NJ Cocaine Drug Charges Defense Attorneys, Serving all of New Jersey including the counties of Middlesex, Ocean, Mercer, Union and Monmouth
Drug Information About Cocaine
Street names: Coke, Snow, Blow, Yey, Star, Bernie, Big C, etc.
Drug Classification: Cocaine was one of the first substances to be made illegal in the US, and is a Schedule II drug regulated by the DEA. This means it is illegal to posses without a license or prescription.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug extracted from the Coca plant. It mostly grows in the Andean region of South America, where the traditional method of ingestion was to chew/suck the leaves of the plant. Outside of this region, Cocaine typically exists in a refined form. It is typically a white powder with a bitter taste and numbing effect. It is most often snorted (insufflated), though it can also be used orally.
Cocaine is very rarely found in pure form on the street, and is most often cut with inactive sugars, though chemicals that mimic some of the effects of cocaine (Novocain mimics the numbing effect) are used as well. These adulterants can cause health problems from their effect on the body or from causing damage in the nose from being snorted. The more direct the method the user chooses to take the cocaine, the more dangerous the risks are from adulterants. Studies in 2007 indicate street cocaine is on average less than 50% pure and is often under 5%.
Cocaine is physically addictive and produces overall stimulation in users, often giving feelings of alertness, decreased fatigue, focus, euphoria, irritability, restlessness, and inability to sleep. Effects are felt minutes after snorting the drug and last for under an hour, leading users to do more cocaine after the effects wear off and easily resulting in addiction. Physical effects include pupil dilation, increased heart rate and body temperature, increased breathing rate, and lack of appetite.
Side Effects and Dangers
Long-term use can cause permanent feelings of restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, and other psychological problems. Tolerance develops rapidly, though is known to plateau, as users generally do not need more and more cocaine once they have reached a heavy level of usage. Snorting anything can damage the mucous membranes and cartilage in the nose, and excessive use of cocaine sometimes creates a hole in the separation between the nostrils (the septum).
Given that cocaine is physically addictive, discontinuing use can lead to a variety of withdrawal symptoms ranging from depression and paranoia to dizziness and shaking to insomnia or excessive sleep to suicidal thoughts. While these withdrawal symptoms are not life threatening and less extreme than withdrawal from other drugs like opiates, they are quite unpleasant and easily convince users to take more and more cocaine.
Overdose symptoms may include hallucinations, convulsions, and hyperthermia (adversely high body temperature.)
- www.erowid.org – Basic Drug Information About Cocaine
- www.emcdda.europa.eu – About Cocaine
- www.justice.gov – DEA Cocaine Information
- www.id.org/chemicals/cocaine/cocaine_effects.shtml – Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse