Prevention and risk reduction in festive environments
Know more, risk less
It’s most often snorted but can also be injected by intravenous route (shoot) or smoled, mainly as crack. Crack (stone, rock…) is obtained by adding bicarbonate or ammonia to cocaine hydrochloride. Be careful, cocaine is often cut with other substances.
Cocaine increases the heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. The up-phase is fast, leads to euphoria and a feeling of power and intellectual power. Cocaine can mimic increased vigilance, hinder feelings of fatigue and physical shock.
Snorted cocaine can be felt after 10 minutes to an hour. With smoking or shooting, the effects are faster, more intense and shorter, which leads to a high addiction risk.
Crack is a form that is destined to be smoked, its effects are more intense than cocaine, they appear faster but also disappear faster (“flash effect”).
Cocaine leads to contraction of the arteries and hypertension which can cause cardiovascular accidents, heart attacks, strokes, harm to lungs, muscles and kidneys. Strong dose intake may cause fever, frenzy or spasms. Cocaine is an irritating product which often causes lesions to skin and mucous membranes, which can deteriorate into necrosis (irritation of the nasal septum, anal mucosa, bleeding, risk of skin abscess at the needle point). Regular use can cause psychiatric disorders: mood swings, strong anxiety, persecutory delusions, dementia… To be wanting to use it until you have no more, to take some more is a sign of psychological dependency.
Pregnant women risk foetal deformities. The comedown can come with muscular cramps, exhaustion and depression…
Those risks increase when the cocaine is injected or used in a “base” form (crack/free base). With injection, the risk of overdose (cardiac rhythm disturbance) is higher. Crack quickly leads to brain damage (paranoia, suicidal states).
Cocaine use is particularly dangerous in cases of epilepsy, hypertension, asthma, psychiatric disorders, heart problems, liver or kidney problems, diabetes. The association with alcohol increases toxicity and masks intoxication. The effect of ecstasy is also masked by the effect of cocaine. Hence, there is a risk of overdosing to achieve the desired effect. The use of sexual stimulants such as Viagra® or Cialis® increases the risk of cardiac disorders.