Cocaine most commonly comes in the form of a white odourless powder called cocaine hydrochloride. It has a bitter, numbing taste. The powder is extracted from the leaves of the cocoa bush, found mainly in Peru and Bolivia. The extract is then processed with various chemicals.
What happens after using cocaine?
- Increased body temperature, increased heart rate, enlarged pupils
- Alertness, feelings of well-being, decreased hunger
- Anxiety, panic
- Difficulty concentrating
- Making poorer judgements
- Reduced ability to feel pain, feelings of great physical strength and mental capacity
- Unpredictable and/or violent behaviour.
Using larger amounts may lead to extreme restlessness, worrying or anxiety, hallucinations, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, shakes, violent/aggressive behaviour, loss of concentration, loss of co-ordination, heart pain, heart attack, rapid, irregular and shallow breathing.
Can a person overdose on cocaine?
Yes. Overdose may include having a fit, heart attack, brain haemorrhage, kidney failure, or stroke.
This may result in death.
What happens if a person mixes cocaine with other drugs?
Mixing cocaine with alcohol produces a substance in the blood called cocaethylene, which can be more toxic to the body than the cocaine itself. Injecting cocaine and heroin at the same time can affect the area of the brain that controls breathing, increasing the chances of the user going into a coma and, in extreme cases, causing death.
What are the long-term effects of using cocaine?
Effects such as restlessness, nausea, being over-excited and unable to sleep, weight loss, seeing and hearing things that don’t exist, exhaustion, depression.
Repeated snorting of cocaine damages the lining in the nose and the structure separating the nostrils. Smoking cocaine can cause breathing difficulties, a chronic cough, chest pain and lung damage.
Injection into the skin causes severe tissue damage. Sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment can greatly increase the risk of the user contracting diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV.