Not where I come from. The crack epidemic began in the EARLY 80s in conjunction with the gang banging crisis. The Panthers were having trouble publically in the late 70s and early 80s WHERE I COME FROM. While they were here? Didn't do a DAMN thang but make the black community from WHERE I COME FROM...miserable...and created the fear of black on black EYE contact. So! As I said before without STUTTERING a word....where I come from? The Black Panther Party did NOTHING but CONTAMINATE the black community....and we HAVEN'T been the SAME since. But!
Panthers were dead by '82. Crack was around '84. Like I said, Huey Newton led Black Panthers died with him.
What you most likely experienced were offshoots and revivals or street gangs affiliated with the Black Panther Party.
For the most part, the Black Panthers came from the lowest form of Black life, it wouldn't surprise me if some of their members were in the drug trade or pimping. Or if they were affiliated with those types.
But the BP was dead officially dead in 82.