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DRUG INFORMATION THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Drug INFORMATION homeCocaine | The Basics | Effects | Dangers
Addiction & Tolerance | Mixing With Other Drugs | FAQ/ Frequently Asked Questions | Drug Tests | Legality | Helpful Links |

Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body, use your head.

Cocaine

Parents who have a teenage child hooked on drugs can always run to teen drug rehabs for help.

The Basics: What it is;
Cocaine is a fast-acting nervous system stimulant, extracted from the leaves of coca bush, a high altititude plant which grows in the Andes of Bolivia, Peru and Colombia.
It usually comes as a fine white powder (a salt, cocaine hydrochloride) which is snorted in lines and rapidly absorbed through the nasal membranes.
Many users also dab it on their teeth and gums. Cocaine has local anaesthetic properties that numb the mucous membranes of the mouth, vagina, rectum, and eye - if directly applied. Novocaine, of dentist's syringe fame, is a synthetic cover-version of cocaine.
Street price varies between € 75 and € 120 per gram, depending on purity, area, and supplier.

Purity   To get from the highlands of Columbia to your back pocket, cocaine has passed through many pairs of swarthy, unwashed pairs of hands, and is diluted down at each stage to increase profit.
For that reason, the average gram 'wrap' is usually between 20 and 65% actual cocaine. The rest is probably corn starch, vitamin c powder, sugar, talcum powder, Italian baby milk powder or local anesthetic (to simulate the numbing effect).
Fear-mongers peddle the myth that coke is regularly cut with anthrax, bleach or strychnine. Frankly, this is untrue.

Crack Cocaine Rocks  
Crack Cocaine processed with baking powder (sodium bicarbonate) is "crack", a smokeable version of cocaine with a shorter but more intense hit (around five minutes).
It's called 'crack' after the sound it makes when you light it. It's not cheap (about € 125 per gram) and can quickly induce a psychological dependency. ( AS IN ..LIKE THE FIRST TIME YOU TRY IT QUICKLY)

Effects: What it does;
Cocaine is very fast-acting but short-lived. The effects range from subtle to white knuckle, depending on dosage and purity of the drug.
The effects of snorted cocaine can be felt within 10-15 seconds, peaking after five minutes, and fully wearing off after 20-30 minutes.
Mentally, you feel alert, energized, buzzing. You feel a sudden burst of euphoria and self-confidence which makes you more sociable and talkative. You talk WAY TO MUCH.
Some folks think they become bullet proof as well.
Physically, your feel 'wired' - clenched jaw, wide-eyed, dilated pupils. Your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature all rise. If you're in poor shape, be careful. You may also feel strong and sexually aroused.

In The Brain:
Cocaine stimulates the cells of the central nervous system, and the cardiovascular system. It works, essentially, by tricking the brain into thinking it's been furnished with something pleasurable, like sex or good food.
First it prompts nerve cells in the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and alertness. Then it prevents the dopamine from being reabsorbed, prolonging the elation for an unnaturally long time. Eventually the brain compensates and quickly re-absorbs the dopamine, leading to a rapid and abrupt come-down.

After Effects
The comedown from coke is unpleasant. After a single line, you feel dulled and restless. Coke makes you feel good in short bursts, but it's a superimposed, artificial 'good' that wears off dramatically and leaves you panting for more.
A coke binge can affect your mood for days afterwards. The hangover includes: fatigue, jammed-up or sore nose, headaches, irritability, depression, lethargy and inability to concentrate. Basically, a "zombie state".
Often, when you first start using it, these after effects are minimal. But they get worse with continued use.
Long term
Coke ceases to be quite so nice. Regular use (two or three times a week) builds up tolerance. You still get the buzz but you have to take more of it more often. With greater tolerance comes heftier come-downs. At the peak of cocaine abuse is cocaine psychosis.
Cocaine is extremely habit-forming and you should not over-estimate your ability to handle it.

Dangers/ CAUTIONS
The main health risk with cocaine is overdose. It is difficult to cocaine but it can be done. Most deaths have been caused by accidental overdose, especially with cocaine dissolved in drinks.
Cocaine overdose is not nice: convulsions, heart failure, or the depression of vital brain centers controlling respiration. Result: usually death.
Want a uni-nostril ?
The other main physical danger you face is damaging or perforating the septum, the thin membrane that separates the nostrils at the top of the nose. Regular coke snorters often suffer instant nosebleeds when snorting the drug. Occasional users may detect next-day bloodied mucus and congestion. Heavy users have their septums dissolved by corrosive effects of cocaine.
It does not grow back. Time to visit the Nip-Tuck Doctors

Coke head? coke whore? or just a stupid jerk 
The other main danger, of course, is that you turn into a boring, coke-addicted jerk spending parties in a 'coke cycle': exchanging looks with your little entourage and then going off for a toot in the toilets; dabbing every last molecule of powder off the cistern; and then rejoining the gathering with a sudden inexplicable burst of talkativeness before lapsing into frozen, jaw-clamped silent stooper as you wait for the next trip to the toot room
Cocaine is used extensively in the media and music industries.

