Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system. It is physically and psychologically addictive. It
can produce psychological dependency—users feel they cannot function without the drug. Its
immediate effects include dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, elevated
body temperature, sleeplessness, and restlessness. At later stages of use, irritability,
unpredictability, paranoia, delusions, or violent behavior may occur. Occasional use can cause a
stuffy or runny nose; chronic use can cause ulceration of the mucous membrane in the nose.
Injecting cocaine with unsterile equipment can transmit HIV, hepatitis, and other infections.
Crack or freebase rock, a concentrated form of cocaine, is extremely potent. Its effects are felt
within ten seconds of administration. Physical effects include dilated pupils, increased pulse rate,
elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, hoarseness, and parched lips, tongue, and
throat. Crack is highly addictive and can produce erratic mood swings.
Users may experience
five minutes of elation followed by agitation and depression. Preparation of freebase cocaine,
which involves the use of highly volatile solvents, can result in fire or explosion.
Cocaine use may lead to death through disruption of the brain’s control of the heart and
What is it called?
What does it look like?
How is it used?
White crystalline powder
often diluted with other