Cocaine

Street Names:

"Slang-Coke," "Dust," "Toot,""Snow," "Blow," "Sneeze," "Powder," "Lines," and "Rock"

Chemical Composition:

Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca plant. It is used as a white crystalline powder (cocaine) or as an off-white chunky material (crack).

The powder is often "cut" (diluted) with other substances.

Crack is processed into tiny chips having the appearance of slivers of soap with the pure look of porcelain or small chunks of plaster. Crack is a purer form of cocaine.

Characteristics:

Cocaine causes short-lived highs, approximately 30 minutes, which are immediately followed by intense feelings of depression, edginess and cravings.

Cocaine interferes with the way the brain processes the chemicals that create feelings of pleasure. More of the drug is required just to feel normal. It is addictive.

Methods of Use:

Cocaine is usually snorted or dissolved in water and injected. Crack is smoked. Smoking crack and injecting cocaine produce similar intense effects. When cocaine is snorted, it reaches the brain in 3 to 5 minutes, 15 to 30 seconds when injected, and 10 seconds or less when smoked.

Risks:

Cocaine can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes, respiratory failure, cerebral hemorrhage, damaged lungs, brain damage and death. Those using it can experience high blood pressure, nausea, headaches, increased pulse rate, rapid heartbeat, and increased body temperature. They often don't eat or sleep regularly.

"On November 18, 1998, I received the phone call that I had feared for years. It was the Melrose Park Police Department. Jesse had been found in a hotel room. My beautiful son was gone forever. I was devastated. The funeral was November 23, 1998, the day before his nineteenth birthday. To this day, Jesse consumes my thoughts; I miss him terribly. I believe there is no greater loss than that of losing your child. We later learned the cause of death was a heroin and cocaine overdose."Remembering Jesse (Click for the complete story.)

Intravenous injection of cocaine increases the risk for HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases from dirty needles.

Snorting can cause destruction of nasal tissue.

Cocaine impairs judgment leading to unwise and unsafe behavior.

Cocaine is passed from mothers to unborn children who are born addicted.

Sources:

"Cocaine"
DEA Publication: Drugs of Abuse
Drug Enforcement Administration
U.S. Department of Justice
www.dea.gov

"The Truth About Cocaine"
The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol
And Drug Information
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
www.health.org

"Crack and Cocaine"
NIDA Infofax (13546)
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
www.drugabuse.gov