If a person has used within the past hour his or her
pupils will be huge and glassy. This goes along with
symptoms that can occur anytime along which may include;
sweating, drastic weight loss, sensitivity to light and
sound, very hyper and does not sleep followed by exhaustion,
not eating then eating like crazy, sexual dysfunction,
extreme sexual fantasy but cannot follow through, dramatic
mood changes, extreme self confidence that you know will
never happen, anger, depression, paranoid, suicide thinking,
unable to hold a job, intense arguing, very chatty,
financial and legal problems, not paying bills, no food in
the house, highly skilled at covering up the where’s, the
who’s, and the what’s, denies and lies. He or she may have
burns on mouth or hands from smoking crack and unable to
control urination or bowel movements. Sometimes there are
allergic reactions to crack cocaine or the additives in
street drugs, menstrual cycle problems, malnutrition, and
infections in the brain. If you think they are using they
About Cocaine / Crack
What is cocaine?
Cocaine is derived from Erythroxylon coca, a
densely-leafed plant native to South America. It is widely
cultivated in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia,
currently the source of some 80 percent of the world's
cocaine. Cocaine is the world's most powerful naturally
Coca and its derivatives are usually used in one of four
ways: - The leaves are sucked or chewed. - Coca paste is
eaten or smoked, primarily in some South American slums. -
Cocaine hydrochloride, or cocaine powder, a white
crystalline powder with a bitter, numbing taste is sniffed
or diluted and then injected. - Freebase or crack cocaine is
made by cooking cocaine hydrochloride with ammonia or baking
soda. Freebase was originally produced in an explosive,
multi-step process. Crack is safer to produce - no
explosions. Crack and freebase are smoked from pipes; burnt
on a piece of tin foil; or mixed with tobacco or marijuana
in a smokeable joint.
How is "crack" different from "cocaine?" For most of its
history, cocaine has been abused in a powder that is sniffed
or diluted then injected. Sniffed powder cocaine produces a
high in about 15 minutes. The high lasts about half an hour.
Powder cocaine has been abused by the wealthy and middle
classes since the late 1800s, and has destroyed many
thousands of those abusers. Some abusers have cooked cocaine
with other chemicals to make a smokeable form of the drug
that creates a quicker, more intense high. This process is
called freebasing. Freebasing never became popular because
it often caused sudden deadly explosions. In the early
1980s, drug dealers discovered a way to cook cocaine without
the risk of explosions. Crack cocaine was born. Crack is
actually a less pure type of freebase cocaine. It has the
super-strong, quick high of freebase cocaine without the
explosiveness. In addition, a dose strong enough for a huge
high can be sold very cheaply. Suddenly cocaine, which had
been a rich person's drug, became available to the poor.
Drug dealers swarmed over the poorest inner-city
neighborhoods selling this poison in the 80s and 90s,
ruining hundreds of thousands of lives.
Powder Cocaine Crack
Very fine in texture, like flour. Chemically processed
into rock-like chunks, about the size of peas.
Often mixed with other drugs or substances (amphetamine,
caffeine, strychnine, talcum powder, etc.,) making it more
toxic. Combined with ammonia or baking soda and may contain
Is sniffed up the nose; may be rubbed on gums or other
tissues. · Is smoked in a pipe.
Takes 15-30 minutes to have an effect. Takes about 10
seconds to have an effect.
Has a "high" that lasts 15-30 minutes. Has a "high" that
lasts less than 10 minutes.
Is very expensive per dose.
U.S. MANDATORY MINIMUM prison sentence for possession = 5
years for 4 ounces (500 g.)
Is not expensive by the dose.
US MANDATORY MINIMUM prison sentence for possession = 5
years for one-fifth of an ounce (5 g.)
History of Cocaine and Crack Use
In ancient times, South American natives used coca for
religious and medicinal purposes. They used its stimulant
properties to fight fatigue and hunger, and to enhance
endurance. The Spanish conquistador banned coca at first,
but when they discovered that the addicted natives could
barely work the fields in the gold mines without it, they
began to distribute it to the workers three or four times a
The Spanish conquistadors introduced coca to Europe,
where it was used only occasionally until the 19th Century.
The active ingredient of the coca plant was first isolated
in 1859. Coca leaves were soon processed into cocaine
hydrochloride, the powder form of the drug. However, cocaine
was taken mostly in liquid form at that time, whether by
mouth or by injection. Sigmund Freud experimented with
cocaine extensively in the latter part of the century.
Doctors began to use cocaine as an antidote to morphine
addiction, but some of the patients ended up addicted to
In 1863, the coca wine Vin Mariani went on sale
throughout France. It contained 6 mg cocaine per ounce of
wine in France, but exported Vin Mariani contained 7.2 mg
per ounce to compete with the higher cocaine content of
German ophthalmologist, Carl Koller, discovered cocaine's
effectiveness as an anesthetic for eye surgery in about
1880. Until that time, eye surgery was done without adequate
anesthesia, sometimes requiring a conscious patient to move
his eye without flinching as a surgeon directed him.
Cocaine was soon sold over-the-counter. Until 1914, one
could buy it at department stores. It was widely used in
tonics, toothache cures and patent medicines, and in
chocolate cocaine tablets.
Coca-Cola was introduced in 1886 and was promoted as a
drink "offering the virtues of coca without the vices of
alcohol." Until 1903, a typical serving contained around
60mg of cocaine. The new beverage was invigorating and
popular. Today, Coca-Cola is still flavored with an extract
of coca-leaves, but contains none of the drug itself.
By 1890, the addicting and psychosis-producing nature of
cocaine was well understood in the medical community, but no
laws banning the general use of the drug were made until
1914. Perhaps it was cocaine's effectiveness in reducing the
swelling of mucous membranes, consequently enlarging the
nasal and bronchial passages, that gave users the idea of
sniffing cocaine. Whatever the origin of that idea, by 1905
it was the most popular method of using the drug. In 1910,
the first cases of nasal damage from cocaine snorting were
written of in medical literature. In 1912, the U.S.
Government reported 5,000 deaths from cocaine use -- when
the US population was only a third of what it is today!
Effects of Cocaine Use
There is no safe way to use cocaine! The health risks
become much worse when combined with alcohol or other drugs.
Alcohol and cocaine combined produce coca ethylene, which
intensifies cocaine's effects and may increase the risk of
sudden death. Cocaine's many dangers include:
Altered heart rhythm
Very high or very low blood pressure
Endocarditis -- Heart infection
Lung Damage and Disease
Ruptured lung structures
Irritability and mood disturbances
Auditory hallucinations (imaginary sounds that seem
Formicating - The sensation that insects are crawling
under the skin
Reproductive System Damage
Sexual dysfunction in both males and females
Menstrual cycle disturbances
Infertility in both males and females
Danger During Pregnancy
Miscarriage, premature delivery, or stillbirth of
Low birth weight, smaller head size, and shorter length
Deformities in newborns of addicted mothers or addicted
Burns in mouth and on hands from smoking
"Tracks" - puncture marks on arms or wherever injections
Infections and sores associated with injection tracks.
Incontinence (inability to control urination and/or bowel
Allergic reactions to cocaine or the additives in street
Brain infections - both bacterial and fungal, sometimes
leading to abscesses
Weight loss and malnourishment due to decreased appetite
Gangrene (rot) of bowels and other body parts from lack
of blood flow
More risk-taking behavior, including unsafe sex
Increased risk of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, either from
unsafe sex or using infected needles
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