Cocaine hydrochloride (HCL) is a potentially hazardous chemical with a variety of uses and an endless list of harmful side effects.
It is a chemical found in the coca plant that affects the central nervous system (CNS). When it was first discovered, the chemical was used in medicines, as an anesthetic, and even in sodas.
It later became clear that cocaine hydrochloride was linked to addiction and a wide variety of health risks, resulting in the DEA labeling it a Schedule II drug.
Where Cocaine Hydrochloride Comes From
Cocaine hydrochloride comes from the leaves of coca plants. However, there are also a few specific regions where these plants tend to grow.
Coca plants can be found in South America, mainly, specifically Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. In fact, Colombia is the number one cocaine producer.
How Cocaine Hydrochloride Is Made
After being extracted from the coca leaves, cocaine hydrochloride is put through a series of chemical processes to convert it to cocaine.
Cocaine is often “cut” or mixed with some sort of substance or diluent. These can range from harmless to incredibly dangerous.
Common substances used to cut cocaine include flour, talcum powder, baking soda, amphetamines, and even opioids like fentanyl.
When cocaine hydrochloride is being converted to crack cocaine or freebase cocaine, the process is a little different.
In this case, the powder is mixed with baking soda and boiled in water until it forms a solid that is then saved and dried.
The Process Of Using Cocaine Hydrochloride
Cocaine hydrochloride is typically used recreationally, which is illegal, of course. However, it is approved by the FDA to be used in pharmacology.
Cocaine Hydrochloride As A Topical Anesthetic
Though it may not be the first thing you think of when cocaine comes to mind, cocaine hydrochloride can actually be used as a topical solution.
The chemical can block nerve impulses, which makes it suitable to be a local anesthetic. This use of the chemical is less dangerous than recreational use as it is monitored by a healthcare professional.
Cocaine Hydrochloride As A Nasal Solution
Cocaine hydrochloride nasal solution is used to numb the mucous membranes before a procedure.
Numbing intranasal mucosa is a less hazardous way to use cocaine hydrochloride because it is in a controlled setting with a restricted concentration.
Cocaine Hydrochloride In Powder Form
Lastly, the more common use of cocaine hydrochloride is its use in powder form. Recreationally, there are a few ways people use this drug.
The three main ways powdered cocaine is used are snorting, using it orally, or injecting it. When it comes to snorting, the powder is simply inhaled through the nose to feel its effects.
Much like snorting, using cocaine hydrochloride orally is pretty straightforward. This method of cocaine use simply involves rubbing the powder on your gums.
Finally, injecting cocaine involves mixing the powder with water and injecting it into your bloodstream via needle or syringe. This is the fastest way to feel cocaine’s effects but also more dangerous.
Side Effects Of Cocaine Hydrochloride Use
Despite its many uses, cocaine hydrochloride is incredibly dangerous and can have short- and long-term effects on your health.
Although, there are some pleasant side effects that are responsible for people continuing to abuse cocaine hydrochloride.
For example, cocaine can cause a sense of euphoria or a rush. Other effects include increased energy and mental alertness.
The reason cocaine has a “rush” effect is because of the way it interacts with your CNS. Cocaine is a sympathomimetic substance, which means it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system.
Cocaine use can also cause people to be more talkative and decrease their need to rest or take a break. Though this is all temporary, due to the drug’s half-life.
While these effects may seem enticing, the toxicology of this drug certainly outweighs them.
Negative side effects of cocaine hydrochloride may include:
- increased body temperature
- increased heart rate and arrhythmias
- increased blood pressure/hypertension
- hypersensitivity to noise and light
- cardiovascular damage
- vasoconstriction of the blood vessels
- dilated pupils
- irritation to the nasal cavities
- violent behavior
- bacterial infection
- hepatitis B and C
- withdrawal symptoms
- nausea and vomiting
- heart attack
- sudden death
Treatment Programs For Cocaine Abuse
Finding the right treatment for you or someone you know who is struggling with cocaine addiction is no easy task.
It’s vital to find addiction treatment that is suited to your needs and will help you be as successful as possible in recovering.
Located in Massachusetts, Bedrock Recovery Center is a high-quality, well-regarded rehabilitation facility with treatment programs for alcohol and drug abuse.
There is a wide range of services offered at Bedrock, so you can choose the right treatment for your addiction.
Cocaine abuse treatment programs include:
- medication-assisted treatment
- inpatient treatment
In addition to helping you take your life back after addiction, Bedrock Recovery Center also offers a community to help support you in your recovery.
Find Cocaine Abuse Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Cocaine addiction can be overwhelming for everyone involved. If you or your loved one are struggling with abusing cocaine, call our helpline at Bedrock Recovery Center today.