Addiction & tolerance: How addictive is it?
Seriousely watch yourself!!!

Recreational use can easily slip into abuse after just one time use
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. It works in the same way as heroin and nicotine by tapping in the brain's natural reward (dopamine) pathways. You experience pleasure every time you take it and a distinct lack of pleasure once it wears of, thus reinforcing the compulsion to take more. And more. And more.Cocaine is a captivating drug that makes you feel confident, talkative, alert, quite a draw for those who find it difficult to feel that way normally. But, as the drug wears off, they are quickly replaced with the depression, anxiety and irritability of the come-down.
You will not become instantly addicted. Some people can take the same amount over extended periods and not become addicted. availability, life style and personality are all factors.
But like occasional cigarette smoking, occasional "harmless" recreational cocaine use can slip easily into regular nasty long term abuse

Coke problem?
Ask yourself: if there's some coke in the house and you can't resist taking it, or you spend all your time looking forward to taking it. If yes, then you should be thinking about where your coke use is going.
When coke becomes central to your thoughts and emotions, when you start planning your evenings around the drug, then you're already in the danger zone. GET HELP OR DIE. Don't let this drug addiction kill you!

Cocaine Psychosis
In the worst-case scenario, you may end up with cocaine psychosis - a none-too-nice state of craving, insomnia, paranoia, restlessness, mood swings, lack of sexual appetite and weight loss.
Some anti-drug organisations will list cocaine psychosis as the inevitable side-effect of casual use. It's not. You have to work to get there, but it's easy not to notice how close you're getting.  Good news: stop the coke, if you can, and you will revert back to normal.

Mixing With Other Drugs:
Cocaine is a stimulant, an 'upper', and can mix strangely with 'downers'. Be careful.

Please note: there have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body.

Alcohol - The two combine to form cocaethylene in the body, a compound which increases the effect and puts more stress on the heart
Amphetamines - Unlikely combination as the effects are so similar; increased strain on heart, increased toxicity
Cannabis - Can take the edge off the buzz
Ecstasy XTC - Popular club combination, no obvious dangers other than increased physical strain
Heroin - Known as a 'speedball', the two drugs amplify each other - cocaine acts as powerful stimulant, causing a rapid heartbeat, but wears off more quickly than heroin, which then slows the heart down. As a result, your heart can lose rhythm entirely increasing the risk of heart failure.                  John Belushi and River Phoenix died after taking speedballs.

Ketamine - A modern combination, known as CK1; clubbers like to mix coke with low doses of Ketamine; coke diminishes the psychedelic effects of K; don't mix anything with high doses of Ketamine
LSD - Has its own speedy effect; not a good combination
Mushrooms - No dangers
Tobacco - Smokers usually smoke more cigarettes

Drugtests: detection times
Cocaine is detectable by standard drug tests on urine up to 72 hours after use.
Long-term, habitual users may have traces of cocaine in their system for longer than the standard three days.
A hair test can reveal cocaine use up to 90 days after use .

Legality in the UK and US:

Cocaine IS A class B UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
In the US, Cocaine is categorized under Schedule II along with Amphetamines.


FAQ: Frequently asked Cocaine questions


» What is crack cocaine?
» What is free-basing?
» Is it safe to mix with ecstasy and other party drugs?
» How much do you have to take before it starts to destroy your nose?
» Can cocaine be absorbed through the skin?
» What is cocaine usually cut with?
» How long does cocaine stay in your bloodstream?
» What is a lethal dose of cocaine?
» I have heard of people rubbing it on their genitals to make sex better. Is this true? Does it work?
» I heard the CIA was involved in cocaine smuggling. Is that really true?
» How many people actually use cocaine?
» Is cocaine dangerous to use during pregnancy?
» Is there any proof that cocaine can lead to a decrease in the size of your genitalia or is this just a myth?
» What exactly is the dosage for coke?
» What are the dangers and realities of smoking powder cocaine.. Is this what they call free-basing?
» Is it possible to test positive for cocaine just by handling or being around others using it?
» Will one time experimental use of cocaine make you addicted?
» Can one time moderate use of cocaine lead to permanent brain damage memory problems and cognitive impairment?
» What is an eight-ball of cocaine?
» Four years ago, I was a regular cocaine user before I started having very serious nasal allergy and some breathing problems. Is the drug responsible?
» I take both Prozac and Wellbutrin daily - what will happen if I do cocaine while on these medications?
» My sister has been using cocaine & ecstasy at the same time and recently her doctor has put her on Zoloft for depression not knowing of the drug problem. Is this a dangerous combination?


