Get the Facts-Cocaine

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  • Cocaine is an
    The leaves of a coca plant.
    The coca plant. Image:

    addictive stimulant made from the leaves of a coca plant.

  • Cocaine has two forms:

1) powder cocaine—a white powder that is often mixed with cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. Street dealers also mix cocaine with procaine, a local anesthetic, or amphetamines.

2) crack—processed cocaine that people smoke.

  • Cocaine use causes constricted blood vessels, dilated pupils, higher body temperature, higher, blood pressure, faster heart rates, nausea, restlessness, decreased appetite, and inability to sleep.
  • The cocaine-related overdose death rate increased by 52.4%. (CDC, 2015-2016 data)
  • Powdered cocaine is usually inhaled through the nose, but it may be dissolved in water and injected.
  • When inhaled, the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal membranes and reaches the brain within 3 -5 minutes.
  • When injected,
    White cocaine powder in bags
    Cocaine in powder form.

    cocaine is released directly into the blood stream and reaches the brain within 15-30 seconds.

  • Crack is made by cooking cocaine powder with baking soda.
  • Cocaine quickly produces a feeling of intense energy, but it wears off quickly, too. The cocaine user feels depressed and nervous and craves more of the drug.
  • Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. Use can result in increased heart rate and blood pressure, heart attacks, respiratory failure, stroke and seizures.
  • Using cocaine can kill you the first time you use it.
  • Cocaine is so addictive that some could become addicted after trying it just once.
  • Crack cocaine is the most potent form of cocaine; it is much stronger than regular cocaine.
  • Using alcohol at the same time as cocaine increases the risk for sudden death.
  • Cocaine users who inject the drug have increased risks of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne diseases.
  • Cocaine is extremely addictive. Addicts build up a tolerance to the drug and must use increasingly more to achieve the same results.
  • The possession and/or sale of cocaine isa jail cell illegal in all states. Possession of even a misdemeanor amount can result in jail time and heavy fines. First offenses carry a jail sentence of not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years under federal law. Jail time is dependent on amount and whether or not an injury occurred.
  • Cocaine changes the way your brain works. Long-term cocaine use reduces the amount of dopamine and dopamine receptors in the brain. Brain cells need more and more dopamine to function normally and drug users have to use more and more drugs to get the same effect.
  • Cocaine can cause blood vessels to narrow; this causes the heart to work harder to pump blood through the narrow vessels. The heart’s natural beating rhythm can be disturbed and the flow of blood could stop.
  • Crack cocaine is the riskiest form of cocaine. Smoking crack allows it to reach the brain faster than any other method of use and addiction occurs more rapidly.
  • If a pregnant woman uses cocaine, it crosses the placenta (or organ that attaches to the wall of the womb and allows oxygen and nutrients to enter the baby). Cocaine use causes low birth weights and smaller heads and babies are more likely to die in their first month than are normal weight babies.
  • Craving and depression can last for months after withdrawal from cocaine.
  • Street drug dealers often mix cocaine with other substances to increase profits. The buyer does not know what has been added to the cocaine.
  • Crack cocaine is the
    White chunks of crack cocaine.
    Crack cocaine. Image:

    crystal form of cocaine. It is solid blocks which vary in color from yellow to pale rose or white and is heated and smoked. It is named for the cracking or popping sound it makes when heated.