(aka coke, crack, snow, blow) is an addiction that can occur very
quickly and be a very difficult habit to break.
animal studies, which have shown that animals will work very hard,
such as pressing a bar over 10,000 times, after a single injection of
They were also choosing cocaine over food and water and
chose cocaine even when their behavior was punished.
that animals must have their access to cocaine limited in order not
to take lethal doses.
have shown that people addicted to
cocaine also behaved very similar.
of the signs of
Cocaine use is
that Cocaine addicts will go to great lengths to get cocaine and
continue to take it even when it hurts their school or job
performance and their relationships begin to suffer.
of the major routes of administration of cocaine are sniffing or
snorting, injecting, and smoking, including free-basing and crack
Snorting is the process of inhaling cocaine powder through
the nose where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal
tissues. Injecting is the act of using a needle to release the drug
directly into the bloodstream. Smoking involves inhaling cocaine
vapor or smoke into the lungs where absorption into the bloodstream
is as rapid as by injection.
or "crack cocaine" is the street name given to cocaine that
has been processed from cocaine hydrochloride to a free base for
than requiring the more volatile method of processing cocaine-using
ether, crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate
(baking soda) and water and heated to remove the hydrochloride, thus
producing a form of cocaine that can be smoked.
The term "crack"
refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked
(heated), presumably from the sodium bicarbonate.
is a strong central nervous system stimulant that interferes with the
re-absorption process of dopamine, a chemical messenger associated
with pleasure and movement.
Dopamine is released as part of the
brain's reward system and is involved in the high that characterizes
of Cocaine use include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated
pupils, increased temperature, heart rate and blood pressure,
hyper-alertness, lack of fatigue/sleeplessness, panic, extremely
talkative; fast speech, runny nose or bloody nose, seizures from high
doses or bad reaction, white powder seen on face or clothes, small
spoon-like items used for snorting, mirrors and razor blades used for
making lines, rolled money bills used for snorting, small bottles
with screw on lids for storing and possession of small plastic
packets with white residue.
duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects, which include
hyper-stimulation, reduced fatigue, and mental clarity, depends on
the route of administration.
The faster the absorption, the more
intense the high.
On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the
shorter the duration of action.
The high from snorting may last 15 to
30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.
Increased use can reduce the period of stimulation.
other signs of Cocaine use are feelings of restlessness,
irritability, and anxiety.
An appreciable tolerance to the high may
be developed, and many addicts report that they seek but fail to
achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first
Scientific evidence suggests that the powerful neuro-psychological
reinforcing property of cocaine is responsible for an individual's
continued use, despite harmful physical and social
rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or
However, there is no way to determine who is
prone to sudden death.
out the Cocaine
Substance Detection Test