To begin with, Powder cocaine or better still Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Health care providers can use it for valid medical purposes, such as local anesthesia for some surgeries, recreational cocaine use is illegal.
As a street drug, pure cocaine looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. Street dealers often mix it with things like cornstarch, talcum powder, or flour to increase profits. They may also mix it with other drugs such as the stimulant amphetamine, or synthetic opioids drugs, including fentanyl powder, White powder heroin, Molly powder, Ketamine powder, and a lot more.
Powder Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant most frequently used as a recreational drug. Cocaine is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or dissolved and injected into a vein. High doses of cocaine use can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature.
Mental effects of cocaine use may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes. Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.
Cocaine acts by inhibiting the reuptake of neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This results in greater concentrations of these three neurotransmitters in the brain. It can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and may lead to the breakdown of the barrier.
Cocaine powder is a highly addictive drug that ups your levels of alertness, attention, and energy. You may hear it called a stimulant. It’s made from the coca plant, which is native to South America. It’s illegal in the U.S. Local street names for pure cocaine include Coke, Snow, Rock, Blow, Crack, snow-white, white girl, etc. Cocaine exist in 3 main forms namely;
- Cocaine hydrochloride: Cocaine Hydrochloride is a white, crystalline powder with a bitter, numbing taste. Cocaine hydrochloride is often mixed, or ‘cut’, with other substances such as lactose and glucose, to dilute it before being sold.
- Freebase: Freebase cocaine is a white powder that is purer with less impurity than cocaine hydrochloride.
- Crack cocaine: Crack cocaine refers to crystals ranging in color from white or cream to transparent with a pink or yellow hue, it may contain impurities.
Facts About Powder Cocaine
Cocaine Use is highest in North America followed by Europe and South America. Between one and three percent of people in the developed world have used cocaine at some point in their life.
In 2013, 419 kilograms were produced legally.
Cocaine has an estimated illegal market value of 100 to US$500 billion each year. With further processing, crack cocaine can be produced from cocaine.
In 2013, cocaine use directly resulted in 4,300 deaths, up from 2,400 in 1990. It is named after the coca plant from which it is isolated. The plant’s leaves have been used by Peruvians since ancient times.
Powder Cocaine was first isolated from the leaves in 1860. Since 1961, the international Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs has required countries to make recreational use of cocaine a crime.
How Does Cocaine Work?
It is important to note that cocaine increases levels of the natural chemical messenger dopamine in brain circuits related to the control of movement and reward.
Cocaine works by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This results in greater concentrations of these three neurotransmitters in the brain. Cocaine can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and may lead to the breakdown of the barrier.
Secondly, Cocaine forces dopamine to recycle back into the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between nerve cells. Moreover, cocaine prevents dopamine from being recycled, causing large amounts to build up in the space between two nerve cells, stopping their normal communication.
This flood of dopamine in the brain’s reward circuit strongly reinforces drug-taking behaviors, because the reward circuit eventually adapts to the excess of dopamine caused by cocaine use, and becomes less sensitive to it.
As a result, people take stronger and more frequent doses in an attempt to feel the same high and to obtain relief from withdrawal, this leads to a situation called (Tolerance). Due to tolerance, Cocaine use intensifies further leading to a deadly case called Cocaine Addiction.
Important Uses Of Cocaine
Some ENT Doctors occasionally use cocaine within the practice when performing procedures such as nasal cauterization.
In this case, Cocaine is dissolved and soaked into a ball of cotton wool, which is placed in the nostril for 10–15 minutes immediately before the procedure, thus performing the dual role of both numbing the area to be cauterized and vasoconstriction.
Recreationally, Cocaine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. Its effects can last from 15 or 30 minutes to an hour. The duration of cocaine’s effects depends on the amount taken and the route of administration.
The Side Effects Of Cocaine Use
Despite the nice euphoric feeling cocaine gives, it remains a very addictive and dangerous drug. Mental effects of cocaine use may include;
loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness (Euphoria). Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils
Cocaine’s effects appear almost immediately and disappear within a few minutes to an hour. How long the effects last and how intense they depend on the method of use.
Injecting or smoking cocaine produces a quicker and stronger but shorter-lasting high than snorting. The high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes. The high from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.
Common health effects of cocaine use include:
- constricted blood vessels
- dilated pupils
- raised body temperature and blood pressure
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- tremors and muscle twitches
Some long-term health effects of cocaine use include the following:
- snorting: loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and problems with swallowing
- smoking: cough, asthma, respiratory distress, and a higher risk of infections like pneumonia
- consuming by mouth: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
- needle injection: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, as well as scarring or collapsed veins.
Moreover, even people involved with non-needle cocaine use place themselves at a risk for HIV. This is because cocaine impairs judgment, which can lead to risky sexual behavior with infected partners.