What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain.
Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, and blow. Street dealers generally dilute cocaine with cornstarch, talcum powder, and/or sugar, or with such active drugs as procaine or with such other stimulants as amphetamines.
Types of Cocaine
There are two chemical forms of cocaine: the hydrochloride salt (powdered form) and the “freebase.”
The powdered form of cocaine, dissolves in water and, when abused, can be taken by vein, or snorted up the nose. Freebase is a compound that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase form of cocaine is often smoked.
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. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or baking soda and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride. The duration of the high experienced when using crack cocaine is less than 10 seconds.
Short Term Effects of Cocaine Use
The short term effects of cocaine usually appear immediately after a single dose, and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert, especially to the sensations of sight, sound, and touch. Cocaine can temporarily decrease the need for food and sleep.
Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use
The user may develop a tolerance to cocaine's high and may need to use more cocaine to experience the same level of pleasure. Cocaine users may develop paranoia, loose touch with reality and experience auditory hallucinations.
Cocaine Addiction and Pregnancy?
Babies born to a cocaine addicts are often prematurely delivered, have low birth weights and smaller head circumferences, and are shorter in length.
Can Cocaine Addiction be Treated?
There are no medications currently available to treat cocaine addiction specifically. Cocaine abuse and addiction is a complex problem involving biological changes in the brain as well as social, familial, and environmental factors. Treatment must assess the psychobiological, social, and pharmacological aspects of the patient's drug abuse.
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