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Cocaine

Cocaine

AKA

Ching, Coke, Charlie, Toot, Snow, Posh, White, Bash, Columbian Marching powder

Description

Cocaine is a stimulant drug (upper). It usually comes in a white/creamy grain, powder or occasionally rock. Cocaine is usually chopped into a fine powder using a razor blade or bank card and then snorted up the nose. It can also be injected into the veins. or swallowed in a wrap of paper. Smoking cocaine in a joint or pipe is possible as is swallowing it in a wrap of paper of drink, but it is very inefficient.

Cocaine powder is often less than 50% purity. It can be cut with a number of different substances such as glucose and starch or may contain the cheaper stimulant amfetamine, local anaesthetics, teething powders etc that can produce a similar numbing effect in the nostrils.

Effects

Effects begin within a few minutes when snorting cocaine whereas swallowing the drug will take longer. Injecting will produce almost immediate effects. Whichever way cocaine is used the effects will last 20-40 minutes. Users may feel euphoric, more confident, alert, talkative and sexually aroused. It can raise the body's temperature, make the heart beat faster and stave off feelings of hunger. However cocaine can make some people feel paranoid, panicky or anxious and the comedown may cause irritability, sleep problems and loss of appetite.

Health risks include nasal damage, stomach cramps and bowel disorders. There is a risk of overdose which can lead to kidney failure, seizures, stroke or heart attack. Alcohol and cocaine together can be particularly dangerous as the substances interact in the body to produce Cocaethelyne which can be more toxic and long lasting than cocaine alone.

Regular users build up a tolerance and need to take larger amounts to get the same effect. They may come across as being arrogant or selfish. Psychological dependence is more of a problem than physical withdrawal symptoms. Dependence occurs faster, more often and usually to a greater degree in cocaine injectors.

Harm Reduction

  • Use your own tooter as there is a risk of passing on blood borne viruses if they are shared
  • Alternate nostrils used to snort cocaine and clean your nostrils after each session (not each line) to minimise damage
  • Use vitamin E oil (available from chemists) to clean the nostrils to prevent dryness or infection
  • If injecting do not share equipment as this can lead to the transmission of blood borne viruses
  • Be aware that mixing cocaine with alcohol and other drugs puts added stress on your vital organs.

The law

Cocaine is a class A drug. The maximum penalty for possession is 7 years + unlimited fine. The maximum penalty for supply/dealing is life + unlimited fine.

Detection

Cocaine can be found in urine for up to 3-5 days.