What does it look like?
Cocaine is distributed on the street in two main
forms: cocaine hydrochloride is a white crystalline
powder and "crack" is cocaine hydrochloride that has
been processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate
(baking soda) and water into a freebase cocaine - chips,
chunks, or rocks.
How is it used?
Cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and
injected. Crack can be smoked.
What are its short-term effects?
Short-term effects of cocaine/crack include
constricted peripheral blood vessels, dilated pupils,
increased temperature, heart rate, blood pressure,
insomnia, loss of appetite, feelings of restlessness,
irritability, and anxiety. Duration of cocaine's
immediate euphoric effects, which include energy,
reduced fatigue, and mental clarity, depends on how it
is used. The faster the absorption, the more intense the
high. However, the faster the absorption, the shorter
the high lasts.The high from snorting may last 15 to 30
minutes, while that from smoking crack cocaine may last
5 to 10 minutes. Cocaine's effects are short lived, and
once the drug leaves the brain, the user experiences a
"coke crash" that includes depression, irritability, and
What are its long-term effects?
High doses of cocaine and/or prolonged use can
trigger paranoia. Smoking crack cocaine can produce a
particularly aggressive paranoid behavior in users. When
addicted individuals stop using cocaine, they often
become depressed. Prolonged cocaine snorting can result
in ulceration of the mucous membrane of the nose.
What is its federal classification?
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)