Drugs Information, what you really should know about, drugs facts on and facts about Cocaine ...

A Guide for worried parents, teenagers who are using drugs or thinking about using drugs and anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

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Cocaine & Crackcocaine - logo

Cocaine is a white powder that comes from the leaves of the South American coca plant. Cocaine is either "snorted" through the nasal passages or injected intravenously. Cocaine belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants, which tend to give a temporary illusion of limitless power and energy that leave the user feeling depressed, edgy, and craving more. Crack is a smokable form of cocaine that has been chemically altered. Cocaine and crack are highly addictive. This addiction can erode physical and mental health and can become so strong that these drugs dominate all aspect's of an addict's life.

Common street names:
cocaine, crack, snow, charlie, coke, rock, wash, stone.


How they are taken:
Cocaine is a commonly chopped up, divided into lines on a mirror and then sniffed up the nose through a tube. Crack is cocaine which has been processed into small crystals about the size of raisins for smoking (which is known as freebasing). occasionally it is injected, or processed into a form which can be smoked.

Effects - cocaine
A feeling of exhilaration, well-being, strength and alertness and irritability, a sense of euphoria. Reduces appetite. increases pulse rate and blood pressure. Effects tend to peak quickly and lessen rapidly, takers can be hyperactive for 20 to 30 minutes. May have a runny nose and enlarged pupils - effects soon replaced with anxiety and panic, there is an urge to repeat.

Effects - Crack
Creates the same effects as cocaine but usually in a more intense powerful way. The effects of crack last only a few minutes and can leave users heavily craving for more, some intense users use heroin to 'come down' from the intense high. For some the craving takes over their lives but not everybody who tries crack enjoys the experience and, even if they do, many will not get addicted.

cocaine plant
Cocaine Plant

Cocaine in any form is bad news for anyone with high blood pressure or a heart condition. too much sniffing may damage the lining of the nose. Smoking can cause various breathing problems and pains in the chest, when someone stops regular use, they can feel very depressed and run-down for some time. Those who carry on regularly can develop quite serious problems of anxiety and paranoia, It has to be taken often to maintain high, leading to high dependency levels also leads to sickness, sleeplessness, weight loss, convulsions, depression and suicide. Hiv, aids and hepatitis are risks if sharing needles.

Physical risks associated with using any amount of cocaine and crack:
increases in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure hepatitis or AIDS through shared needles brain seizures
reduction of the body's ability to resisit and combat infection
Psychological risks:
violent, erratic, or paranoid behavior hallucinations and "coke bugs"-a sensation of imaginary insects crawling over the skin confusion, anxiety, and depression loss of interest in food or sex "cocaine psychosis"-losing touch with reality, loss of interest in friends, family, sports, hobbies, and other activities.
Some users spend tens of thousands of pounds on cocaine and crack each week and will do anything to support their habit. Many turn to drug selling, prostitution, or other crimes. Cocaine and crack use has been a contributing factor in a number of drownings, car crashes, falls, burns, and suicides. Cocaine and crack addicts often become unable to function sexually. Even first time users may experience seizures or heart attacks, which could be fatal.

Addicts are preoccupied with getting their drug, and most of their thoughts and behaviors are directed to that end. Cocaine interferes with judgment and produces exaggerated feelings of well-being and confidence in users. High doses can produce paranoia, and users can become aggressive and violent. In rare cases, cocaine can produce death, after first use or after prolonged use. Death occurs from cardiac arrest (the person's heart stops beating), or seizures followed by respiratory arrest (the person stops breathing).

For information about other drugs, return to Drug Information Page.