Forms and Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is an illegal drug that affects the central nervous system and can lead to a person needing cocaine rehab treatment. Cocaine is derived from the coca leaf and has been chewed in its original form by indigenous people of South America for thousands of years. It is the most potent stimulant of natural origin and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. Even before cocaine was isolated in its sulfate form, the leaf’s effects were well known and documented. The indigenous people who chewed the coca leaf exhibited extra energy and awareness, yet modern documentation indicates that prolonged coca leaf chewing can have similar effects as cocaine in its purest form. Today, people from all backgrounds use cocaine, subjecting themselves to a variety of adverse physical and psychological effects. Cocaine addiction can happen quickly, and users often require the assistance of rehab professionals in order to get and stay clean from this dangerous drug.

Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a fine, white, crystalline powder. Common street names for cocaine are as follows:

  • Coke
  • C
  • Snow
  • Flake
  • Blow

Street dealers generally dilute it with such inert substances as cornstarch, talcum powder, and/or sugar, or with such active drugs or with such other stimulants as amphetamines.

Forms of Cocaine

Cocaine is produced as a white chunky powder. Once this cocaine powder is produced, users ingest it in three primary ways: snorting, injecting, and smoking.

The five basic forms of cocaine are: coca leaves, coca paste, powder cocaine, freebase cocaine, and crack cocaine.

  • Coca leaves are usually chewed like chewing tobacco but can be rolled into cigarettes or cigars and smoked. Coca leaves can also be infused in liquid and consumed like tea.
  • Coca paste is a chunky, off-white to light-brown, putty-like substance. It is usually an intermediate product in the processing of coca leaves into powder cocaine.
  • Powder cocaine is a white, powdery substance made by reacting coca paste with hydrochloric acid.
  • Freebase cocaine is derived from powder cocaine that has been dissolved in water and a strong alkaloid solution (i.e. ammonia).

What is Crack Cocaine?

Crack is the street name given to a freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride. Cocaine “crack” can be highly addictive no matter what form it is taken in.

Effects of Cocaine

A cocaine high may consist of euphoric feelings, but it does not come without the cost of cravings and withdrawal. Users will crave more cocaine to suppress the unpleasant feelings that emerge after the initial euphoria has worn off. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can sometimes continue for weeks and months. The following are some symptoms of cocaine withdrawal:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Sleep disruptions and insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Irritability

Cocaine can take a physical toll on a person’s body, but it can also take a mental, emotional, financial, and relational toll on one’s life. Cocaine addiction can become a powerful force in a person’s life that causes job loss, financial difficulties, and problems with family and friends. Users will begin to sell their possessions and steal in order to obtain more cocaine. Behavior patterns and coping techniques brought on by cocaine addiction can be hard to break, and cocaine addicts have the best chance at recovering full, healthy lives when they seek professional assistance through addiction treatment and rehab.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you know needs help with a cocaine addiction, we are here to help. Please call the toll free number at the top of this page. We are here to answer your questions on cocaine treatment and recovery.

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