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What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a substance produced by the coca plant.  Cocaine differs in potency due to varying levels of purity and speed of onset.  Cocaine powder is usually snorted through the nostrils or dissolved in water and injected through the veins.  Cocaine is a stimulant drug that speeds up physical and mental processes and creates heightened energy and confidence.  Cocaine that is sold on the streets looks like fine, white crystalline powder.  In powder form, cocaine is usually snorted into the nostrils, but can be rubbed onto the mucous lining of the mouth, rectum, or vagina.  Users can snort, smoke or inject cocaine, depending on the form of the drug.
People can become dependent on cocaine very quickly because it has extreme euphoric effects and the highs last for only short periods of time.  Cocaine dependence is an expensive addiction.  Because of the drug’s short half-life, there is a need for frequent dosing to maintain a high.  People with cocaine dependence often turn to crimes such as theft, prostitution, or drug dealing to get money to buy more of the drug.
Crack is a commonly used form of cocaine.  Cocaine can be chemically altered to remove other substances.  This process is called freebasing and is extremely dangerous.  The pure form of cocaine that results is smoked rather than snorted.  Crack is a raw form of freebase.  It is different from cocaine because it is easily vaporized and inhaled which causes an extremely rapid onset of effects.  Crack dependence develops rapidly.  As soon as crack users come down from one high, they want more.  Crack addicts need to get another high within minutes.
If you would like more information about cocaine or crack cocaine addiction, please contact the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at 800-662-4357, or visit them online at SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Phone code: 1775


Code 1775

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