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Cocaine - The scary truth about the popular party drug

Updated on July 4, 2011

The Rock Star Drug

What is cocaine?

Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid, which comes from the leaves of the coca plant. The possession and distribution of this class A drug is for illegal purposes and is in demand all over the world, so much so that there is cocaine being illegally smuggled with great effort to different countries without suspicions of police or authorities. Those caught with the drug are often disciplined greatly by years of imprisonment, however, there is still mounds and mounds of coke being illegally distributed, unnoticed every single day.

This gives all the more reason for the millions of people worldwide who enjoy to take this social drug. It is now easier than ever to be in possession of cocaine and get hold of the drug whenever needs be. This is due to the high volume of drug dealers, raking in the cash from this illegal white powder. The effects are becoming outrageous, and the age range is decreasing for those who try the drug for the first time. A very scary thought.

How cocaine is used

Cocaine is a strong stimulant that can be consumed into the body in many forms.

Sniffing a line

The most common form is to sniff the substance, which is a fine white powder when ground down. Most people tend to have a 'line' of cocaine, which is a long thin line that is usually prepared using a razor blade or card. This is then inhaled through the nose using a dollar or pound note. Otherwise, people may use straws, or any kind of material they can roll up and sniff cocaine through.

Crack cocaine

This way of taking the drug includes smoking cocaine 'rocks' in its freebase form. These rocks usually have jagged edges and are smoked to give a high feeling. Often, crack cocaine is bulked up when sold on the streets, with products such as baking soda, teething powder and other dangerous substances. Cocaine reaches the brain faster when smoked, giving an euphoric high.

How does cocaine and its effects work?

When inhaled, the drug is immediately active. This causes the brain cells to speed up, allowing all other senses to be heightened. People may experience high levels of confidence, happiness, pleasant hallucinations, a feeling of loving and sharpened awareness and physical strength.

Cocaine can be very dangerous when taken in large doses, such as speeding up the spinal cord. This can even result in death. This quick acting drug is very addictive but only lasts 15-30 minutes a time. The steep price of the drug causes addicts to become severely in debt as a result of trying to chase and fulfil their bad habit.

This drug makes its users feel on top of the world. It is a very sociable drug and is often associated with the party lifestyle. It may feel good when taking the drug, but there are serious effects to consider that are a danger to your health. Many people around the world have died from abusing this drug, so it is essential to understand what you are putting in your body before you do so.

Dangers of cocaine

Cocaine, when abused over time can create problems that destroy a person’s life. Depending on the person, problems can arise from a bad reaction to the drug even if a small amount is taken.


Many cocaine abusers, who enjoy sniffing lines, tend to suffer with deteriorating skin and tissue inside their nostrils. It is not uncommon for a nose to collapse or for nostrils to get bigger from the skin wearing thin after years of vigorous sniffing. Even boils or sores can be found in the nose of cocaine users, especially due to cocaine being cut with unknown substances on the streets. Why would you inhale something into our body that you know nothing about? This is dangerous.

The crash

Cocaine surely gives an all time high to its users, but it then crumbles into a giant 'crash'. This is where the drug wears off and leaves all of those happy, lifted feelings disintegrate into self-loathing, the inability to communicate and socialise, even depression. This can lead people’s lives off track and it is an extremely worrying path to head down. Cocaine users often get addicted after trying to override the crash and feel the high again, from getting more of the substance.

Mental breakdown

Even when not on the drug, there can be after affects that are difficult and sometimes impossible to rid of. Mental breakdowns from the drug are common and involve a short temper, unclear speech, confusion, tension, personality disorders and mental instability. This can lead to relationships and friendships withering away because the person that once was, is no longer.

Strain on the heart

The heart is our vital organ. It keeps us alive. It pumps blood through our body. Without our heart, we would die. Risking the health of your heart and ultimately your life is a serious and very probable result of taking cocaine. The fact this drug makes blood pressure soar, creates rapid breathing, palpitations, sweating and over thinking means it really can take its toll in the long run. Heart attacks and death have been known to occur from the strain of this drug on the heart. Especially when taking cocaine with alcohol, this risk doubles.

