Author: James Anderson

Cocaine Illicit Use: Addiction, Overdosage, and Drug Testing

what is coke drug

It can affect your heart, brain, lungs, gut, and kidneys as well as your emotional health and daily life — especially if you become addicted. Research suggests that certain communities may be more prone to using drugs, including cocaine. For example, those who identify as LGBTQ are more than twice as likely to use illicit drugs as heterosexual people. LGBTQ adults are also more than twice as likely to have a substance use disorder.

Cocaine base/crack can be smoked because it vaporizes with little or no decomposition at 98 °C (208 °F),[128] which is below the boiling point of water. As the name implies, “freebase” is the base form of cocaine, as opposed to the salt form. It is practically insoluble in water whereas hydrochloride salt is water-soluble.


This change can be identified rather quickly, and may be sustained weeks after the last dose of the drug. Cocaine is one of the most addictive drugs used today, but it is important to recognize how addiction happens. While cocaine has numerous physical effects, its impact on the health of the brain and overall brain function makes it especially dangerous. Initial addiction comes from the way it speeds up the heart rate and gives people energy, focus, and a lack of fear. Many people who use cocaine also use alcohol, and this combination can be particularly dangerous.

In the mother, cocaine use can lead to a serious high blood pressure and spontaneous miscarriage. Pregnant women who abuse this drug may have other addictive habits, such as nicotine and alcohol use. Pregnant women with substance abuse and addiction should receive immediate medical and psychological healthcare to minimize these adverse outcomes. In Nov. 2020, the state of Oregon voted in Measure 110 to decriminalize use of all drugs, including drugs such as cocaine.

what is coke drug

To make cocaine, the leaves are chemically processed and treated to form a powder. A German chemist named Albert Neiman first isolated the drug from coca leaves in 1860. In the early 1900s, cocaine was a common ingredient in herbal remedies for all sorts of illnesses.

Cocaine’s Place with Other Abused Drugs

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances. Cocaine is available in the U.S. as a prescription solution for local mucosal anesthesia, and for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries, but is rarely used because of safer alternatives have been developed. The early use was not just limited to South American countries.

For example, it was injected by Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional Sherlock Holmes, generally to offset the boredom he felt when he was not working on a case. With the discovery of this new alkaloid, Western medicine was quick to exploit the possible uses of this plant. Cocaine dependence develops after even brief periods of regular cocaine use[95] and produces a withdrawal state with emotional-motivational deficits upon cessation of cocaine use.

It looks and feels like baby powder—in fact, it is often mixed with baby powder to dilute it. It can be used alone but is typically mixed with other drugs. It is called this because it makes a crackling noise when a user heats it to smoke it. It is a stimulant and creates a nearly instant high when used.

The law does not legalize the drugs – it means that the state will remove criminal penalties and prison time for possession of small amounts of illegal drugs. Instead, penalty involves a $100 fine or a “health assessment” completed at an addiction recovery center, according to Vox. The sale of drugs such as heroin or cocaine will still be illegal.

  1. This is what causes the euphoria commonly experienced immediately after taking the drug.
  2. Understanding this drug can help addicted users understand its effects and the importance of getting help.
  3. Some of the side effects of cocaine depend on how you take the drug.

Coca-leaf infusions or teas have been used to combat altitude sickness and boost energy in many native tribes of South America. People who use cocaine in any form may “binge” — taking the drug repeatedly within a short time and at increasingly higher doses — to maintain their high. The risk of addiction is even higher with crack cocaine because its effects are more immediate and more intense. Cocaine — aka coke, blow, and snow — is a powerful stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant. Another reason cocaine can lead to substance use disorder is that each time you use it, your body builds a tolerance.

Cocaine Overdose

The two substances react to produce cocaethylene, which may increase the toxic effects of cocaine and alcohol on the heart.17 The combination of cocaine and heroin is also very dangerous. People combine these drugs because the stimulating effects of cocaine are offset by the sedating effects of heroin; however, this can lead to taking a high dose of heroin without initially realizing it. Because cocaine’s effects wear off sooner, this can lead to a heroin overdose. But it carries many risks, including overdose and serious physical and mental side effects as well as addiction. If you or someone you know has problems with cocaine use, seek help from a doctor or mental health professional.

A nasal solution is used for the induction of local anesthesia of the mucous membranes when performing diagnostic procedures and surgeries on or through the nasal cavities in adults. Topical cocaine may be administered by using cotton applicators or packs, installed into a cavity, or as a spray. Topical cocaine may also be applied to reduce bleeding of the mucous membranes. If you’re worried about your cocaine use and want help, you have options. Consider talking to your primary healthcare provider if you’re comfortable doing so. Patient confidentiality laws prevent them from sharing this information with law enforcement.

Other forms exist as well, including speedball, which is an injectable combination of cocaine and heroin linked to several prominent deaths including Chris Farley, Mitch Hedberg, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and River Phoenix. Freebase is a refined hydrochloride salt form of cocaine that is highly dangerous. Cocaine is typically used orally, intranasally, intravenously, or by inhalation. When snorted (intranasal use), cocaine powder is inhaled through the nostrils, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Dissolving cocaine in water and injecting it (intravenous use) releases the drug directly into the bloodstream and heightens the intensity of its effects.

Some of the side effects of cocaine depend on how you take the drug. If you snort it, you might have nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, nasal irritation, runny nose, or trouble swallowing. Smoking crack can damage your lungs and worsen asthma symptoms. If you inject it, you could develop tracks (puncture marks on your arms) and infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C. In 1859, an Italian doctor, Paolo Mantegazza, returned from Peru, where he had witnessed first-hand the use of coca by the local indigenous peoples.