» What is crack cocaine?
" Crack cocaine" is a mix of cocaine and baking powder (sodium bicarbonate) which comes as small lumps or 'rocks'. When smoked, the cocaine vapours reach the brain much quicker than snorting, producing an intense but short-lived euphoric rush and - very quickly - a compelling desire for more. Crack is also very harsh on the lungs. Crack is highly addictive but one hit will not make you addicted.

» What is freebasing?
Preparing pure cocaine ("base") for injecting or smoking, usually by dissolving and drawing out the impurities with a strong alkali. Freebasing is pretty dangerous as the chemicals involved are highly explosive and the process requires a lot of skill and specific equipment. Crack cocaine is a form of freebase.

» Is it safe to mix cocaine with ecstasy and other party drugs?
There are no direct harmful interactions beween cocaine and ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, mushrooms and other drugs you may find at a rave or in a club, but most drugs combined with cocaine will increase stress on the heart. If you are in bad shape, be careful.
You should also be aware that drinking cocaine and alcohol creates a metabolite called cocaethylene in the body, which is more toxic than both put together and can put more stress on the heart.

» How much do you have to take before it destroys your nose?
Regular chronic (daily or heavy weekly) cocaine use will gradually collapse the septum, the thin membrane which divides the nostrils. The damage is irreversible.

» Can cocaine be absorbed through the skin?
Yes, cocaine can be absorbed through the skin although most readily through exposed soft tissue and thin skins such as lips, gums, and eyes.

» What is cocaine usually cut with?
Cocaine is most often cut with corn starch, vitamin c powder, sugar, talcum powder, Italian baby milk powder or local anesthetic (to simulate the numbing feeling). Fear-mongers peddle the myth that coke is regularly cut with anthrax, bleach or strychnine. Frankly, this is BS

» How long does cocaine stay in your bloodstream?
Up to 72 hours.

» What is a lethal dose of cocaine?
Much controversy surrounds this question. As little as 20 mg (substantially less than a single line) injected intravenously can be lethal while between 500mg and 1.4 g nasally or orally is considered dangerous. Purity, mixing with other substances (especially heroin), environment, and the individual are all factors.

» I have heard of people rubbing it on their genitals to make sex better. Is this true? Does it work?
It is not recommended to rub cocaine on any exposed tissues or the mucous membranes of the genitals. It does have a pleasant numbing anesthetic effect but any adulterants in the powder may not interact so well.

» I heard that the CIA was involved in cocaine smuggling. Is that really true?
In 1990, the CIA shipped a ton of nearly pure cocaine from Venezuela to the US in an incident that was regarded as "a serious accident rather than an intentional conspiracy." It's no secret that the US military and intelligence agencies funded the Contra opposition to Nicaragua's Sandinista regime with revenues from the cocaine trade. Some of this involvement can be ascribed to bribery, corruption and incompetence. The rest of it complicity.

» How many people use cocaine?
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA) reported that, in 1998, cocaine was used by 3.8 million Americans. Although cocaine use has not significantly changed over the last six years and "is still a threat to the United States," it is significantly less prevalent today than it was during the early 1980s. Cocaine use peaked in 1982 when 10.4 Americans (5.6% of the population) reportedly used cocaine.

» Is cocaine dangerous to use during pregnancy?
Yes. cocaine enters the bloodstream of the developing foetus and has the potential to affect a baby's development. The 'crack baby' has been a frequent story in the press, particularly in the US.
Recent studies have challenged the idea that cocaine is responsible for the birth of underdeveloped, handicapped babies (see here for more details) but obviously taking any drug which will be passed on to the foetus has potential to be very dangerous

» Is there any proof that cocaine can lead to a decrease in the size of your genitalia or is this just a myth?
Cocaine often has the reverse effect, increasing sexual desire while impairing or delaying orgasm. However, a symptom of heavy cocaine abuse is a massive decline in sex drive and activity. Basically it depends on how much you're using it.

» What exactly is the dosage for coke?
A line of cocaine is usually around 50-75mg, so visually, 5% of a gram. Although some users prefer much larger fat lines. The picture here should give you a clue.

