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Cocaine: Just the facts

Cocaine is also known as coke, crack or blow.

Its a powerful stimulant drug that has very fast acting but short-lived effects.

The law:

Cocaine is currently classified as a Class A drug. This is the highest classification for a drug and is illegal to have for personal use, to give away or to sell.

The types:

  • White powder cocaine, which is known as coke
  • Crack cocaine, which is a ‘rock’ like form of the drug
  • Freebase cocaine, which is a crystallised powder

Cocaine is typically snorted in its white powder, ‘coke’ form.

Crack cocaine and freebase cocaine are often smoked or injected.

Some of the effects of taking cocaine in any form include:

  • Feeling on top of the world and very confident
  • Wide awake and very alert
  • Over-confidence, arrogance
  • Aggression
  • More likely to take careless risks
  • Increase in body temperature which makes your heart beat faster
  • Loss of appetite
  • Very long ‘comedown’ (when the effects of the drug wear off), which can last for days, leaving you feeling depressed and tired
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea

Some of the risks of taking cocaine in any form include:

  • Users of cocaine can die if they take too much and have an overdose
  • Positive effects are short lived so users are more at risk of taking too much
  • Increased risk of fits, heart attacks and strokes
  • Serious problems with paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks
  • Any mental health problems can be worsened
  • Damage to the cartilage in the nose from snorting cocaine
  • Breathing problems and chest pain from smoking crack cocaine
  • Injecting cocaine carries the risk of HIV and Hepatitis

All types of cocaine are very addictive and can give a powerful high. The types that reach the brain the quickest have a much stronger effect and are known to be more addictive.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your school nurse.

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