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How is powdered cocaine abused?
Powdered cocaine typically is snorted (inhaled through the nose), although it may be dissolved in water and injected. When snorted, the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal membranes. The drug reaches the brain--and produces its euphoric effect--within 3 to 5 minutes. When injected, the drug is released directly into the bloodstream and reaches the brain within 15 to 30 seconds.
Powdered cocaine use among high school students is a particular concern. Seven percent of high school seniors in the United States used the drug at least once in their lifetime, and 2 percent used the drug in the past month, according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey.
Cocaine is a very addictive drug. Chronic users risk developing tolerance to cocaine's effects. Many addicts report that as tolerance develops they fail to achieve the positive effects they experienced when they first began using the drug; thus, they begin to use cocaine with greater frequency and in larger doses.
Cocaine users who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne viruses.
Street Terms for Powdered Cocaine
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