- Street dealers dilute cocaine with inert (non-psychoactive) but similar-looking substances such as cornstarch, talcum powder, and sugar, or with active drugs such as procaine and benzocaine (used as local anesthetics), or other CNS stimulants such as amphetamines.
- A tolerance to the cocaine high may be developed and many addicts report that they fail to achieve as much pleasure as they did from their first cocaine exposure.
- Cocaine is prepared from the leaf of the Erythroxylon coca bush, which grows primarily in Peru and Bolivia.
- Cocaine is generally sold on the street as a hydrochloride salt - a fine, white crystalline powder known as coke, C, snow, flake, or blow.
Cocaine addiction can occur very quickly and be very difficult to break. Animal studies have shown that animals will work very hard (press a bar over 10,000 times) for a single injection of cocaine, choose cocaine over food and water, and take cocaine even when this behavior is punished. Animals must have their access to cocaine limited in order not to take toxic or even lethal doses. People addicted to cocaine behave similarly. They will go to great lengths to get cocaine and continue to take it even when it hurts their school or job performance and their relationships with loved ones.
Regular use of cocaine can lead to strong psychological dependence (addiction). Those who abruptly stop their cocaine use can experience cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms as they readjust to functioning without the drug. The length of cocaine addiction withdrawal varies from person to person and on the amount and frequency of use.
Cocaine addiction withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
- intense craving for the drug
- extreme fatigue
- angry outbursts
- lack of motivation
- muscle pain
- disturbed sleep