Pure cocaine is exceedingly rare in the United States. However, that may change. Current trends suggest that the purity of cocaine powder found in the United States is increasing.
Higher-quality cocaine reduces the risk of encountering dangerous additives, but that doesn’t make it safe. Pure cocaine comes with all of the risks of regular cocaine use.
What Is Pure Cocaine?
Pure cocaine is an illegal drug derived from coca leaves. While most cocaine is cut with other substances to improve profits, pure cocaine does not contain any additives or adulterants.
Where Pure Cocaine Comes From
Pure cocaine is a recreational drug made from the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca). This plant is mostly grown and processed along the Andes mountain range in South America.
The Process Of Making Pure Cocaine
Pure cocaine is made through a multi-step process in the mountain regions of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.
The leaves are harvested and mulched into smaller pieces. A binding agent is then sprinkled over the mulched crop. This mixture is placed in a vat with a noxious cocktail of chemicals to create a thick paste.
The paste is treated through several steps to remove as much liquid as possible. The remaining product is then crushed into a fine crystalline powder, packed, and eventually sold to drug dealers.
Purity Levels Of Other Types Of Cocaine
Other substances are often integrated into cocaine as the product travels from the farmer to people who use drugs. In the United States, the purity of street cocaine varies greatly.
In just one year, American officials found that the average purity of cocaine varied from 50% to 75% depending on the time of year. The remaining 25% to 50% includes any number of impurities.
Common adulterants (cocaine cutting agents) include:
- baking soda
Drug testing kits are often available through harm prevention programs to help detect especially dangerous adulterants like fentanyl.
How Pure Cocaine Is Used
Pure cocaine can be used in a number of ways. The most popular methods are snorting, injecting, and smoking.
Snorting Pure Cocaine
Pure cocaine can easily be used intranasally. Inhaling the white powder has a slightly delayed effect, but it avoids some of the side effects of other delivery methods.
Snorting cocaine can severely irritate the nasal septum. You will likely experience a runny nose, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and frequent nose bleeds.
Injecting Pure Cocaine
Pure cocaine can be diluted into a liquid form for the purposes of injection. Injecting cocaine does give a more immediate high. It also comes with more dangerous side effects.
Sharing needles with another person greatly adds to the dangers of regular cocaine use. Injecting cocaine makes you more likely to contract hepatitis and HIV.
Smoking Or “Freebasing” Pure Cocaine
Pure cocaine cannot be smoked. To smoke cocaine, you have to change its chemical make-up. Manufacturers make smokable cocaine by either making “freebase” or crack.
Freebasing cocaine is disastrously unstable, and smoking cocaine can permanently damage your lungs.
Effects Of Using Pure Cocaine
The effects of pure cocaine are very similar to other forms of cocaine that don’t contain other drugs.
Physical Effects Of Using Pure Cocaine
Using cocaine has a range of noticeable physical effects. At first you will likely notice a numbing sensation. This is quickly followed by an euphoric sensation and a burst of energy.
It may feel nice at first, but there are a whole host of dangerous physiological changes as well. Your heart rate and blood pressure both increase. Your eyes dilate and your body temperature goes up.
Prolonged cocaine use damages your gastrointestinal tract and your cardiovascular system. This damage makes you more vulnerable to ulcers, heart attack, and stroke.
Psychological Effects Of Using Pure Cocaine
Cocaine is a stimulant. When you use it, your body releases a pulse of dopamine that causes the good feelings you associate with cocaine use. Unfortunately, your brain will get used to that extra dopamine.
As you become more dependent on cocaine, you’re likely to experience depression, anxiety, and paranoia whenever you don’t get enough dopamine. You’ll start using more to get the same relief.
Over time, cocaine use causes more permanent changes in behavior. Irritability, difficulty with decision-making, and a loss of mental clarity are just a few side effects.
Risks And Dangers Of Pure Cocaine Drug Use
The combination of physical and psychological changes resulting from cocaine abuse is especially dangerous.
People who are addicted to cocaine are more likely to suffer from severe mental health crises and life-threatening cardiovascular events.
Without medical intervention, a serious cocaine addiction can lead to overdose, which can be fatal.
Treatment Options For Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is treatable. A medically assisted detox can help you to overcome the worst parts of withdrawal.
Then you’ll be free to start a treatment plan that helps you avoid relapse while providing psychological support.
Find Addiction Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
At Bedrock Recovery Center, our dedicated staff want to help you build a healthier future. We offer medically assisted detox and a multitude of behavioral therapy options.
If you’re ready to take your life back from cocaine addiction and protect your future, give Bedrock Recovery Center a call today.
- Insider — Cocaine Production Is Booming in Colombia: Here’s How it Gets Turned into Cocaine https://www.businessinsider.com/how-cocaine-is-made-2017-10
- Institute for Defense Analyses — The Price and Purity of Illicit Drugs: 1981-2007 https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/policy-and-research/bullet_1.pdf
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the long-term effects of cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-long-term-effects-cocaine-use
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the short-term effects of cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-are-short-term-effects-cocaine-use
- National Institute on Drug Abuse— What is cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine