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Cocaine(also known as ‘coke’, ‘snow’, ‘flake’, ‘blow’ etc.)


Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. The powdered, hydrochloride salt form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. ‘Crack’ is cocaine that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. This form of cocaine comes in a rock crystal that can be heated and its vapours smoked. The term ‘crack’ refers to the crackling sound heard when it is heated.


A powerfully addictive drug, cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric and energetic. Common health effects include heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes and seizures. Large amounts can cause bizarre and violent behaviour. In rare cases, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine.


Adults 18 to 25 years old have the highest rate of current cocaine use, compared to other age groups.


Physical effects of cocaine use include ‘constricted blood vessels’, ‘dilated pupils’ & ‘increased temperature’, ‘heart rate’ & ‘blood pressure’. The duration of cocaine’s immediate euphoric effects, which include hyper-stimulation, reduced fatigue and mental clarity depends on the route of administration.


The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. On the other hand, the faster the absorption, the shorter the high. The high from snorting may last 15 to 30 minutes, while smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes. Increased use can reduce the period of time the user feels high and increases the risk of addiction.


Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability and anxiety. A tolerance to the ‘high’ may develop; many users report they look for, but fail to get, as much pleasure as they did from their first use.


Some users will increase the dose to make the euphoric effects (high) stronger & for a longer time. While tolerance to the ‘high’ can occur, users can also become more sensitive to the anaesthetic and convulsant effects without increasing the dose. This may explain some of the deaths that have occurred after apparently low doses of cocaine.


Use of cocaine in a binge, during which the drug is taken repeatedly and at increasingly high doses, may lead to a state of increasing irritability, restlessness and paranoia. This can result in a period of ‘full-blown’ psychosis, in which the user loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations (hears voices).


Large doses of cocaine intensify the user’s high, but may also lead to bizarre erratic and violent behaviour. These users may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or with repeated doses, a toxic reaction closely resembling amphetamine poisoning. 



Cocaine addiction (please do not use the ph. number on this video; as it is not 'Australian-based')

(video downloaded from 'You-Tube')



Medical complications of Cocaine abuse.



Some of the most frequent complications of use are: 

           Cardiovascular effects – disturbances in heart rhythm & heart attacks 

           Respiratory effects – chest pain & respiratory failure 

           Neurological effects – strokes, seizures & headaches, blurred vision 

           Gastrointestinal effects – abdominal pain & nausea 



Cocaine has been linked to many types of heart disease. It triggers chaotic heart rhythms called ventricular fibrillation, increased heart beat and breathing & increased temperature & blood pressure. The user may also experience muscle spasms, convulsions & coma. 


The route of cocaine use has with it unique & dramatic consequences: 



  • Snorting – loss of smell, nosebleeds, trouble swallowing, hoarseness and an overall irritation of the septum (the cartilage between each nasal passage). The latter can lead to chronic inflamed & runny nose.  

      Orally taken cocaine – severe bowel gangrene due to reduced blood flow 


       Injected – allergic reactions to either the drug or the ‘street additive’; the result is often death. 




The most dangerous and lethal situation is the combination of cocaine & alcohol. The body converts the two (2) into a compound that has a longer duration in the brain & is more toxic than either drug alone. The mixture of cocaine & alcohol is the most common two-drug combination that results in drug-related death. 


Cocaine & its' effects on the Brain 

Click here for Cocaine 'Fact Sheet'



 Cocaine...'the raw deal'


Robin Williams



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Should you have concerns regarding any issue relating to your 'mental or physical well-being', 'Kick off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This may entail contacting your GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may also contact the appropriate agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your choice, ensure you see someone who might help. 

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