What is cocaine? cocaine

Cocaine is an addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain.  There are two chemical forms of cocaine, hydrochloride salt and freebase, and these are the types that are used the most.  On the streets, cocaine is sold generally as a white powder that is generally cut with either inert substances or other stimulants such as amphetamines.

How is cocaine used?

The main ways that cocaine is ingested are as follows: oral, intranasal, intravenous, and inhalation.  Hydrochloride salt cocaine is dissolved in water and used intravenously while the freebase form is used by smoking it.

What are the short term effects of cocaine use?

The short term effects of cocaine use are as follows: increased energy, decreased appetite, mental alertness, increased heart rate, increased temperature, and constricted blood vessels.

Large amounts (several hundred milligrams or more) intensify the user’s high, but may also lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior.  These users may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or, with repeated doses, a toxic reaction closely resembling amphetamine poisoning.  Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety. In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.

What are the long term effects of cocaine use?

The long term effects of cocaine use are as follows: addiction, irritability, restlessness, paranoia, hallucinations and death, possibly sudden death as explained above.