Loss of appetite

Cocaine is known to reduce a person’s appetite, which is frightening and unhealthy. It's important, no matter what your age, to ensure your body has the right amount of vitamins and minerals. This keeps a person in good health and when not eating, the body doesn't get what it needs to thrive. This also results in weight loss and an unattractive appearance.

Cocaine statistics

The scariest fact of all, is that the number of cocaine users increasing rapidly, as well as the number of deaths and problems from this drug. Take a look at the following statistics of this widespread drug.

· 1 out of 4 Americans aged 20-34 have used cocaine in their lifetime.

· It is estimated that up to 25 million people have tried cocaine at least once.

· In 1988 about 300,000 infants were born addicted to the drug cocaine.

· 90% of people who tried cocaine used marijuana or drunk alcohol beforehand.

· The amount of college students taking cocaine has more than doubled since 1994.

· Adults aged 18-25 are the highest percentage of cocaine users than any other group.

This drug is sure to be around for a long time to come, and abused by many for years to come also. However, this does not make it okay for people to be illegally selling and profiting off this drug whilst selling it to people who continue to destroy their lives with it.

If you or anyone you know needs help giving up this drug, you can find some help, information and advice here.

The journey of cocaine from where it's produced to being used


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    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      BethanRose, thank you for writing such an enlightening hub - I did not know to much about the drug except that it was highly dangerous and potentially lethal. The statistics are horrifying. Voted up

    • BethanRose profile image

      BethanRose 5 years ago from South Wales

      Interesting, take a look at this link. It says a little about cocaine traces on GBP notes:

    • profile image 5 years ago

      There haven't been pound notes in the UK for decades. I've heard that 10-pound notes have more coke traces than other sterling (GBP) denominations. Quite why, I don't know. Have you any information on that?

    • jadeddragon profile image

      jadeddragon 6 years ago from Arizona

      This was an interesting hub. Cocaine has many medicinal attributes as well but for those who abuse it, they are looking for an escape. Its not the drugs fault it is the person's fault. I hear many people say that you can get adicted from the very first line or use of whatever drug and I believe that to be comeplete crap. I know from personal experience. I have tried some of the worst drugs out there multiple times and never suffered withdraw or ever thougt about them again. THere is a lot of misinformation out there. I think everything should be legalized, taxed and if a person wants to kill themselves then let them. But if the drugs are legal there is less risk for contamination which may be a contributing factor to the deaths. Too much of anything will kill you even food but it doesn't make food will always be the people and what they are trying to escape. Thank you for posting this hub.

    • pedrn44 profile image

      Sandi 6 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      In addition to sniffing and smoking, cocaine is also injected. While working in Rehab I met many people, not just young people but adults that have not been able to kick it and progressed to more lethal ways of using. It is also mixed with Heroin. I believe that is a Speed Ball. John Belushi overdosed and died doing that. It is so bad for your heart, as you pointed out... so addictive and debilitating. Thanks for this hub BethanRose. I wish more people would read it before they get started.

    • cooldad profile image

      cooldad 6 years ago from Florida

      I will never understand how any person could take a drug that has the ability to make their heart explode the first time they snort it. It's such a huge risk, yet people do it all the time.

      Very informative hub.

    • BethanRose profile image

      BethanRose 6 years ago from South Wales

      Thanks very much for your kind comments, it is a subject that needs to be addressed more often I think. I'll certainly read your hub now! :-)

    • profile image

      Husky1970 6 years ago

      Cocaine is certainly a very dangerous drug. Lenny Bias and Reggie Lewis were two examples of tremendous potential that was unrealized because of the harmful effects of cocaine. My hub, "Basketball Junkie: A Must Read", refers readers to a book about a young man whose addiction nearly resulted in him losing everything. Cocaine was one of the many drugs that led to the eventual use of heroin. Fortunately, the book has a happy ending for now. Check it out. Thanks BethanRose for bringing attention to a major problem.

    • BethanRose profile image

      BethanRose 6 years ago from South Wales

      So true, it takes over peoples lives. I know people who spend every penny they earn on their next lot.. it's sad.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Cocaine is the dumbest drug out there IMO. You can get the same adrenaline effect by running a mile. It's too bad a stupid drug like cocaine has ruined so many people's lives and caused such a violent drug trade to supply it to users.