Brianna and Natasha 10 Oglivie

What Category is Cocaine in? (Depressant, stimulant, hallucinogen)

Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug, and is extracted from the leaves of coca plants in South America. It has short term effects, meaning the user feels an intense ‘rush’. They will feel a sense of euphoria (extreme happiness or excitement), alertness, arousal, and increased confidence.

Other Names

Other names for Cocaine include Coke, Crack, Flake, White Powder, Blow, Freebase, Nose candy, Rock and Snow.

How is it taken?

The powdered form of cocaine is snorted up the nose using a small straw, dissolved in water (or other alcoholic beverages), or injected into the bloodstream.

Immediate effects

Immediate effects of Cocaine begin within a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on how the cocaine is taken. The user will begin to lose control of their body and actions, often feeling a false sense of confidence, happiness, alertness and excitement. When the immediate ‘rush’ of the cocaine has worn off the person may experience a ‘crash’, in which they lose all of their previous energy.

Long Term effects & Associated risks/side effects

As the drug is regularly consumed, the effects will become more severe. These can include long term issues such as psychosis, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, eating and sleeping disorders, cardiac arrest, kidney failure, strokes, seizures, HIV and hepatitis infections through needle sharing (if chosen to be injected), and cardiomyopathy.

Statistics related to it's use In Australia (at least 2, must be recent)

Statistics related to people using cocaine in Australia include:

- 7.3% of Australians aged over 14 years had used cocaine at some stage in their life.

- 2.1% had used it in the previous 12 months.

- The average age at which Australians first tried cocaine was 23.3 years.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of taking cocaine include aggression, dilated pupils, chest pain, sweating, nose bleeds, paranoia, lethargy (lack of energy), agitation (being anxious or nervous), hallucinations, increased heart rate, muscle twitches, nausea and vomiting.

Other Interesting Information

Cocain is such an addictive substance because when taken the brain is flooded with a neuro-chemical called dopamine, which causes the user to feel intense pleasure. It taps into the ‘reward system’ of our brains, often resulting in the user craving more of the intense pleasure stimulated when this drug is taken.