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Also called: Blow, C, Coke, Crack, Flake, Snow 

Cocaine is a powerful drug that stimulates the brain. People who use it can form a strong addiction. They may have to use more and more of the drug to get high. It's sold on the street as a fine, white powder. There are two forms of cocaine: hydrochloride salt and freebase. The salt dissolves in water. People can take it in a vein or in the nose. The freebase form can be smoked. Crack is the street name of a smokable form of cocaine.

No matter how cocaine is taken, it is dangerous. Some of the most common serious problems include

  • Heart problems, including heart attacks
  • Respiratory effects, including respiratory failure
  • Nervous system problems, including strokes
  • Digestive problems

Any of these can be fatal. Using cocaine with alcohol is a common cause of drug-related death.

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse



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National Institutes of Health