» I was wondering about the dangers and realities of smoking powder cocaine.. Is this what they call free-basing?
Powdered cocaine can be smoked but it is very inefficient way of ingestion. Cocaine hydrochloride tends to burn rather than vaporize in high temperatures so the results are weak and unpleasant. This is why free-basing was developed. Free-basing is preparing pure cocaine ("base") for injecting or smoking, usually by dissolving and drawing out the impurities with a strong alkali. Free-basing is pretty dangerous as the chemicals involved are highly explosive and the process requires a lot of skill and specific equipment. Crack cocaine is a cruder form of free-base made with sodium bicarbonate.

» Is it possible to test positive for cocaine just from handling or being around others using it?
While you can pick up traces of cocaine from bags, bank notes, and other people's hands it is unlikely that these traces could enter your bloodstream and be detected on a drug test.

» Will one time experiment use of cocaine make you addicted?
One single use of cocaine will not make you an addict. Nor will two or three times. However, cocaine addiction is a gradual and insidious process. If there's availability and you can afford it, it is not difficult for regular recreational use to descend into habitual abuse. See our section on cocaine: addiction & tolerance for more information.

» Can one time moderate use of cocaine lead to permanent brain damage memory problems and cognitive impairment?
One time use of cocaine will not cause permanent brain damage or memory impairment. Even long term addicts suffering from cocaine psychosis and a host of negative physical effects fully recover if they can shake off the addiction.

» What is an eight-ball of cocaine?
An 8-ball is one eight of an ounce of cocaine, approximately 3.5 grams. This is a lot of cocaine for one person, enough to overdose on. So be careful.

» Four years ago, I was a regular cocaine user before I started having very serious nasal allergy and some breathing problems. Is the drug responsible?
Chronic nasal cocaine use (daily or heavy weekly) may cause nasal problems - sinusitis, irritation and bleeding of the nasal membranes or worst - a perforated nasal septum (the membrane which divides the two nostrils). However, only smoking crack cocaine and inhaling its harsh smoke is implicated in lung problems.
It could be that you have sustained some nasal damage. It would be best to talk to your doctor or find a doctor you feel you can talk to, who can also examine your nose to see if there is any damage.

» I take both Prozac and wellbutrin daily - what will happen if I do cocaine while on these medications?
We are not sure. Prozac has no reported history of negative interactions with cocaine. Wellbutrin suppresses dopamine release in the brain, the main neurotransmitter at the root of the cocaine effect. It is actually given to cocaine addicts to help ease cocaine craving so it may in fact suppress cocaine's effects.
One thing you should be concerned about. The cocaine high is always followed by a cocaine crash, which gets progressively worse the more you use cocaine. If you are already being treated for depression or similar condition, you may find this crash very uncomfortable and unpleasant.

» My sister has been using cocaine & ecstasy at the same time and recently her doctor has put her on Zoloft for depression not knowing of the drug problem. Is this a dangerous combination?
There are no direct physical dangers from mixing Zoloft and Ecstasy (MDMA). Zoloft (or to use its chemical name, Sertraline) is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), the same class of anti-depressants as Prozac (Flouxetine), Celexa (Citalopram Hydrobromide), Luvox (Fluvoxamine), and Paxil (Paroxetine). These chemicals will actually reduce or even completely eliminate the effects of Ecstasy when the two are taken together. Also Celexa in particular is sometimes used to treat cocaine-dependency and may reduce cocaine effects and craving.
Cocaine works on the dopamine system in the brain to produce its effects and MDMA has no direct effect on this system, although dopamine does play a role in the MDMA effect. Cocaine, however, does increase heart-rate and blood pressure which may cause physical problems in an unfit person.
Perhaps more importantly, long term, both cocaine and ecstasy cause significant crashes and depression after use. In different ways. There are consistent reports, both anecdotal and scientific, that constant or binge ecstasy use is linked to depressed mood. Cocaine causes noticeable mood-swings and crashes on a next few days basis for occasional users, and long-term mood problems for chronic users. Using both on a regular basis is likely to exacerbate her depression.

Some resources that may be useful:
http://www.lindesmith.org
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/cocaine/cocaine.shtml

University of Amsterdam Center For Drug Research  http://www.cedro-uva.org

Please note: There have been very few scientific studies into the effects of combining psychoactive drugs. The information presented here is anecdotal. It is based on the subjective reports of experienced users. Different people will respond differently to different drugs and drug combination. Know your body.

Parents who have a teenage child hooked on drugs can always run to teen drug rehabs for help.

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