Desired Effects:Euphoria, exhilaration, elation, confidence.
Side Effects:Insomnia, loss of appetite, tension, aggression.
- Avoid using cocaine and alcohol together in a session; the effects of taking cocaine and alcohol together are far more dangerous than taking either drug alone. Cocaethylene is formed when alcohol and cocaine meet in the liver. This 'metabolite' remains in the body much longer, putting the heart and liver under a prolonged period of stress. The risk of sudden death is 18 times greater when alcohol and cocaine are used together.
- Avoid using any other drugs in combination with cocaine.
- Avoid using other drugs to help you deal with the come down. It won't last and the best way to get through it is with food, sleep and relaxation.
- Snort it rather than inject it. Injecting can cause serious damage to your body and increases your risk of overdose.
- Take care of your nose; snorting cocaine repeatedly can cause damage to the delicate nasal tissue. Take a break from cocaine if you develop irritation or bleeding in your nose and give your body a chance to recover. A nasal douche of lukewarm salt water can help reduce the risk of infection inside the nose and also help minimise the damage done by snorting.
- Don't share any equipment you use to take cocaine. There is evidence that Hepatitis C can be transmitted through sharing snorting equipment like notes and straws. Never share any injecting equipment including spoons, water and filters.
- Don't use bank-notes to snort as there could be blood products on an old bank note. Instead use other pieces of unused paper to make your straw.
- Take care of yourself physically and mentally; make sure you get enough sleep and eat well daily. The stimulant effects of cocaine can interfere with your sleep patterns, and can suppress your appetite. Eating regular healthy meals, getting enough sleep and good hygiene are all important aspects of staying healthy.
- Physical health can easily slip if you use cocaine frequently, particularly if you are using every day. If your physical health slips it can lead to more serious problems, affecting work and relationships.
- Make sure you keep doing things you enjoy without using cocaine.
- If someone is suffering bad effects like vomiting, convulsions, unconsciousness - put them in the recovery position and call for medical assistance immediately.
Long term risks:Strong psychological dependence, psychosis.
Short term risks:Tolerance, paranoia, anxiety, overdose (possibly fatal).
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.
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.