Cocaine is a very addictive stimulant drug. Stimulants are drugs that increase the activity of the brain on the body. This means that it can make a person feel more energetic, more alert, etc. It is a fine white powder, it can also be found in crystal form as crack cocaine, a variant of cocaine. There are a few ways that people consume the drug:
1. Intranasal, also called snorting, where a person inhales cocaine powder through their nose and the substance is then absorbed in the body through the tissues in the nose.
2. Oral, where a person rubs cocaine onto their gums, and it is absorbed in the body through the tissues of the gums.
3. Intravenous, where a person dissolves cocaine in water and then injects it with a needle directly into the bloodstream.
4. Inhalation, this is done through smoking. To be able to do that, the regular cocaine powder is transformed so that it becomes 100% pure cocaine, this is called freebase cocaine (because the base of the cocaine is freed from the other components). This form of cocaine can be smoked and is absorbed very quickly by the body.
How is cocaine produced and brought in the United States?
Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant. This plant grows in South America. The process of creating cocaine consists of extracting coca from the coca leaves and then transforming that in cocaine. Here is an overview of how it is produced. The first step is soaking the coca leaves in gasoline, then taking that gasoline and filtered with acid. This way the gasoline can be removed and then ammonia or other substance added to create the cocaine base. This is then filtered through a cloth and dried. The next step is to dissolve that substance in a solvent and heat it. The excess solvents are then removed with a hydraulic press and using microwave ovens. This creates the cocaine bricks which are usually about 50 percent cocaine and then it is trafficked in that form.
Most of the cocaine comes from Colombia, but other South American countries also produce quite a lot of cocaine, such as Peru and Bolivia