About Cocaine/Crack

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. The powdered form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and then injected. “Crack” is the street name given to the form of cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal, which, when heated, produces vapors that are smoked. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound produced by the rock as it is heated. The street names of cocaine are coke, snow, flake and blow.

Cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric and energetic, but also increases body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate. Users risk heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, seizures, abdominal pain, and nausea. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly afterwards.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates that in 2008 there were 1.9 million current (past-month) cocaine users, of which approximately 359,000 were current crack users. Adults aged 18 to 25 years have a higher rate of current cocaine use than any other age group, with 1.5 percent of young adults reporting past month cocaine use. Overall, men report higher rates of current cocaine use than women.

In 2008, according to the NSDUH, nearly 1.4 million Americans met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for dependence or abuse of cocaine (in any form) in the past 12 months. Further, data from the 2008 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) report showed that cocaine was involved in 482,188 of the nearly 2 million visits to emergency departments for drug misuse or abuse. This translates to almost one in four drug misuse or abuse emergency department visits (24 percent) that involved cocaine.

Signs of Cocaine use include constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils, increased temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, hyper-alertness, lack of fatigue/sleeplessness, panic, extremely talkative; fast speech, runny nose or bloody nose, seizures from high doses or bad reaction, white powder seen on face or clothes, small spoon-like items used for snorting, mirrors and razor blades used for making lines, rolled money bills used for snorting, small bottles with screw on lids for storing and possession of small plastic packets with white residue.

Abusing cocaine has a variety of adverse effects on the body. For example, cocaine constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also cause headaches and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Because cocaine tends to decrease appetite, chronic users can become malnourished as well.

IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TO THE FETUS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN TO USE COCAINE AT ANY TIME DURING HER PREGNANCY.

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