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Cocaine is a short acting stimulant that acts on the central nervous system (CNS) speeding up breathing and heart rate. Cocaine is extracted and refined from the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca) grown primarily in the Andean region of South America. The leaf extract is processed to produce 3 different forms of cocaine.

COCAINE HYDROCHLORIDE: a white, crystalline powder with a bitter, numbing taste. Cocaine hydrochloride is often mixed, or ‘cut’, with other substances such as lactose and glucose, to dilute it before being sold.

CRACK: crystals ranging in colour from white or cream to transparent with a pink or yellow hue, it may contain impurities. Crack is often found in the US, UK and other countries but is not commonly found in Australia. As a result, this resource will focus on powdered

cocaine only.



Total Duration: 45 minutes -1.5 hours*

Onset: 5-10 minutes

Peak: 20-40 minutes

Coming Down: 10-30 minutes

After Effects: 1-4 hours

*Based on snorting cocaine powder



Even though the apparent effects of the drug wear off after 1 hour, the drug is still active in your system for up to 2 hours after you have taken it. Remember this if using other substances or redosing.



‘Set’ (your mind & body) + ‘Setting’ (environment) + Drug


  • Decreased appetite

  • Increased energy

  • Decreased fatigue

  • Dilated pupils

  • Increased heart rate

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Increased body temperature and sweating

  • Constricted blood vessels

  • Insomnia *LESS COMMON

  • Restlessness *LESS COMMON

  • Seizure *RARE

  • Stroke *RARE

  • Heart Attack *RARE


  • Euphoria

  • Elevated mood

  • Increased confidence

  • Irritability *LESS COMMON

  • Aggression *RARE


  • Reduced social inhibitions

  • Increased focus and concentration

  • Clearer thinking

  • Increased alertness

  • Psychosis *LESS COMMON

  • Excited Delirium *RARE



Polydrug use has many possible outcomes. What could be fun for one person could be dangerous for another. We recommend you proceed with caution.


Opioids – Risk of heart strain. Opioids can cause loss of consciousness and respiratory arrest even when using stimulants. The amount of cocaine used may be greater when combined with a Depressant.

GHB - Risk of heart strain. GHB can cause loss of consciousness even when using stimulants. The amount of cocaine used may be greater when combined with a Depressant.

MAOIs - This combo can cause a severe increase in blood pressure that can lead to a stroke

Stimulants (MDMA, Cocaine etc) - This combo can end in heart strain and psychosis.


Alcohol - Forms coca-ethylene in the body which is more harmful than the individual substances and creates a higher chance of dependency to both.

Psychedelics - Stimulants increase anxiety levels and amplify any negative experiences.

Check out the TripSit drug combinations chart HERE for info on other combinations.


Anxiety, Paranoia, Irritability, Insomnia, Weight loss, Mental health issues, Damage to nasal cartilage, Immune system problems due to the common presence of Levamisole as a

cutter in cocaine

It is not recommended to use cocaine if you have or are at risk of:

  • Heart issues

  • Hypertension

  • Thyroid issues

  • Pre-existing mental health issues

  • Being Pregnant - cocaine can increase the risk of miscarriage, premature labour and stillbirth

  • Breastfeeding



Roadside Police: Cocaine is tested for in roadside drug tests in some Australian jurisdictions and is detectable in saliva tests for 24 to 72 hours since you last slept (not last dose). It is illegal to drive under the influence of any illicit drugs, including cocaine and any driver may be subject to a roadside behavioural impairment test. Wait at least 24 hours before driving. Taking multiple doses over several hours can lengthen this period.

Workplace: OHS law gives employers rights to test employees for drug use. This should be contained in workplace policy, it should be reasonable, and a risk assessment should be done to determine whether testing of employees is appropriate

Urine: 3+ days after; Hair: Up to 90 days; Blood: 1-3 days (med check)

‘Pill Testing’/Drug Checking: Lab-quality testing has been trialled in Australia and is not available as a health service yet but DIY reagent testing is an option. The Scott test and other reagents produce reactions with cocaine.



  • Use around people you trust and somewhere you feel safe.

  • Eat about 30 minutes before use.

  • It is a good idea to start with a very small amount to gauge strength and assess your sensitivity.

  • Set a limit of how much you want to use and what time you plan to stop to avoid taking too much.

  • Be aware of overheating or an elevated heart rate and make sure to cool down & chill out regularly.

  • Keep your fluids up, but don’t drink too much—1 cup of water (250ml) p/h when resting & 500ml per hour when active.

  • Try eat every 2-3 hours, have a smoothie/sports drink to keep your electrolytes up.

  • Sleep! Or at least lay down and rest during a 24-hour period to avoid sleep deprivation.


  • Crush to fine powder as crystals can cause little cuts.

  • Snort water before and after to protect your nose.

  • Use your own straw/spoon (& not money bills) to avoid infection or blood borne viruses (HIV/HVC)

  • Repeated snorting can damage your nose, switch nos-trils regularly and take breaks.


  • Use your own, new and sterile injecting equipment (inc. water when mixing).

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after.

  • Learn about safer injecting practices.

  • Dispose of syringes & equipment responsibly.

Shelving (dry)/Plugging(wet mix)

  • Use lubrication to avoid tearing the skin

  • Use a condom or latex/vinyl glove to avoid internal scratches

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after

  • Use sterile water to mix with powdered pill

  • Find a discreet and safe place to do it.


  • Cocaine cannot be smoked unless it has been converted to freebase or crack cocaine.

  • Cocaine in its powder state requires a high melting point in order to vaporise it.



Carrying drugs & paraphernalia puts you at greater risk of criminal charges (inc. trafficking, even if you don’t deal). Know your local laws.



This resource has been made by people who use drugs for their peers & the wider community. The role of DanceWize is to provide credible & non-judgmental info to promote health & harm reduction. In an unregulated (illegal) market you don’t know the purity or dose of any drug and there is always some risk. You can educate yourself and practise harm reduction to reduce risk. Knowledge is power. #JUSTSAYKNOW

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