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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066


Cocaine (powder):
C, coke, snow, charlie, white, lady, nice.

Crack (freebase):
crack, stones, rock, pebbles, base, wash.

What does Cocaine look like?

As cocaine hydrochloride it is a white powder but as crack it appears as off-white coloured lumps or rocks.

Cocaine in powder form

Scientific Names

Benzoylmethyl Ecgonine

Generic Name

Cocaine hydrochloride

Effects Of Cocaine

Desired Effects:

Euphoria, exhilaration, elation, confidence.


Insomnia, loss of appetite, tension, aggression.



Tolerance, Paranoia, anxiety, Overdose (possibly fatal).


Strong psychological Dependence, Psychosis.

Reducing Harm

Information to help with Reducing Harm when using Cocaine

How does Cocaine work?

Central nervous system Stimulant, and appetite suppressant.

Legal status of Cocaine

Class A under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

How Is Cocaine Taken?

Cocaine powder: Snorted up the nose, injected.

Crack: Smoked.


If snorted: razor blade, hard level surface (such as a mirror or glass), tube or rolled banknote.

If injected: Needles & Syringes, water, Swabs.

If smoked: Tinfoil, matches/lighter, crack Pipe (Bong) either commercially manufactured in glass/ pyrex or home-made from a drinks can or glassware.

Medical uses of Cocaine

As a local anaesthetic.

Where does it come from?

The coca bush, erythroxylum coca, has been cultivated in the Andean region of South America for thousands of years and countries such as Peru, Bolivia and Colombia are still the main source of cocaine production today. Cocaine in its purest form is a white, pearly product. Cocaine appearing in powder form is a salt, typically cocaine hydrochloride. Adulterated cocaine is often a white, off-white or pinkish powder. Adulterated or “cut” street cocaine is mixed with various powdery fillers to increase its weight, most commonly used substances are baking soda, lactose, dextrose and local anaesthetics like benzocaine that mimic and add to the numbing effect of cocaine. Cocaine may also be Cut with other Stimulants such as methamphetamine.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have ‘street agencies’ or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, needle exchanges and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. The increase in stimulant use has led to some agencies offering specialist counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies and prescribing of anti-depressants, and also possible referral to residential rehabilitation. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. GPs and possibly the local hospital A&E department can make referrals to specialist drug services as well as general medical services, information and advice often in partnership with a drug agency or Drug Dependency Unit.

Parents & other relatives

Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about Cocaine problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234