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Cocaine is a stimulant that gives you a quick euphoric feeling. It is extracted from the leaves of a coca plant; these leaves have been chewed or drank in tea for centuries in South America. Nowadays, cocaine comes either in the form of white powder or as a ‘crack’ rock. The intensity of effects and potential for abuse vary greatly depending on the form of cocaine you take.
It is the second most consumed recreational drug worldwide, with cannabis being the first. However, without due care and responsibility, cocaine can be highly addictive and dangerous due to the intense and short-lived induced euphoria.
Avoid drinking alcohol when doing cocaine. The combination leads to the production of a toxic chemical, cocaethylene, that is extremely harmful to your liver.
Check the purity
Check the purity of your cocaine. Cocaine off the streets rarely comes in its purest form, it is frequently cut with other chemicals and drugs to increase its volume.
Know your limits
Cocaine can make you feel over confident and sometimes even invincible, it can cloud your judgement and lead you to make reckless decisions that you may regret later.
Here are the most common effects, not everyone necessarily experiences all of them every time they consume the drug and other effects not listed might be felt. The likelihood of experiencing negative effects is far greater at high doses.
The effects are (from positive to negative):
- Talkative and sociable
- Feeling energetic
- Confidence; Over confidence
- Sense of clear head
- Increased alertness
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Impaired movement
- Repetitive behaviour
- Increased heart rate
- Pupil dilation
- Tinnitus (buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing, whistling in the ears)
- Aggressive and risk taking behaviour
- Sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and nose bleeding
Dose and onset
How? How much? When? For how long?
As with any drug, the correct dose for you depends on factors such as weight, gender, metabolism, whether you have taken the drug recently or not, amongst many others.
The amount of cocaine you should take and the time it takes for the effects to kick in strongly depends on the purity and cutting agents mixed in. We highly advise you to test your cocaine before using it. The advice provided below is based on the effects of pure cocaine. However, we understand that it is extremely difficult to find pure cocaine, so start off small and see how you feel.
How you take it matters...
- Snorting is the most common way of using it. People usually divide the powder out into lines with a card and snort it with a straw or a piece of paper. Snorting through one nostril over a long time can lead to nasal ulcers or damage the septum.
- Gumming is another popular way of doing it. A small amount is applied on the upper and lower inside of the lips and the gum. Your lips and gums might feel numb from the cocaine. Gumming can damage your gums and lips.
- Smoking is the only method to consume crack cocaine. It is usually smoked using a crack pipe. The effects of it will be felt immediately (10-20 seconds) after smoking. Crack cocaine is much more potent and addictive than powder cocaine. It can also cause respiratory problems such as asthma and emphysema.
The purity of cocaine varies significantly from place to place and source to source. Be wary of this, and always start off small and increase the dose gradually.
When do the effects kick in and for how long?
The START time below is when you will usually begin to feel the effects of the cocaine from the time when you first take it. The DURATION is roughly the length of time you will experience the effects, after which the effects will start to wind off and you might start to feel the calm-down/comedown effects.
Snorting and gumming cocaine:
- START: 1-3 minutes
- DURATION: 30 minutes
Smoking crack cocaine:
- START: 15 seconds
- DURATION: 15 minutes
How often can I take it?
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There are certain precautions you should take before doing cocaine. The advice below helps you to be physically and mentally prepared before doing it. Furthermore, we want you to be safe, and just in case you have a bad experience or some of the unwanted side effects associated with cocaine, we have also provided information on how to take care of yourself when you are in full swing. Finally, there are those uncomfortable or undesirable effects after the high have worn out, we will provide you with some practical tips on how to have a better calm down and help you to reduce the harm done to your body and brain.
Head over to our ME section if you would like to know more about harm reduction.
