What You Need to Know About Freebasing
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), “Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. As a street drug, cocaine looks like a fine, white, crystal powder. Street dealers often mix it with things like cornstarch, talcum powder, or flour to increase profits. They may also mix it with other drugs such as the stimulant amphetamine, or synthetic opioids, including fentanyl.” Tampering with cocaine by adding synthetic drugs, such as fentanyl, is especially risky and can lead to potential overdose and death.
Street names for cocaine often include:
- Big Rush
As a stimulant drug, cocaine offers a burst of energy and a euphoric feeling. The high doesn’t last long, which usually leads to repeated binging of the drug—quickly leading to addiction.
Signs of cocaine abuse and addiction can include:
- Runny nose and nose bleeds
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Needle marks from injecting the drug
- Dilated pupils
Cocaine and Freebasing
People who use cocaine typically snort the powder through the nose, or they rub it into their gums. Others dissolve the powder and inject it into the bloodstream. Some people inject a combination of cocaine and heroin, called a “speedball” (NIDA). However, freebasing is another method of doing cocaine which involves putting freebase cocaine (cocaine that’s been converted from its salt to its base form—considered its “purest form”) into a glass pipe, heating it until it boils into a vapor and then inhaling the substance. Freebase cocaine enters the bloodstream much faster than other forms of cocaine, resulting in an intense high.
Long-Term Effects of Freebasing
When freebasing, you are essentially inhaling a toxic chemical substance, so the long-term effects can be very dangerous; even fatal. Long-term cocaine freebase abuse can lead to health and psychological issues such as hallucinations, paranoia, and depression. Other issues include respiratory problems, heart damage, and even cancer. If you witness someone freebasing cocaine and they display signs of hyperventilation, convulsions, coma, or stroke symptoms, call 911 immediately.
Cocaine and Treatment for Addiction
Often, loved ones are unaware of the signs of cocaine addiction until it’s time to seek help. Fortunately, treatment is available. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction, get help now. While there’s no cure for addiction, recovery is possible. Daylight Recovery Services provides compassionate care that is tailored to each client’s specific needs. Contact us today at 1-833-2DAYLIGHT to speak with one of our knowledgeable recovery experts.