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About Drugs

All drug use affects the brain and the body.

How the brain and body are impacted differs depending upon the type of drug used, the amount used and the frequency of use.

Different types of drugs impact the brain and body in different ways depending upon the type of drug used and the frequency of use. Learn more about drug types below.

Crack and Cocaine

 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. 


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