Cocaine

Drug Spotlight

pile of cocaine

Cocaine

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Benzoylecgonine – (coke, crack, happy dust, powder, blow, flake, nose candy, etc.) is a powerful and addictive stimulant, made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. This stimulant increases levels of neurotransmitter dopamine in brain circuits that regulate pleasure and movement. As cocaine can cause long-term changes in the brain’s reward system, the substance can lead to addiction. Addiction can occur from multiple methods. This drug is inhaled through the nose (snorted) or dissolved in water and injected into the bloodstream. Snorting cocaine can produce a longer lasting high, but may not give as strong of a high as injecting the drug into the bloodstream. It is also smoked in the form of crack, which is processed to make a rock crystal.

As a stimulant, it produces short-lived euphoria, energy, and talkativeness. However, this substance can also create feelings of depression, irritability, and nervousness. Cocaine affects the body by constricting blood vessels, dilating pupils, increasing body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. On a more serious level, use can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and even death. Usually these deaths are due to the heart stopping. The effects can differ depending on the method taken. For example, snorting cocaine can result in loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, difficulty with swallowing, hoarseness, and a runny nose. On the other hand, injecting cocaine can cause allergic reactions and increased risk for hepatitis C, HIV, and other blood-borne illnesses. Overall, it is a dangerous drug and may be more dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol.

urine drug screen detects cocaine going back 1-3 days and going back up to 90 days in a hair follicle test. AMC offers both urine drug screening and hair follicle testing capable of detecting Benzoylecgonine.

National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.