• Cocaine and its variations are stimulants derived from the leaves of the coca tree.
  • Cocaine is an odourless, white flaky, crystalline powder with bitter taste. It is highly soluble in water or alcohol.
  • Street Name:“C”, “Big C”, “coke”, “flake”, “snow”, “star dust”, “charlie”, “crack” etc.

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Adverse Effects of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant and can cause:

  • Changes in behaviour
  • Feeling of well-being or extreme pleasure
  • Delays of physical and mental fatigue, thus holding sleep needs at bay
  • Reduction in appetite
  • Talkativeness or meditative mood
  • Strong feelings of self-confidence and mastery
  • Anxiety and even panic
  • Quick completion of some simple task. However, if the user is over-anxious or over-confident, performance can be impaired
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

The effects of the drug generally begin to diminish within 30-40 minutes. At higher doses, these additional effects may occur:

  • Tremors
  • Vertigo
  • Muscle twitches
  • Severe agitation
  • Feeling of persecution
  • Headaches
  • Cold sweats
  • Pallor
  • A weak, rapid pulse
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Coma

There is a long list of adverse effects associated with long-term use. These include:

  • Nervousness
  • Excitability
  • Agitation
  • Feelings of persecution
  • Extra sensitivity, especially to noise
  • Mood swings
  • Affected memory
  • Sleeplessness
  • Impotence
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Loss appetite
  • Confusion
  • Exhaustion

In some chronic cocaine sniffers, the sensory tissues of the nose are damaged.

Extremely high doses of cocaine severely depress the breathing centres of the brain causing delirium; leading to rapid, irregular and shallow breathing; convulsions; and unconsciousness which could cause death. There have been reports of persons who died from doses as small as 30mg.

Both physical and psychological dependence occur when cocaine is taken. The potential for dependence is very high because the feelings of well-being produced are very intense.

  • Cocaine is a dangerous drug controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.
  • It is an offence to illegally manufacture, supply or possess cocaine.