Cocaine Guide

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. Cocaine addiction negatively affects lives in many ways. There are resources available that can help. 

Table of Contents

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What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a very addictive stimulant drug. Cocaine usually comes in a white powder form that can be snorted, smoked, or dissolved and injected. Recreational use of cocaine is highly illegal and should be avoided due to its addictive properties. Someone can form both a physical and psychological dependence on cocaine, and dependence can be formed in as little as one use of the drug. As you will learn in this cocaine guide, if you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, it’s important to seek the available resources to help.1

Street Names

There is a problem with cocaine being produced, sold, and abused recreationally. Common cocaine street names are:

Drug Schedule

Cocaine is a schedule II controlled substance. Recreational use of cocaine is highly illegal due to its addictive properties, but there are some medical uses for it.

Crack vs. Cocaine

Crack and cocaine have a very similar chemical structure and similar effects. The main difference between the two is in how they’re taken. Regular powder cocaine is usually snorted, whereas crack cocaine is usually smoked. Since crack cocaine is smoked, it gets into the person’s system quickly, meaning the effects kick in faster and are more intense.

The effects of smoking crack cocaine generally last for a shorter duration than snorting regular powder cocaine. Since the effects of crack cocaine last for a shorter duration, this can lead to people having a higher tendency to abuse it in a binge-like pattern, and dependence forms more easily.

Racial Effects on Cocaine/Crack Cocaine Sentencing

Even though cocaine and crack cocaine have similar chemical properties, the legal punishment for crack cocaine possession is harsher. The current sentencing disparity between crack and cocaine is 18 to 1. There is currently a 5-year minimum sentence for possessing 28 grams of crack cocaine. However, it would take approximately 500 grams of powder cocaine possession to receive that same 5-year sentence.

Those who are arrested for crack cocaine possessions tend to be racial minorities. According to a U.S. News article, “79 percent of 5,669 sentenced crack offenders in 2009 were black, versus 10 percent who were white and 10 percent who were Hispanic.” The sentencing disparities between crack and cocaine perpetuate a double standard since an overwhelming number of people convicted for crack possession are black. This causes black people to serve longer sentences and receive harsher punishment for cocaine use compared to white people who are usually convicted of powder cocaine possession.3

Cocaine Side Effects

Short-Term Effects

This cocaine guide discusses how cocaine use can affect someone. Effects depend on the person’s biological make-up, how much of the drug was taken, and how it was taken. Common short-term cocaine side effects may include:

Many of these short-term side effects can be dangerous and cause health, legal, or financial issues.4

Long-Term Effects

Long-term cocaine use can have many negative effects on someone’s body and mind. Common long-term cocaine side effects may include:

This cocaine guide discusses the long-term side effects that can be very serious and negatively affect someone’s life. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to get help as soon as possible.5


When someone abuses cocaine for a long period, they will build a tolerance to it. This means they will need to take increasingly higher doses to get the same effects. Taking high doses of cocaine can lead to a cocaine overdose. If someone overdoses, it’s important that they receive medical attention immediately. Common cocaine overdose symptoms to look for are:

If someone is experiencing any of these cocaine overdose symptoms, they must get medical attention as soon as possible. Call 911 or bring the individual to the emergency room. Health care professionals should be made aware of a possible cocaine overdose so the patient can receive the most effective treatment possible.6


When cocaine is abused, physical and psychological dependence forms. This means that someone who suddenly stops taking it will experience cocaine withdrawal symptoms. This cocaine guide will identify the most common withdrawal symptoms:

The withdrawal process can be difficult, but you don’t have to go it alone. A treatment center can help you get through the withdrawal process and make it as comfortable as possible during this difficult time.7

Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Addiction

If someone you know is struggling with addiction, they may try to cover it up. However, there are some common signs to look for to determine if someone is struggling. These signs may be physical, mental, or behavioral.

Physical Changes

Common physical changes may include:

Mental/Behavioral Changes

Common mental or behavioral changes may include:

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs of addiction, there is help available. Proper treatment and support are necessary for treating cocaine addiction.8

Cocaine Guide to Addiction Treatment

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient rebab involves staying at a treatment center for a duration of time while you work on recovering from an addiction. Inpatient rehab will provide around-the-clock support and medical attention to make this process easy. Staying at a treatment center will allow you to be in a structured environment and away from temptations.


Detox is the period where the drug leaves the body. A patient will experience withdrawal symptoms during this time, but a treatment center can provide medical resources that make detox a safe and manageable process.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment involves using medications to ease withdrawal symptoms or prevent relapse. This can be beneficial when the withdrawal symptoms are unbearable, and medication makes the recovery process comfortable and manageable.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient rehab allows you to live at home while going to a treatment center at designated times throughout the week. This can be beneficial for those who have work or family responsibilities or where the addiction is less severe. If you choose outpatient rehab, you must be committed to the treatment process since you will have to keep yourself accountable.


Therapy is an important part of the treatment process. Behavioral therapy will help develop coping mechanisms to deal with the stresses of life without drugs. Therapy also reroutes negative behaviors into more positive outlets. Therapy may uncover any underlying issues that cause addiction to occur, so it helps you work through underlying causes that prevent progress.

Resources for Cocaine Guide

If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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