cocaine

Cocaine: Highly Popular + Highly Addictive

Posted: September 3, 2020
Updated: September 3, 2020

What You’ll Learn In This Substance Abuse Resource

Cocaine is an extremely potent and highly addictive drug. People who use or abuse cocaine can easily overdose on it because it’s very strong. Cocaine is very harmful to a person’s body and more often than not, overdosing on cocaine leads to death.

Because cocaine is classified as a very addictive drug the following article will shed some light on what it’s used for, how it’s known and used for medicinal purposes, the street names of the drug, and what forms it comes in. Furthermore, we will mention how people use and abuse it, how it makes them feel, the many side-effects it has on a person, and the different symptoms a person will have when they are abusing cocaine.


Understanding Cocaine

Cocaine is a very strong and powerful stimulant drug that is extremely addictive. It’s derived from the coca plant leaves that are mainly growing in South America. Cocaine has some legal medical use as an anesthetic but the drug is also used and sold illegally.

The substance looks like a crystal white powder and it’s most common use is by snorting a line through the nose which leads to a very powerful and often dangerous high.

Does Cocaine go by any other names or slang?

  • Primary Name: Cocaine
  • Scientific Name(s): Benzoylmethylecgonine
  • Street Name(s): Blow, Crack, White, Coke, Charlie, Flake, Sniff, Snow, Rocks, Pebbles, Wash, Toot, Freebase, Chang, Ching, C, Percy, Stones, Nose Candy, Sneeze, Dust

What forms does Cocaine come in?

The most common form of Cocaine is a white crystalline powder which can be mixed in and made into an injectable fluid later on. Many drug dealers mix in cocaine with flour, or other white powders that looks similar to increase their profits.

How Do People Consume Cocaine?

The most common way of all in which people take cocaine is by snorting it through the nose which causes a lot of harm to the nose. Usually, they break down the cocaine as much as they can into powder because the damage to their nose is much worse if it’s not in fine powder form.

Another way people take cocaine is by smoking it using a glass pipe, plastic bottle, foil, or tube. Some people also inject it which is a much more dangerous way of taking cocaine.

  • Snorting – crushed to a powdered form and divided into lines
  • Injection – combining it with other ingredients to make an injecting solution
  • Smoking – using a glass pipe, foil, plastic bottle or tube

Cocaine’s Dangers

Cocaine is very addictive and dangerous because it can cause a lot of harm to a person. It’s very addictive because it increases the levels of dopamine in our system which is a chemical compound that is in charge of feelings of pleasure and movement. The effects will appear very fast after snorting or injecting it and may last between a few minutes and an hour depending on the amount taken and the way it was administered.

When a person takes cocaine over a long period of time they will experience side effects such as dilated pupils, faster heartbeat, muscle twitches, nausea, tremors, high blood pressure, high body temperature, and many more. All of these cause harm to the body and may lead to cardiac arrest, stroke, or heart attack.

Signs + Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse 

Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse are not hard to detect, even as each individual uses and abuses the drug in different quantities. Below we breakdown the list of common symptoms and signs, varying from moderate abuse to severe.

Physical Symptoms

  • Chronically runny nose
  • Dilated pupils
  • Faster heart rate
  • Hoarseness
  • Malnutrition
  • Nasal perforation
  • Nosebleeds
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleepiness after use
  • Tremors
  • Cravings
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Higher body temperature

Mood Symptoms

  • Irritation
  • Panic
  • Restlessness
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of superiority

Psychological Symptoms

  • Hallucinations
  • Lack of motivation
  • Psychosis
  • Poor judgment
  • Paranoia
  • Violent mood swings
  • Rationalization

Behavior Signs

  • Erratic behavior
  • Increased energy
  • Violence
  • Stealing and borrowing money
  • Taking risks
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy

Overdosing on Cocaine

It’s easy to overdose on cocaine when a person is using and abusing this substance illegally. If they take more of the drug than their body can handle it will result in toxic reactions which will entail severe symptoms and may end up with death. People who overdose on cocaine are usually those who are using it for the first time and don’t know how much to take or people who are mixing this drug with alcohol or another drug like heroin.

The cocaine overdose impacts your heart and blood vessels and may cause a heart attack, stroke, seizure, or an irregular heart rhythm which needs immediate medical attention because all of these may lead to death.

Who is impacted by Cocaine Addiction?

The most at-risk group that is abusing or may start to abuse cocaine and become addicted are people between the ages of 18-25. Studies have shown that the number of people who use cocaine has stabilized since 2009 and there haven’t been any major leaps in the following years.

Drug Testing or Detection

The amount of time cocaine will remain in your system and show on a test will depend on many different factors such as your weight, size, frequency of use, dosage, duration, and the functionality of your liver and kidney.

The urine test will show traces of cocaine up to 3 days after a person uses while blood and saliva tests are able to show the presence of this drug in your system for 2 days. Hair tests are able to show presence in a person’s system for a long time ranging between a few months up to a few years.

People who are abusing cocaine for a long time can test positive on a urine test for up to 2 weeks.

Cocaine Abuse Statistics, Laws, Punishments

  • 913,000 people got addicted to cocaine in 2014: A study in 2014 deduced that around 913.000 people met the criteria for being addicted to cocaine.
  • 600,000 tried cocaine in 2012: The number of people that tried cocaine for the first time was a whopping 600.000 in 2012. The average age of those who tried was 20.
  • Around 300.000 increase: 300.000 people became addicted and dependent on cocaine between 2011-2012.

Laws + Punishments

Cocaine is classified as a class A drug that makes it illegal to have in possession, sell, or give away. Having it with you may result in getting 7 years in prison, a hefty fine, or both combined while selling it to another person may result in a life in prison sentence which may or may not be accompanied by an unlimited fine.

If you’re stopped by the police when driving under the influence of cocaine you may get a huge fine, prison sentence, and/or a driving ban. If officers apprehend someone who is selling cocaine in an establishment such as a club, hostel, or bar the prosecutor can also go after the landlord or the manager of the establishment.