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Cocaine(also known as ‘coke’, ‘snow’, ‘flake’, ‘blow’ etc.)
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. The powdered, hydrochloride salt form of
cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. ‘Crack’ is cocaine that has not been
neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. This form of cocaine comes in a rock crystal that can be
heated and its vapours smoked. The term ‘crack’ refers to the crackling sound heard when it is
powerfully addictive drug, cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric and energetic. Common health effects
include heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes and seizures. Large amounts can cause bizarre and violent
behaviour. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine.
Adults 18 to 25 years old have the highest rate of current cocaine use, compared to other
Physical effects of cocaine use include ‘constricted blood vessels’, ‘dilated
pupils’ & ‘increased temperature’, ‘heart rate’ & ‘blood
pressure’. The duration of cocaine’s immediate euphoric effects, which include hyper-stimulation, reduced
fatigue and mental clarity depends on the route of administration.
faster the absorption, the more intense the high. On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the shorter the
high. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Increased use
can reduce the period of time the user feels high and increases the risk of addiction.
Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability and anxiety. A tolerance to the ‘high’ may develop; many users report they look
for, but fail to get, as much pleasure as they did from their first use.
Some users will increase the dose to make the euphoric effects (high) stronger & for a
longer time. While tolerance to the ‘high’ can occur, users can also become more sensitive to the
anaesthetic and convulsant effects without increasing the dose. This may explain some of the deaths that have
occurred after apparently low doses of cocaine.
Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken
repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, may lead to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness and
paranoia. This can result in a period of ‘full-blown’ psychosis, in which the user loses touch with reality and experiences
auditory hallucinations (hears voices).
Large doses of cocaine intensify the user’s high, but may also lead to bizarre erratic and
violent behaviour. These users may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or with repeated
doses, a toxic reaction closely resembling amphetamine
Cocaine addiction (please do not use the ph. number on this video; as it
is not 'Australian-based')
(video downloaded from
Medical complications of Cocaine abuse.
Some of the most frequent
complications of use are:
– disturbances in heart rhythm & heart attacks
Respiratory effects –
chest pain & respiratory failure
Neurological effects –
strokes, seizures & headaches, blurred vision
effects – abdominal pain & nausea
Cocaine has been linked to many types of heart disease. It triggers chaotic heart rhythms
called ventricular fibrillation, increased heart beat and breathing & increased temperature & blood
pressure. The user may also experience muscle spasms, convulsions & coma.
route of cocaine use has with it unique & dramatic consequences:
- Snorting – loss of
smell, nosebleeds, trouble swallowing, hoarseness and an overall
irritation of the septum (the cartilage between each nasal passage).
The latter can lead to chronic inflamed & runny
Orally taken cocaine –
severe bowel gangrene due to reduced blood flow
Injected – allergic
reactions to either the drug or the ‘street additive’; the result is often
most dangerous and lethal situation is the combination of cocaine & alcohol. The
body converts the two (2) into a compound that has a longer duration in the brain & is more toxic than
either drug alone. The mixture of cocaine & alcohol is the most common two-drug
combination that results in drug-related death.
Cocaine & its' effects
on the Brain
Click here for Cocaine 'Fact
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Should you have concerns regarding any issue
relating to your 'mental or physical
off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This
may entail contacting your GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may
also contact the appropriate agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your choice, ensure you
see someone who might help.