AKA: BLOW, BUMPS, C, COKE, SNOW
Powder cocaine is a hydrochloride salt derived from processed extracts of the leaves of the coca plant. “Crack” is a type of processed cocaine that is formed into a rock-like crystal. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can be risky even during first time use. Common side effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Cocaine is a stimulant that leaves users wired, but it comes with major risks. Cocaine causes blood vessels to constrict immediately, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. At first, users may become sweaty and shaky, but seizures, cardiac arrest and death are also potential dangers. The risk of death increases when cocaine is combined with alcohol.
Cocaine targets and overstimulates the brain’s natural reward system. Users may feel pleasurable effects from the drug, but over time it can actually change the way the brain works, teaching users to repeat the behavior. Smoking "crack" cocaine also increases the risk of addiction as it reaches the brain quicker. Repeated use at higher doses in a short period of time can lead to irritability and anxiety and users may experience temporary states of paranoid psychosis. Prolonged cocaine snorting can also irritate mucus membranes causing scabs and damage to the nasal septum, potentially causing the nose to collapse.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Facts: Cocaine.