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Cocaine & Crack
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerful drug made from the South American coca bush. Its street names include coke, C, snow, and flake. Cocaine is sold as a fine white powder. Street dealers sometimes dilute it with substances like cornstarch or sugar, or local painkillers like benzocaine. Users often snort cocaine. They also dissolve it in water and inject it into their veins.
What is Crack?
Crack is cocaine chemically changed so it can be smoked. Crack chunks are also known as “rock.” Freebase is a pure form of cocaine that can also be smoked. Some crack and freebase users inhale the vapors from heated glass pipes. Others add them to tobacco or marijuana cigarettes.
All forms of cocaine have the same effects. But injecting produces these effects more quickly and intensely than snorting. Smoking it causes the most intense and addictive high.
What are their effects?
- Intense pleasure, you can feel alert, energetic, and confident.
- increases your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Large doses of cocaine can produce euphoria, severe agitation, anxiety, erratic and violent behaviour, twitching, hallucinations, blurred vision, headaches, chest pains, rapid shallow breathing, muscle spasms, nausea and fever.
- Freebase and crack smokers report severe throat and lung irritations. They may cough up black phlegm or blood.
- Dramatic mood swings.
What are the risks?
- Heavy cocaine users can feel depressed, restless, agitated and nervous. They can have sleeping, eating and sexual problems. They can have dramatic mood swings, delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. High blood pressure and irregular heartbeats occur. Repeated use may cause long-lasting problems with memory, attention and behaviour.
- Chronic snorting causes stuffed, runny, chapped or bleeding noses, and holes in the barrier separating the nostrils. Those who inject cocaine risk infections including hepatitis and HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Freebase and crack smokers report severe throat and lung irritations. They may cough up black phlegm or blood.
- If you use drugs often, you can develop serious personal problems. Using drugs can become more important than your family and friends. You may continue using even when your job or schoolwork is suffering, or when you run into financial or legal problems. Young people who use drugs heavily may not learn how to solve problems, handle their emotions, and become mature, responsible adults.
- Using cocaine during pregnancy can cause miscarriage or premature birth. The baby may have a small head, low birth weight, blocked blood vessels in the brain, and other physical problems. It can be irritable, with sleep and feeding problems. Infants breastfed by mothers using cocaine can suffer seizures and extreme irritability.
For more information or help please call: 1-800-255-1010