"reducing alcohol and drug related harm in our communities"
Key Information



White (Cocaine)


Cocaine hydrochloride (Cocaine/cocaine freebase)


Coke, Snow, Crack, Freebase, Rock, Charlie


Cocaine & Crack cocaine are extremely powerful stimulants. The effects of cocaine last for 15 – 30 minutes. The effects of freebase/crack only last 5 – 10 minutes. Cocaine creates feelings of well- being, confidence, energy, indifference to pain and decreased hunger. The effects of Crack are the same but in a much more intense and powerful way. Crack is found as small lumps of white/greeny or yellowy white or creamy coloured crystals. It looks like lumps of rock salt.


Cocaine is a white powder, which is usually chopped up, divided into lines and snorted through the nose through a tube. It comes from the coca bush which is found mainly in the Andes, in South America.  Sometimes it is injected.  

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

Because it is a powerful stimulant it raises blood pressure very quickly and can cause heart failure, and strokes. It is also a local anaesthetic and is still used in eye & ear operations. Regular users may appear nervous, paranoid, restless and exhausted due to lack of sleep. If sniffed this can cause severe, irreversible damage to the nose. If injected this can cause circulatory problems as well as the risk from infection such as HIV and Hepatitis. If inhaled this can result in respiratory problems and lung damage. High doses can result in increased body temperature, extreme agitation, convulsions and respiratory failure. Overdose risk increases if cocaine is mixed with other drugs such as Heroin or depressants like Alcohol.  Users can develop a strong psychological dependence and are often tempted to step up the does. Dependence appear more likely, more severe and its onset more rapid if cocaine is smoked. There are no physical withdrawal symptoms (though many mental ones: - irritability, irrational behaviour, depression etc.), however, after the ‘high’ users may experience a ‘crash’ when they feel extremely tired and depressed.


Cocaine and crack are Class A drugs - illegal to have, give away or sell. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail. Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you life and an unlimited fine.

  1. Cocaine use can be linked to virtually every type of heart disease, including spasms which may lead to heart attacks. Blood pressure is also affected and this can result in fatal strokes.
  2. Long-term Cocaine abuse may lead to lung disorders, and eventually to cardiac failure.
  3. Chronic Cocaine use can lead to the premature ageing of the cardio-vascular system.
  4. Cocaine is used in medicine as a topical Anesthetic, specifically in eye, nose and throat surgery.
  5. The first synthesis and elucidation of the structure of the Cocaine molecule was by Richard Willstätter in 1898.
  6. Insufflation (known colloquially as "snorting," "sniffing," or "blowing") is the most common method of ingestion of recreational powdered Cocaine in the Western world
  7. The drug coats and is absorbed through the mucous membranes lining the sinuses.
  8. Chronic Cocaine intake causes brain cells to adapt functionally to strong imbalances of transmitter levels in order to compensate extremes.
  9. World annual Cocaine consumption currently stands at around 600 metric tons.
  10. Cocaine is an alkaloid found in leaves of the aSouth American shrub Erythroxylon Coca.
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