What is cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant aboriginal to South America. Although healthcare providers may use it for valid medical purposes, such as local anesthesia for some surgeries, the recreational use of cocaine is illegal. As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white crystalline powder. Street vendors often mix it with cornstarch, talcum powder, or flour to increase profits.

They may also combine it with other drugs, such as the stimulant amphetamine or synthetic opioids, including fentanyl. Adding synthetic opioids to cocaine is especially risky when people who use cocaine don’t realize it contains this dangerous additive. The increasing overdose deaths among cocaine users could be related to this manipulated cocaine.

How do people use cocaine?

People inhale cocaine powder through their noses or rub it on their gums. Others dissolve the powder and inject it into the bloodstream.
Some people inject a combination of cocaine and heroin called Speedball.

Another popular method of use is smoking cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal (also called “freebase cocaine”). The glass is heated to produce vapors that are inhaled into the lungs. This form of cocaine is called crack, which refers to the crackling sound of rock when heated. Some people also smoke crack by sprinkling it on marijuana or tobacco and smoking it like a cigarette.