Substance Use

Can You Eat Cocaine?

piles of white cocaine

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Is Cocaine Edible?

What comes to mind when most people think about cocaine is that it’s snorted through the nose or smoked as “crack.” While most people consume cocaine these ways, you may wonder if you can eat cocaine.

The answer is: “Yes, you can.” However, eating cocaine isn’t common at all — in fact, it can be more dangerous to consume it by mouth.

In this article, we explain everything related to eating cocaine. You’ll also learn how the rate that cocaine reaches your brain depends on the way you consume it. Lastly, you’ll gain a better understanding of the negative effects of cocaine, no matter how you use it.

The professionals at Zinnia Health understand why drugs like cocaine have become popular. We also know how much of a struggle it can be to overcome cocaine addiction. That’s why we offer a wide range of treatment options customized for everyone. If you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse, you search online to find a recovery center near you. 

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What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that’s been around longer than most other drugs. Initially, cocaine was used in the United States as a local anesthetic for medical purposes due to its numbing properties. For over 100 years, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has indicated that cocaine remains one of the most used drugs with the potential to lead to substance abuse or addiction.

As a recreational drug on the street, cocaine looks like a fine, white, powdery substance. The active ingredient, cocaine alkaloid, is a stimulant drug that directly affects the brain and has addictive properties.

Cocaine causes the release of dopamine, the “feel-good hormone,” which can make you seem more alert, joyful, clear-thinking, sociable, self-confident, and energetic. Common slang names for cocaine include blow, bump, C, Charlie, coca, coke, crack, flake, rock, soda cot, snow, and toot.

Cocaine comes in two forms.

  1. Hydrochloride salt — a fine, white, crystal-like powder form that can be dissolved in water
  2. Freebase — a hard, whitish or yellowish rock-like substance that can be smoked

Pure cocaine is called cocaine hydrochloride, a chemical that can be extracted from coca leaves. The coca plant (Erythroxylon coca) naturally grows in Bolivia, Columbia, and Peru, where indigenous people have consumed it for thousands of years. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Columbian jungle labs produce as much as 90% of the world’s supply of cocaine from raw products.

Cocaine is frequently mixed with other drugs by dealers to enhance the effects. This includes cocaine mixed with marijuana (“bazooka”), cocaine mixed with heroin (“speedball”), cocaine mixed with PCP (“space dust), cocaine mixed with meth (“croak”), cocaine mixed with tobacco (“coolie”), cocaine mixed with heroin, meth, benzos, and alcohol (“five way”), and crack cocaine mixed with fentanyl (“takeover”).

Methods of Cocaine Use 

To avoid its harmful effects, it’s important to understand the differences in how you consume cocaine, including eating. Like most drugs, cocaine can be used in various ways.

The most common way people use cocaine is by smoking it in the form of crack. The preferred way to abuse cocaine relates to how fast it affects the brain, which is the location responsible for causing the feeling of being high.

People use different methods to consume cocaine.

  • Oral (eating)
  • Intravenous (mainlining or injecting)
  • Intranasal (snorting)
  • Inhalation (smoking)

Eating or drinking cocaine is not very common. People sometimes rub it on their gums, mainly to test how pure it is. In the past, indigenous Indians in South America used to brew and drink coca tea or chew on dried coca leaves. They believed it gave them a magical feeling — the Incas considered it a gift from heaven and called it “the divine plant.”

If you’re a cocaine user, it’s vital to realize that you could be putting yourself at higher health risks. No matter how you consume cocaine, it can cause short-term and long-term effects on your entire body. In addition, you could develop dependence and find it hard to stop. We offer immediate cocaine addiction treatment help 24/7, so don’t hesitate to speak with one of our rehab professionals by calling (855) 430-9439

How the Rate Cocaine Affects the Brain Depends on How It’s Consumed 

How you take cocaine matters! According to Duke University, the rate that cocaine affects the brain depends on the route of administration into the body and bloodstream. Once in the brain, the rate that cocaine stays to continue taking effect varies as well as indicated by the National Library of Medicine.

1. When You Smoke Cocaine

It only takes a few seconds to experience euphoria when cocaine is injected or smoked because it either goes directly into the bloodstream or rapidly from the lungs.

After smoking, cocaine doesn’t stay in the brain for long, which can make you feel depressed or like you’re going through a “crash.” The smoking high lasts about 5-10 minutes, so people tend to repeatedly smoke it, which can lead to addiction.

2. When You Snort Cocaine

When snorted, it takes several minutes because the cocaine must pass through the nasal tissues before getting to the blood. It takes much longer for cocaine to leave the brain when snorting.

It slowly travels throughout the circulatory system to get to the brain, which makes the effects last about 15-30 minutes.   

3. When You Inject Cocaine

The effects after injecting into the veins can last 20-60 minutes.

4. When You Eat Cocaine

The oral use of cocaine takes the longest amount of time before the effects kick in. Plus, very little of it reaches the brain, so the effects are mild and produced slowly.

This likely explains why people who take cocaine orally are at less risk of cocaine addiction. Still, ingesting cocaine is very dangerous, especially if you continue to take more because you don’t feel the effects right away.

The Effects of Eating Cocaine

No matter how you take it, cocaine affects your entire body.

When you eat it, it takes longer to reach the brain compared to other forms of consumption. In turn, people find themselves taking much larger amounts of cocaine to feel the same effects they’d get from smaller doses taken by smoking or snorting. This puts you at a much greater risk of accidentally overdosing.

Here are some of the harmful health effects of cocaine use:

  • Psychosis
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Severe weight loss
  • Heart attack
  • Strokes
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Sudden death

Based on a 2021 national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1.7% of Americans ages 12 or older used cocaine, and 0.5% had a cocaine use disorder.

According to the National Institutes of Health, overdoses from using cocaine have risen. In 2014, a total of 5,419 people in the U.S. were reported to have died from cocaine use, as compared to 19,447 in 2020. Many of these deaths involved a combination of cocaine and opioids, particularly fentanyl.

Get On the Road to Recovery From Cocaine Addiction

Millions of people use cocaine, including those who’ve been diagnosed with a cocaine use disorder. Whether you eat, smoke, snort, or inject cocaine, it can have detrimental effects on your body and mind.

Although the oral use of cocaine is rare and doesn’t put you at as much risk for addiction, it takes much more of the drug to feel high. That’s why eating cocaine should be avoided. Consider the many options available, including cocaine detox, to recover from cocaine addiction.

Do you or a family member use cocaine? If so, you could be at risk of developing an addiction and experiencing long-term health problems. At Zinnia Health, we provide treatment for substance abuse, including outpatient care to inpatient rehab. Long-term recovery is only a click or a call away, so contact us online or reach out at (855) 430-9439.

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