cocaine (ko-kan´)

Benzoylmethylecgonine;an alkaloid obtained from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca (family Erythroxylaceae) and other species of Erythroxylon, or by synthesis from ecgonine or its derivatives; it has moderate vasoconstrictor activity and pronounced psychotropic effects; its salts are used as a topical anesthetic.
crack c. A derivative of cocaine, usually smoked, resulting in a brief, intense high. C. is relatively inexpensive and extremely addictive. See street drug.Within 10 seconds of being smoked, it provides a dramatic high lasting 3-5 minutes, and afterwards an intense craving for the drug arises in the user. Dependency can develop in less than 2 weeks. This ready-to-smoke freebase is manufactured from powdered cocaine, which is heated with water in a glass tube. Once the mixture cools, baking soda and cold water are added, and the resulting product hardened and broken into pieces. It is sometimes called "rock" or "ready rock" (although normally, rock is a hydrochloride product which is snorted). It is also sold in ridged lengths called "french fries" or "teeth." Like snorted or injected cocaine, it has both acute and chronic complications, including heart and nasopharyngeal damage, seizures, and sudden death, and fosters an assortment of mental problems, including cocaine psychosis. Street use of crack exploded upon its introduction in the 1980s, and accounted for rises in emergency room admissions for cocaine overdose and in births of cocaine dependant babies.


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