What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a white powder that comes from the leaves of the South American coca plant. Cocaine is either “snorted” through the nasal passages or injected intravenously. Users call it by a variety of names, including coke, C, snow, blow, toot, nose candy, flake, and The Lady. Cocaine belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants, which tend to give a temporary illusion of limitless power and energy that leaves the user feeling depressed, edgy, and craving more. Crack is a form of cocaine that has been chemically altered so that it can be smoked. Cocaine and crack are highly addictive. This addiction can erode physical and mental health and can become so strong that these drugs dominate all aspects of an addict’s life.
Cocaine and crack use has been a contributing factor in a number of drownings, car crashes, falls, burns, and suicides.
What are the physical risks associated with using any amount of cocaine and crack?
- Increases in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature
- Heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure
- Hepatitis or AIDS through shared needles
- Brain seizures
- Reduction of the body’s ability to resist and combat infection
What are the psychological risks?
- Violent, erratic, or paranoid behavior
- Hallucinations and “coke bugs” — a sensation of imaginary insects crawling the skin
- Confusion, anxiety and depression, loss of interest in food or sex
- “Cocaine psychosis” – losing touch with reality, loss of interest in friends, family, sports, hobbies, and other activities
Some users spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on cocaine and crack each week and will do anything to support their habit. Many turn to drug selling, prostitution, or other crimes. If you or someone you know has a drug problem, there is help available. Talk to a school counselor, a friends, or a parent, and…
Click here for valuable resource information about crack and cocaine.
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