Cocaine is generally a white, fine textured powder that works as a stimulant on the body. Cocaine can also be chemically processed into small rock-like chunks that are white or light colored called ’crack’. The powder form of cocaine is usually snorted but can also be diluted and injected or even orally ingested. Cocaine is often ’cut’ with other white powder substances such as cornstarch, talc, caffeine, or even strychnine (rat poison). Obviously, these extra ’ingredients’ can increase the toxicity of the drug. Crack is the smokeable form of cocaine and gets it’s name from the crackling sound it makes in a glass pipe.
Cocaine comes from the erythroxylon
The powder form of cocaine generally begins to take effect in 15-30 minutes. The high tends to last about 30-60 minutes. For crack cocaine the onset of effect is about 10 seconds, however the high only lasts up to about 10 minutes. Although the high wears off generally soon after using cocaine, the body is still affected by the drug for some time.
Effects of cocaine may include:
Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use May Include:
- Brief Euphoria
- Tremors & dizziness
- Poor judgment skills & decision making
- Decreased appetite
- Dilated pupils & Blurred vision
- Dry Mouth
- Abdominal pain & nausea
- Muscle Twitches & Spasms
- Increased mental alertness & energy
- Increased temperature or fever
- Increased heart rate & blood pressure
Larger doses may lead to bizarre, erratic & violent behavior, tremor, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia & toxic reaction
- Mood disturbances
- Auditory hallucinations
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Heart Attack or stroke
- Sudden Death
- Respiratory problems
- Brain infections
There are also specific ‘method-of-use’ long-term effects of cocaine use.
Some users report feeling extreme restlessness, irritability & anxiety while using cocaine!
- Permanent nasal damage
- Severe bowel gangrene due to reduced blood flow
- Loss of sense of smell
- Increased risk of HIV & Hepatitis infections
- Runny Nose
Some users mix cocaine and heroin together for what is called a ‘speedball’
Cocaine can be extremely dangerous or even deadly when combined with alcohol!
Tolerance develops quickly with cocaine use. Many users report that they repeatedly use trying to achieve the high they got the first time they used cocaine but they fail to achieve it.
The tolerance usually leads users to use the drug repeatedly and at increasingly high doses to achieve a high, known as a binge. This can contribute to irritability, restlessness, and paranoia. It can also lead to a full-blown paranoid psychosis in which the user loses touch with reality and may experience auditory hallucinations.
Until the early 1900’s coca-cola contained cocaine, although the company reports that it was only ‘trace’ amounts