(coke, charlie, bag, blow)

Cocaine is made from the coca plant which grows in South America. In traditional use, the leaves are chewed to give the user a boost in energy. Now, the powder form has become the second most commonly used recreational drug in the world, second only to cannabis. Cocaine is a relatively short acting stimulant which is known to cause dependence in regular users.

Effects | Dosage | Advice | Support


  • Increased energy/alertness
  • Talkativeness/sociability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Palpitations
  • Aggression (especially when combined with alcohol)


Dosage will depend on a number of factors including tolerance, gender and weight, amongst others.

  • Threshold: 5 - 10 mg
  • Light: 10 - 30 mg
  • Common: 30 - 60 mg
  • Strong: 60 - 90 mg
  • Heavy: 90+ mg

Cocaine purity varies wildly. The best way to stay safe when using cocaine is to start low and take it slow.

Harm Reduction Advice

  • Chop up your cocaine finely, alternate nostrils and wash out your nose at the end of a session to reduce damage to your nasal passages and septum.
  • Use your own snorting tube (preferably not money) to prevent the spread of blood borne viruses like Hepatitis C.
  • Avoid using cocaine and alcohol together. These two drugs react together in your body to form Cocaethylene, a substance that is much more toxic than either drug on its own. This combination can also make it more likely you’ll feel anxious or aggressive.
  • If you can’t imagine going on a night out without doing cocaine it’s probably time to take a break. It can be a slippery slope from regular use to addiction.
  • If someone collapses, has a seizure or becomes unresponsive, seek immediate medical attention. You will not get in trouble for doing this.
  • Be aware that cocaine is often cut with a wide range of different substances. Some of these are relatively benign in comparison to cocaine itself but it is not uncommon for it to be cut with other stimulants. Remember to start low and take it slow.
  • Do not attempt to get in the car and drive. Make sure you find a safe alternative.

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External Resources

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Image Credit: Valerie Everett