Also know as:
Charlie, Cheech, Chico, Chong Snow, Coke, Crack, Fairy Dust, Freebase, Rock, Snifter, Snow, White Stuff
‘Coke’ is a white powder. ‘Crack’ is a form of cocaine made into small lumps or rocks that makes a cracking noise when burnt. ‘Freebase’ cocaine is specially prepared ‘coke’ and is a crystal-like powder; it is less common than ‘coke’ and ‘crack’.
Maybe seen alongside razors, mirrors, something to snort through, glass pipe, needles and syringes.
How it is taken
The most common way to take cocaine is to snort it, but it can also be dabbed on gums, swallowed in a cigarette paper (a bomb) or injected. When snorting or injecting, a smaller dose is required, and injecting any drug is usually far riskier.
Powder cocaine (‘freebase’) and ‘crack’ cocaine (a ‘rock’ like form of cocaine) can also be smoked. This means that the drug reaches the brain very quickly. Crack cocaine is usually heated and then vaporised in a pipe.
Cocaine increases your heart rate and breathing. When snorting, it will take a few minutes to feel the effects. These effects wear off after around 30 minutes and after-effects may be felt for up to one hour.
Cocaine may make you temporarily feel happy, confident and alert. People taking it report experiencing an initial rush, followed by a short-lived high, followed by a strong urge to take more.
Some may experience reduced anxiety, become chatty and feel energetic. It can also increase focus and sex drive whilst reducing the desire to eat or sleep. Other effects include restlessness, aggression, paranoia, arrogance and overconfidence.
All types of cocaine are addictive. However, freebase or crack tend to have a much stronger effect and be more addictive. Injecting any form of cocaine has additional risks, including damaging veins and spreading blood-borne viruses, such as HIV and Hepatitus-C.
High doses can raise the body’s temperature, cause convulsions, a heart attack or heart failure, and death. Risk of overdosing increases if cocaine is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and cocaine together can be particularly dangerous, as they mix together in the body to produce a toxic chemical, called cocaethylene.
Over time, snorting cocaine will seriously damage the cartilage in your nose; heavy users tend to lose their cartilage and end up with just one really big nostril and a mis-shapen nose.
Using cocaine a lot can lead to serious problems with anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks. Cocaine can bring previous mental health problems to the surface. Regularly smoking crack can cause breathing problems and pains in the chest. Heavy crack users may take heroin to try to dull their cravings, so they may get hooked on heroin as well. Poly substance use is common with people who use crack, but I wouldn’t say one causes the other. ‘Speedballing’, injecting a mixture of cocaine and heroin, can have fatal results.
Cocaine and Crack are Class A drugs – illegal to have, give away or sell. Possessing Cocaine or Crack can lead to a prison sentence of up to 7 years or an unlimited fine or both. Supplying (which includes giving it to a friend) could lead to a life sentence or an unlimited fine or both.