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What is Cocaine?

April 21, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Cocaine, the most potent stimulant of natural origin, is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca), which is indigenous to the Andean highlands of South America. It is a potent brain stimulant and one of the most powerfully addictive drugs. Cocaine is produced as a white chunky powder. It is sold most often in aluminum foil, plastic or paper packets, or small vials. Cocaine is usually chopped into a fine powder with a razor blade on a small mirror or some other hard surface, arranged into small rows called “lines,” then quickly inhaled (or “snorted”) through the nose with a short straw or rolled up paper money. It can also be injected into the blood stream.

Cocaine is a potent, naturally occurring central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It is derived from the leaves of the coca plant, found primarily in various regions of South America.

There are four primary methods of ingesting cocaine. These are:

1. “Snorting” – absorbing cocaine through the mucous membranes of the nose.
2. Injecting – users mix cocaine powder with water and use a syringe to inject the solution intravenously.
3. Freebasing – Cocaine hydrochloride is converted to a “freebase” which can then be smoked.
4. Crack Cocaine – Cocaine hydrochloride is mixed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and other ingredients, causing it to solidify into pellets or “rocks”. The crack is then smoked in glass pipes.

2 responses to What is Cocaine?

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