What is cocaine?
Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant, found in South America. The indigenous peoples there have been chewing its leaves for hundreds of years. It was first made into cocaine in Germany in the mid-1800s.
Cocaine is usually sold as a fine, white powder. The powder is often made up of cocaine hydrochloride salt mixed with 'fillers.' Cocaine can be snorted, smoked or injected. The powder is usually snorted but it can be dissolved in water and injected. It can also be rubbed into the gums. People make free base cocaine by heating the powder and adding a base solution. Freebase cocaine, a term often used for crack, can be smoked. Crack is a type of freebase cocaine which looks like little rocks or crystals. Crack can be smoked, or it can be mixed with water and ascorbic acid and injected.
Cocaine is a stimulant. It speeds up the central nervous system. The effects can last from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how it is taken.