What is Cocaine? • Cocaine is a strong, highly addictive Central Nervous System stimulant that interferes with the absorption of dopamine, the brain chemical related to pleasure. • Pure cocaine is derived from the leaf of the Erthroxylon coca bush found in parts of South America. • It is a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse, but can be administered for legitimate medical uses. • There are two chemical forms, “salt” and “freebase”. • “Salt”, the powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and can be taken intravenously or sniffed. • “Freebase” refers to a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to hydrochloric salt. This form is smokable.
Street Names for Cocaine • Coke • C • Snow • Flake • Blow • Girl
What is Crack? • Crack is the street name given to cocaine that has been processed with ammonia, baking soda, and water, then heated to remove the hydrochloride, producing a form of cocaine that can be smoked. • The term “Crack”, refers to the crackling sound that the mixture makes when being smoked. • User’s experience a high in less than 10 seconds that lasts for less than 10 minutes.
Street Names for Crack • Rock • Freebase rocks • Crack cocaine
Short Term Effects of Use • Constricted peripheral blood vessels • Dilated pupils • Increased temperature • Increased heart rate • Increased blood pressure • Dry mouth • Muscle twitches and spasms • Extreme mental alertness • Insomnia • Reduced fatigue
Long-term effects of use • Restlessness • Irritability • Difficulty breathing or respiratory failure • Auditory hallucinations • Nose bleeds • Lost sense of smell • Paranoia • Risky behavior, such as having unprotected sex • Infertility • Sudden death
Withdrawal Symptoms • A strong craving for the drug • Tremors • Changes in brain activity • Eating disorders • Sleep disturbances • Depression • Paranoia • Suicidal thoughts
Did You Know? • In the mid 1980’s, Crack Cocaine was very popular due to its immediate euphoric effect and its relative low cost. • Due to the faster and shorter high, crack is more quickly addictive than the powder form of cocaine. • Up to 75% of people who try cocaine will become addicted to it. • Injecting cocaine can place the drug user at risk for transmitting and acquiring HIV/AIDS if needles are shared. • In 2004, 34.2 million Americans aged 12 and older reported lifetime use of cocaine, and 7.8 million reported using crack.