TEST THE DRUG
It is difficult to obtain 100% pure cocaine, therefore we highly advise you to test your drug before taking it. Powdered cocaine is frequently cut with other powdered white substances, such as adulterants and speed, to increase its volume and weight. It is extremely difficult to know what these other drugs and impurities might be, so for your own safety and wellbeing, do try to test the purity of your cocaine before using it. Here is an exhaustive report of the common cutting agents.
Part of reducing the harm to your body is maintaining good hygiene. Before snorting the cocaine, divide it on a clean surface and snort it with an unused straw; try not to use a note as you never know what’s on it.
Injecting cocaine can cause damage to the skin and veins, which might lead to sores. Sharing needles puts you at risk of infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. It is also the most addictive way of taking cocaine.
CONSIDER YOUR HEALTH
If you have any pre-existing heart conditions or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to stay away from cocaine. It increases your heart rate significantly and can cause problems for the foetus.
Avoid mixing cocaine with other drugs, especially alcohol. Cocaine makes you feel sober which can lead to excessive and unsafe levels of drinking. More importantly, cocaine and alcohol react to form cocaethylene, a harmful substance that subjects your heart and liver to prolonged periods of stress. The risk of sudden death is 18 times greater when alcohol and cocaine are used together.
CAUTION WITH RISKY BEHAVIOUR
Cocaine can make you engage in riskier behaviour. It can also cloud your judgement and lead you to make irrational decisions. Try not to do it alone, especially if you are new to the drug.
HYGIENE AND HEALTH
Snorting only through one nostril can cause bleeding and build up. Try alternating between the two nostrils and washing them with water.
Taking cocaine in excessive amounts can cause heart attacks, seizures or death. In the event that you overdose, be sure to call emergency services. You will not get into any trouble. Here are some of the symptoms that people show:
- Disorganised behaviour
- Paranoia, suspiciousness
- Irritability and aggressiveness, often panic attacks
- Some people can become extremely antisociable
- In extreme cases, stroke, seizures, pulmonary oedema, aorta rupture heart attack or death can occur
WATER, SLEEP AND HAPPY STOMACH
You might find it hard to fall asleep after taking cocaine. It also suppresses your appetite, so try to drink plenty of water the next day and have a healthy and nutritious breakfast, loaded with proteins fibres and carbohydrates, even if you are not hungry. Never take more cocaine to overcome the hangover!
DO IT SPARSELY
Cocaine can make you feel on top of the world. One of the reasons people become addicted to it is due to the temptation to do it over and over again once the effect has worn off. It has also been shown that frequent cocaine use dramatically reduces the blood reaching the brain and may lead to brain damage or dysfunction. Like any other drug, we advise you not to binge and to keep your cocaine consumption for special occasion.
Cocaine is one of the most addictive recreational drugs. While chewing coca leaf hardly leads to addiction, smoking crack cocaine is one of the most addictive drug habits. This is due to the speed with which it reaches the brain and also the duration of the resulting high.
Even though cocaine is classified as highly addictive it does not mean you will get hooked with the first use. 18% of users of cocaine have been found to develop an addiction to it. We advise that you limit its consumption for very rare occasions and never introduce it into your daily lifestyle.
Snorting is the most common way of consuming cocaine. After chewing coca leaf, snorting is the least addictive method of consumption, contrary to what many people think. Crack users are more prone to get into habitual use and addiction. Injecting solute cocaine in water is the most harmful way to do it.
Please read ME for more general information about recreational drugs.
- UK: Illegal. Class A drug. Legal under medical conditions.
- Rest of Europe: Illegal in all the countries, except Portugal where it is decriminalised, and Czech Republic where it is legal for personal use.
- USA: Illegal. Schedule II drug. Legal under medical conditions.
- Canada: Illegal. Schedule I drug.
- Mexico:Illegal. Legal up to 0.5 grams.
Asia and Australasia
- Australia Illegal.
- New Zealand Illegal. Class A drug.
- Singapore: Illegal.
- Hong Kong: Illegal.
- Israel: Illegal.
- South Africa: Illegal.