What is Cocaine?

Cocaine or the common name known in the market is called coke, is a stimulant drug that speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and the rest of the body.

Cocaine generally comes from the leaves of the coca bush [Erythroxylum coca], which is located from the native South America. The leaf extract is processes used to produce 3 different forms cocaine that is known as;

  • Cocaine hydrochloride:  a white, crystalline powder with a bitter, numbing taste. Cocaine hydrochloride is often mixed, or ‘cut’, with other substances such as lactose and glucose, to dilute it before being sold.
  • Freebase: a white powder that is more pure with less impurity than cocaine hydrochloride.
  • Crack: crystals ranging in colour from white or cream to transparent with a pink or yellow hue, it may contain impurities.

How it is normally used?

Cocaine hydrochloride is commonly be used as snorted, where some individual will inject, rubbed into their gums or even added to drinks or food.

Freebase and crack cocaine are usually smoked.

Indigenous people of South America have traditionally chewed the coca bush, or brewed them as a tea, for use as a stimulant or appetite suppressant.

Effects of cocaine 

Cocaine may affect everyone in different levels, but the common effects of cocaine included;

  • Size, weight and health
  • Whether the person is used to taking it
  • Whether other drugs are taken at the same time
  • The amount of cocaine are taken
  • The strength of the drug [varies from batch to batch]

What you may experience 

  • Happiness and confidence
  • Talking more than usual
  • Feeling energetic and alert
  • Quiet contemplation and rapture
  • Feeling physically strong and mentally sharp
  • Reduced appetite
  • Dry mouth and enlarged [dilated] pupils
  • Higher blood pressures, faster heartbeat and breathing [after initial slowing]
  • Higher body temperature and increased sex drive
  • Unpredictable, violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Indifference to pain or numbness

Long-term effects 

Regular used or consuming to cocaine may eventually cause an individual to;

  • Insomnia and exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Anxiety, paranoia and psychosis
  • Eating disorders and weight loss
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Hypertension and irregular heartbeat
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Hallucination
  • Heart disease and death

While regular snorting could lead or may cause an individual to;

  • A runny nose or nosebleed
  • Nose infection
  • A hole in the tissue separating the nostrils
  • Long-term damage to the nasal cavity and sinuses

High doses and frequent heavy usage of can also cause an individual to neurone cognition behaviourism attribute called “cocaine psychosis”, that are characterised by paranoid delusions, hallucinations and out of character aggressive behaviour. However, these symptoms will disappear a few day later after an individual stop using cocaine.

Singapore tough measures on illicit drugs/substances

Cocaine is categorised as a controlled drug substances under Singapore Misuse Drug Act, whereby any Singaporean or Permanent Resident are found to have consumed to any drug-related illicit activity even outside of Singapore are subject to the penalty of 10 years imprisonment, fines not exceeding to $20,000, or both.

The penalty for any drug-related criminal offences

Possession or consumption of Cocaine;

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or $20,000 fines or BOTH.

Illegal traffic, import or export of Cocaine not more than 30 grams;

  • The penalty will be convicted under the Capital Punishment of the death penalty.
REFERENCES

Australia Drug Foundation, preventing harm in Australia, drugs facts and resources about drugs and alcohol.Last updated: May 25, 2017

Central Narcotic Bureau (CNB), controlled substances in Singapore, drugs and inhalant, last updated website on Friday, 16 September 2016.

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