Cocaine is both a central nervous system stimulant and a topical anaesthetic. It is found in the leaves of the Erthroxylum coca plant. The traditional method of coca use is to "chew" the leaves (the leaves are actually not chewed so much as sucked, producing a mild stimulation. Outside of South America it is generally used in its more refined and extracted forms: either powder cocaine, or freebase cocaine which produce much stronger effects than "chewing" the leaves. The term "Crack" is alternately used to refer to street quality freebase cocaine, or to refer to the product of a particular manufacturing process which uses sodium bicarbonate rather than a flammable solvent. Powdered cocaine is generally insufflated (snorted) and crack / freebase cocaine is generally smoked. Smoking freebase cocaine causes a strong, short-lived peak of about 3-5 minutes, while snorting cocaine provides a lower high with major effects lasting closer to 15 - 30 minutes.
Varies with dose and the tolerance of the user. Increases alertness, wakefulness, elevates the mood, mild to high degree of euphoria, increases athletic performance, decreases fatigue, clearer thinking, increases concentration, increases energy, increased irritability, insomnia, restlessness. With high doses may exhibit a pattern of psychosis with confused and disorganized behavior, irritability, fear, paranoia, hallucinations, may become extremely antisocial and aggressive.
Increases heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and sweating. Increases speed of respiration, dilates the pupils, decreased sleep and appetite. Can decrease seizure threshold and is associated with seizures, strokes, and heart attacks in susceptible individuals.
Although cocaine does not...