked” to form little smokable rocks. Crack is normally smoked out of a pipe of some kind, however, some people will smoke it using a small piece of aluminum foil. The drug is placed on the foil, and a lighter is used to heat up the substance.

Once the smoke starts to rise it is then inhaled using a tube or piece of cut straw. Similar to “chasing the dragon” with heroin use, when the crack is smoked on aluminum foil, the process is called freebasing.

Risks of Using Aluminum Foil to Smoke Crack

Smoking any substance is risky and can be dangerous, especially when using aluminum foil. Smoking from aluminum foil can cause various medical complications including:


  • Headaches and migraines
  • Lung issues
  • Skin burns from the thin foil
  • Pronounced cough
  • Exacerbated asthma issues
  • Exposure to toxins present in the aluminum


There is some research that suggests aluminum may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, so smoking any drug using aluminum foil may put a person at risk. Also, many drugs cause cognitive impairment and some which are smoked like benzodiazepines, have been linked to increased risk for Alzheimer’s.

Why Do People Smoke Drugs?

People smoke drugs for different reasons, but the main reason is due to the intense relaxing, euphoric, and pleasurable effects they give. They also smoke because the effects happen so quickly. By smoking them they are able to ward off any withdrawal symptoms.

Smoking causes the drugs to reach the bloodstream rapidly. With crack or crystal methamphetamine, the user gets an immediate rush. With heroin, it takes between 10 and 15 minutes to feel the euphoric effects.

Smoking any drug is dangerous as it quickly impairs cognitive functioning and judgment. Some people can get aggressive or become violent and paranoia is likely. This can cause impulsive behavior which can have serious consequences.

Get Help for Crack Cocaine Addiction

Crackabuse.com is your #1 source for crack treatment information. If you or someone you love has an addiction to crack, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Our specialists have years of experience helping individuals with crack cocaine addiction.

Crack addiction is a tough one to beat, but it is possible and you can achieve freedom from it. We offer professional support and guidance and are here to help you find resources. Begin healing from your addiction by contacting one of our addiction specialists. Discover a brand new life free from crack and cocaine addiction and a brighter tomorrow.

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