Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to South America.
As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white crystal powder. Street dealers often cut it with household products like cornstarch, talcum powder, or flour, or worse, with other “fillers” that have increased toxicity. Given the unpredictable composition of the cocaine most users purchase on the streets, cocaine overdoses and cocaine-induced psychosis are on the rise.
Cocaine can be ingested by:
- Snorting cocaine powder through the nose
- Rubbing cocaine on their gums
- Dissolving the cocaine powder and injecting it into the bloodstream
- Injecting a combination of cocaine and heroin, known as a “speedball”
Another popular method of use is to smoke cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal, which is heated to produce vapors that are inhaled into the lungs. This form of cocaine is called “crack,” and oftentimes leads to even more rapidly dire consequences than the powder form.