How Do People Use Cocaine?

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Cocaine is a stimulant that can be used in several different ways. The powdered form of cocaine is most commonly used by snorting. Snorting is inhaling the cocaine through the nose, with a straw or dollar bill. The cocaine enters the bloodstream by being absorbed through the nasal tissue. Some cocaine users prefer to dissolve the drugs in water. This way they can inject the mixture directly into their bloodstream.

Crack rock is also a form of cocaine. It's called "crack" because it makes a crackling sound when it's being heated up. Crack is the rock crystal form of cocaine after it has been processed, or "cooked". Crack is also known as freebase cocaine. Crack is typically the form of cocaine that is smoked. When the crack rock is heated, it produces toxic vapors that are absorbed into the bloodstream by breathing it into the lungs.

The way the cocaine is used determines its pleasurable effects. The quick, strong cocaine highs come from injecting or smoking it. This high might last for only for 5 - 10 minutes but it is intense. Snorting cocaine produces a high that is less intense than the previous methods but it does last longer. A cocaine high from snorting typically lasts between 15 to 30 minutes.

Because the highs from cocaine typically last a short amount of time, cocaine users might have to binge in order to sustain it throughout the night. They will also have to use more and more as their tolerance builds. These bad habits can lead to addiction, dependence and even overdose.

Does Cocaine Affect the Brain?

Yes, since cocaine is a stimulant, it does effect the central nervous system by increasing the dopamine levels in the brain. These neurotransmitters regulate the pleasure zones of the brain. Cocaine causes the brain to be flooded with dopamine by creating an excessive buildup by preventing it from being recycled back into the brain. This flood disrupts normal brain communication and causes the characteristic high of cocaine. Using cocaine chronically will lead to addiction. Your body's chemistry will change and form a dependency on the drug. The brain's reward system will not respond the same way to pleasures as it once did and this can cause adverse psychological or physiological effects.

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