Cocaine / Crack

Other Names:
Blow, C, Coke, Charlie, Dust, Nose candy, Cheng, gack, toot, show biz sherbert, snow, white, rocks, wash

Common Chinese names: 可樂 (Ho lohk)

Type of Drug:
Stimulant with hallucinogenic properties

Cocaine (“Coke”): is a white crystalline powder

Crack: A form of cocaine which is made into small lumps or rocks and has an off-white waxy appearance

Like many illegal drugs, cocaine is commonly cut with other substances to increase its volume and multiply profits. Substances such as sugars (e.g. lactose, inositol, mannitol), cornstarch, talcum powder are often added to simply increase the volume of the final product. Local anaesthetics (e.g. lidocaine), caffeine and amphetamines are added to mimic the numbing or stimulant effects which are similar to those produced by cocaine.

How is it used:
Cocaine is sometimes strictly used under clinical procedure only, it is not prescribed.

Cocaine powder ("Coke") is usually snorted into the nose using a straw or a rolled up bank note. Or it can also be swallowed.

"Crack" is the smokable version of cocaine. The equipment used to smoke it can consist of a pipe, glass tube, plastic bottle or tin foil. When heating, the rocks make a cracking noise, hence the name "crack".

Both forms of cocaine can also be dissolved into a solution and injected.

Typical side effects:
- Increased alertness & excitation
- Increased heart rate & blood pressure
- Runny nose, sneezing, nosebleeds
- Increased confidence & energy and hence possibly taking careless risks
- Aggressive
- Depression
- Fatigue
- Anxiety / Paranoia
- Reduced appetite
- Death from an overdose is always possible

Withdrawal symptoms:
Snorting cocaine powder can cause constricting of small nasal blood vessels and irritations to the mucus membranes in the nose, which may result in a runny nose, sneezing or nosebleeds.

The initial effects of cocaine usually wear off quickly, and are followed by a long ‘come down’ phase which can lead to depression or even a dysphoric crash. A crash period can occur several days after taking the drug.

Long Term Effects:
Continued use can cause chronic irritations and ulcers inside the nose and even a hole can develop in the septum (the delicate tissue between the nostrils). Prolonged use may lead to the hole getting bigger, which could eventually cause the nasal bridge to collapse as a result of damaged cartilage (this is irreversible).

Injecting cocaine can damage veins, and cause ulcers or even gangrene, particularly when unsanitary needles are used. Sharing needles also increases the risk of spreading of HIV and hepatitis virus infections.

Smoking crack can cause breathing problems and pains in the chest. Regular use can even result in bleeding of the lungs and coughing up black tinged phlegm which contains traces of blood.