Frequently Asked Questions
What is cocaine?
Cocaine is manufactured from the coca plant and is a stimulant drug which affects the central nervous system by speeding up the activity of certain chemicals in the brain, producing a feeling of increased alertness and reduced fatigue.
It is usually sold as a white powder. Freebase and crack are stronger forms of cocaine and look like small, yellow/white, oily rocks or crumbly, white flakes.
What else can cocaine be called?
Coke, Crack, Rock, C, Charlie, Snow, White Lady.
How is cocaine used?
Cocaine is usually snorted or swallowed, but can be injected or smoked in the form of crack or freebase. Smoking crack or freebase is uncommon in Australia.
Short term and long term effects of cocaine?
There is no safe level of cocaine use. The effects of drugs will vary from person to person depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug.
Cocaine is regarded by some as a chic, glamorous and the party drug of the rich. It has an undeserved reputation for being safe.
It is not legally available, and is extremely expensive as well as being very addictive. Regular users find the initial euphoria and heightened alertness produced by cocaine gradually gives way to restlessness, insomnia and suspicion. Many also suffer damage to the mucous membrane of the nose.
In high doses, cocaine will make the user feel extremely agitated, paranoid and aggressive. The consequences of overdose include seizures, brain haemorrhage, kidney failure, heart attack or stroke.
Some short-term effects of cocaine include:
- Increased breathing rate and pulse rate
- High body temperature and Increased blood pressure
- Reduced appetite
- Anxiety and irritability
- Increased alertness and suspiciousness
- Feeling of wellbeing and exaggerated feelings of confidence and energy
- Enlarged pupils
- Inability to sleep.
Short-term effects of high doses of cocaine include:
- When high doses of cocaine are used, short-term effects include:
- Intense anxiety and cold sweats
- Heart seizures
- Uncontrollable tremors
- Arms and legs may feel heavy
- Aggressive behaviour
- Sensations of insects crawling on or under the skin
- Burst blood vessels in the brain
- Psychosis, a serious break with reality, hallucinations and delusions
Some long-term effects of cocaine include:
- Dependence and Tolerance
- Aggressive or violent behaviour
- Loss of appetite, weight Loss and malnutrition
- Irritability or emotional disturbances
- Periods of psychosis and paranoia
- Auditory hallucinations
- Reduced resistance to infection.
How does cocaine affect your mental health?
Cocaine use can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia and psychosis in those people who have a vulnerability to mental health problems.
How long does it take for cocaine to leave the body?
Cocaine can be detected in the blood from 40-90 minutes after use, and in urine for up to 1-2 days after use, but can depend on the amount and potency used, and a person’s metabolism rate. It is important to note that the detection of drugs and their metabolites in any biological sample (blood, urine and saliva) can change depending on the individual person and their biological factors and most time frames are based on scientific studies but individual results may vary
What are the risks of using cocaine when pregnant?
There is no safe level of cocaine use. During pregnancy cocaine use can cause bleeding, miscarriage, premature labour and stillbirth. If cocaine is used close to birth, the baby may be born intoxicated, showing symptoms of hyperactivity and agitation. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in the babies of mothers who use cocaine regularly. These include sleeplessness and lack of responsiveness.
Cocaine can reach the baby through breast milk. Symptoms may include the baby being irritable, unsettled and difficult to feed.
Is cocaine illegal?
Illicit drugs are illegal in Western Australia. The use, possession, manufacture or supply of cocaine carries heavy fines and/or prison sentences. Penalties range from a $2,000 fine and/or two years in prison to a $100,000 fine and/or 25 years in prison. In addition, any person convicted of a drug offence will receive a criminal record which can lead to difficulties in getting a job, credit, or visas for overseas travel.
What is Coke?
Coke is a name used for the drug cocaine. Cocaine is a stimulant drug which affects the central nervous system by speeding up the activity of certain chemicals in the brain. It is usually sold as a white powder. Freebase and crack are stronger forms of cocaine which usually look like small, yellow/white, oily rocks or crumbly, white flakes.
Looking for info about the effects of a specific drug?
Check out the Drug Types page here.