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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Alcohol / Drugs - Cocaine

Cocaine is a drug that comes from the leaves of the tropical cocoa plant.  It is usually sold in the form of a white powder. Street forms of cocaine are almost never pure. Sugars, decongestants, and caffeine are some of the substances that are often added to the drug. Cocaine can be snorted into the nostril, smoked from a special type of pipe, or injected directly into the bloodstream.

Cocaine is a stimulant. Like other drugs the effects of cocaine depend on a number of issues:

  • How much you use

  • How often and how long you use it

  • How you use it (by injection, orally, etc.)

  • The mood you are in while you are using

  • Your expectations and environment

  • Your sex and body size

  • Whether you have certain medical or psychiatric conditions

  • Whether you've taken any alcohol or other drugs (illicit, prescription, over-the-counter or herbal).


It can make some people feel more energetic and more in tuned with their senses, while others get quite agitated which can induce a panic or psychotic episode. 

Cocaine can have some serious side effects – especially if it is injected or smoked.  It can damage the heart tissue, which can lead to heart failure and death. It can also cause weakened blood vessels to rupture, leading to stroke. Cocaine is a very easy drug to overdose on. An overdose can result in convulsions, heart failure, and shutting down of the centres in the brain that control breathing.  Long-term users of cocaine may also experience decreased appetite leading to malnutrition, weight loss, and sleeping problems. Those who choose to inject cocaine also run the risk of getting hepatitis or AIDS, if they share needles with other users.

People who use cocaine on a regular basis, find it to be an extremely difficult habit to break.  Heavy users find that when the high fades, extreme depression follows and sends them back for more of the drug.


Reference:

CAMH : Do you know…Cocaine

DanceSafe - “What is Cocaine?”




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Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
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