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Cocaine and Crack

What is it?

Cocaine is an addictive drug derived from the coca plant or produced synthetically as an illegal stimulant and is classified as a Schedule II drug. Crack is a term utilized to describe the change in appearance from cocaine powder/paste to a rock formation. The rock formation of cocaine is referred to as crack.

Side effects

The effects of cocaine and crack differentiate depending upon the route of use. Individuals commonly experience irritability, restlessness, panic and paranoia, all of which can worsen with the repeated and increased use of cocaine. Cocaine is often used through binge patterns, and at increasingly higher doses which leads to higher risks for the mind and body. If cocaine is snorted, common effects on the body include loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds and problems with swallowing. If crack is smoked, it can additionally lead to damage to the lungs.

Effects on the Brain

Cocaine and crack are both powerful stimulants that increase the levels of dopamine in the brain circuits that control experiences of pleasure. The sudden increase of dopamine interrupts the normal brain communication; both cocaine and crack can cause feelings of happiness, energy, irritability and paranoia.


There are numerous slang terms used to describe cocaine, some of the most common are coke, C, snow, powder, blow, rocks and lines. 

  • Cocaine Facts Information for teens from

  • Stimulants Information on stimulants (cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, amphetamines, ritalin, and adderall) from NIDA for teens.

  • Cocaine Comprehensive information from NIDA

  • In The Know Zone: Cocaine Syndistar site with cocaine information, images, statistics, street names, history, cocaine and the brain, short and long-term effects.

  • Mind Over Matter: Cocaine Cocaine information for teens from NIDA.