Street name: Coke, Snow, Crack, Freebase, Rock, Charlie


Cocaine – white powder

Cocaine freebase – small white chips

Therapeutic use: As a local anaesthetic for eyes, ears and nose (rarely used)

Street use:

Cocaine hydrochloride: sniffed/injected

Cocaine freebase: heated and inhaled, increasing reports of injection

Drug effect: Strong stimulant, local anaesthetic

Dependency: Yes (mainly psychological)

Withdrawal: Effects last for 15 to 30 minutes. Effects of freebase/crack last for only 5 to 10 minutes. Mild feelings of sleepiness, hunger and depression. After the 'high', users experience a 'crash' or rebound dysphoria when they feel extremely tired or depressed.

Long-term use: Can result in excessive restlessness and insomnia. Weight loss. Mental confusion. Increase in blood pressure. Paranoid psychosis.If sniffed – damage to nasal membrane, damage to septum between nostrils.If injected – circulatory problems, infection risk.If inhaled – respiratory problems and lung damage.

Overdose risk: high doses can result in increase in body temperature, extreme agitation, convulsions and respiratory arrest. Overdose risk increases if cocaine is mixed with other drugs such as heroin or depressants like barbiturates or alcohol.

Legal status: Cocaine is a prescription only medicine and a Class A controlled drug. It is illegal to possess cocaine or to supply it to others.

Maximum penalty:

For possession: 7 years and/or unlimited fine

For dealing: Life and/or unlimited fine