What is cocaine?
Cocaine is an addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Cocaine comes in two forms:
- Powder cocaine is a white powder (which scientists call a hydrochloride salt). Street dealers often mix cocaine with other substances like cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. They also mix cocaine with stimulant drugs like amphetamines, or synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, which has caused deaths.
- Crack is a form of cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal that people smoke. The term “crack” refers to the cracking sound the rocks make when they are heated.
How Cocaine Is Used
There are a few different ways that cocaine can enter the body: through the nose by snorting, and directly into the blood stream by injecting or rubbing it into gums above the teeth. The crystal of crack cocaine is heated in a glass pipe to produce vapors that are absorbed into the blood through the lungs.