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What is cocaine?
It can give a powerful high that can leave you feeling really down
Powder cocaine (also called coke), freebase and crack are all forms of cocaine. They’re all powerful stimulants, with short-lived effects – which means that they temporarily speed up the way your mind and body work, but the effects are short-lived. Both ‘freebase’ cocaine (powder cocaine that’s been prepared for smoking) and ‘crack’ cocaine (a ‘rock’ like form of cocaine) can be smoked. This means that they reach the brain very quickly, while snorted powder cocaine gets to the brain more slowly.
All types of cocaine are addictive, but by reaching the brain very quickly freebase or crack tend to have a much stronger effect and be more addictive than snorted powder cocaine. Injecting any form of cocaine will also reach the brain more quickly but this has serious additional risks, including damaging veins and spreading blood bourne virsues, such as HIV and Hep C.
Here are the main effects and risks of taking cocaine:
- It can make you feel on top of the world, very confident, alert and awake, but some people can get over-confident, arrogant and aggressive and end up taking very careless risks.
- It raises the body’s temperature, makes the heart beat faster and reduces your appetite.
- When the effects start to wear off, people experience a long ‘comedown’, when they feel depressed and run down. This crash can happen for days afterwards.
What does cocaine look like?
‘Coke’ is a white powder. ‘Crack’ is a form of cocaine made into small lumps or rocks that makes a cracking noise when burnt. ‘Freebase’ cocaine is specially prepared ‘coke’ and is a crystal-like powder; it is less common than ‘coke’ and ‘crack’.
On average, a gram of coke powder generally costs £42. A crack rock costs between £10 and £20. Crack is sometimes sold cheaper by the slice or as a ‘clubbing rock’ for about £10.