Drug Class:

Individual drugs:
cocaine (powder), crack (crystals or 'rocks').

Common Terms:
blow, candy, Charlie, coke, rock, powder.
Consumption and Standard Dose:
  • Cocaine is a fine, white to off white powder typically sold as ½ gram, 1 gram, or an "8 ball" (3.5 grams).
  • Crack is a condensed, more potent form and is sold as hard crystals or "rocks".
  • Cocaine is typically snorted in small lines, crack is typically smoked.
  • Either drug can be injected.
The Buzz:
  • When snorted the effects can be felt for about 15 - 30 minutes.
  • When smoked in the form of "crack", the effects come on immediately but wear off much more quickly.
  • When injected, the effects are felt immediately and much more intensely.
  • Cocaine is a stimulant drug like speed, but much shorter acting.
  • It can lead to feelings of confidence, alertness, talkativeness and euphoria.
  • It causes a sudden increase in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.
  • Like other stimulants cocaine can make you feel more horny and more confident in propositioning people for sex
Overdose and other negative effects:
  • Cocaine and crack are very short acting (the high does not last very long). This can lead to using too much and too often.
  • In high doses cocaine can lead to seizures, strokes, hear attacks or difficulty breathing (even in experienced users).
  • After effects can include depression, agitation, anxiety and paranoia.
  • Repeated snorting can damage the nasal membranes.
  • Many users can become compulsive in their use of cocaine which can lead to physical or psychological addiction.
  • Difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection.
Sex on Cocaine:
  • can increase feelings of personal attractiveness and sexual confidence
  • can increase ease of making social connections and propositioning someone for sex
  • heightens sense of urgency to have sex and intensity of pleasure and connection during sex
  • can lead to marathon sex sessions
  • can delay climax
  • can decrease sense of importance of safer sex (e.g. condom usage)
  • long-term heavy use can burn out the brain’s pleasure receptors, making sober sex challenging to enjoy
  • can cause bowel movements, important to consider for anal sex, sometimes called a “bump dump”
  • many experience temporary impotence, commonly referred to as “coke dick”
Potential Adulterants:

Countries around the world are finding LEVAMISOLE in 40% to 70% of cocaine on the market. Levamisole is an animal de-wormer which can destroy your immune system. This can be a particular concern if your immune system is compromised by HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis C. If you are experiencing symptoms that won't go away or get worse quickly, such as high fever, swollen glands, darkened skin and sores, SEEK MEDICAL HELP NOW! Make sure you explain to your doctor that you've been using coke or crack and that it may be tainted with Levamisole. For more information see below.
HIV Medications & Cocaine
  • There are no significant bad reactions with small-to-moderate use of alcohol
  • If alcohol makes you throw up within an hour of taking HIV medication, it is recommended to that a does is taken again.
  • It is easy to forget to take meds when on cocaine. Make sure you take them, or create a system to remind yourself.
  • Make sure you plan eating for HIV meds that need to be taken with food. Cocaine suppresses appetite and can make it easy to forget to eat.
  • Cocaine and alcohol when taken together combine in the liver to form cocaethylene, which intensifies cocaine’s euphoric effects. Cocaethylene is associated with a greater
  • risk of the negative effects of both cocaine and alcohol alone. If you are taking HIV meds, you are likely to need significantly less of both alcohol and cocaine to feel the effects of cocaethylene.

Most of the cocaine and crack currently available in Toronto contains Levamisole. It's a toxic substance that's used for de-worming animals, and it weakens your immune system. This is especially a concern if you are living with HIV or hepatitis C.
How can I tell if there is Levamisole in my coke?

There's no way of telling by the look or taste of cocaine or crack whether or not it contains Levamisole. If you use crack or cocaine, watch out for the following symptoms:

Skin Conditions: Dark skin patches on your body. At first it looks like a bruise, then it gets darker and forms scabs. The skin can die and start to come off.

Infections: Rapid onset of fever, chills, sore throat, pneumonia (shortness of breath, coughing).

If you have any of these symptoms, go to the hospital emergency room immediately! The infection is treatable if you get help right away.

Make sure you tell your health care provider that you use cocaine/crack. Many symptoms caused by Levamisole are misdiagnosed because patients don't tell their physicians they use drugs.

Help make Toronto safer for people who use drugs by reporting bad batches to ReportBadDrugsTO. This helps harm reduction workers across the city know about current bad batches and get the word out to people who use drugs.