What is Cocaine made out of? What are its main ingredients? Cutting agents?
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca plant, native to South America, grown in places like Columbia, Peru and Bolivia.
In the early 1900s, cocaine was the main active ingredient in many tonics and elixirs used to treat a variety of illnesses and pain management. It was even an ingredient in the early recipes of Coca-Cola.
Research has since shown that cocaine is a powerfully addictive substance that can alter brain structure and function if used repeatedly.
Today, cocaine is a Schedule II drug, which means that it has high potential for abuse but can be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses, such as local anesthesia for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries.
As a street drug, cocaine appears as a fine, white, crystalline powder and is also known as Coke, C, Snow, Powder, or Blow.
Cocaine and Crack Cocaine
People abuse two chemical forms of cocaine: the water-soluble hydrochloride salt and the water-insoluble cocaine base (or freebase).
Users inject or snort the hydrochloride salt, which is a powder.
Crack cocaine is created by processing the drug with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, then heating it to remove the hydrochloride to produce a smokable substance.
The term crack, which is the street name given to freebase cocaine, refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked.
Where does Cocaine come from?
Colombia is the largest grower of the coca bush.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports that Colombia is the main source for cocaine seized in the United States. In 2016, approximately 92% of cocaine samples seized in the U.S. were from Colombia.
Cutting Agents and Adulterants
Street dealers often dilute or cut cocaine with non-psychoactive substances such as cornstarch, talcum powder, flour, or baking soda to increase their profits.
They may also adulterate cocaine with other drugs like other anesthetics or amphetamine, another psychoactive stimulant.
Some of these substances, such as fentanyl, are extremely dangerous.
Dealers also often cut their supply of cocaine with substances to enhance its effects, such as:
- Caffeine, which can create similar but weaker effects to cocaine.
- Lidocaine, which is prescribed to treat heart arrhythmias. When mixed with cocaine, the drug enhances cocaine’s numbing effects, but it can lead to heart problems and overdose, and it increases the toxicity of cocaine.
- Procaine, which is a local anesthetic that has similar effects to cocaine. It can cause nausea, vomiting, tremors, and dizziness.
- Levamisole, which is an animal de-wormer that was originally used to treat a similar condition in humans and may be used by dealers to give the cocaine a more intense high. However, it can lead to fever and blood disorders and is highly toxic.
- Mannitol, which is a prescription diuretic that can also be used to diagnose asthma and help treat glaucoma.
The Realities of Cocaine, it’s Cutting Agents and Adulterants
It is virtually impossible for a recreational user to tell the difference between cocaine cut with other ingredients and pure cocaine. Even experienced buyers may not be able to tell the difference. You have no idea what you’re ingesting.
Today, dealers are increasingly cutting cocaine with fentanyl, an extremely powerful opioid.
Fentanyl laced cocaine has led to a growing number of overdose deaths.
In New York, 37% of overdose deaths involved cocaine and fentanyl in 2016, up from 11% in 2015.
Are you or is someone you love struggling? We know it is scary. We can help.
Treatment for Cocaine Addiction
Seeking treatment for substance addiction is the first step to true recovery.
Finding the best suited treatment program and facility will require some research, but the very good news is there is reason for hope—there is help available.
At Honey Lake Clinic, we understand that substance abuse is a complex and dangerous mental health concern, affecting not only the one in its grip, but also others.
Our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatric specialists, strongly believe that faith-based treatment, encompassing mind, body and spirit, will provide you with the long-lasting tools and knowledge to find freedom from substance abuse.
A beautiful and tranquil 650-acre lakeside setting, a safe medical environment, 24-hour nursing, doctors and psychiatric specialists, all administering care from a Christian worldview and perspective—Honey Lake Clinic is a unique solution for Mental Health.