how cocaine is abused

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  • Dabbing: Cocaine can be rubbed on to the gums
    • is a local anaesthetic and the effects are similar but enhanced in comparison to chewing the coca leaf

  • Snorting: Cocaine is most commonly snorted in its hydrochloride powder form

  • Piping: Crack is most commonly smoked through a pipe
    • the quickest way to get the drug to the brain. Glass pipes, tin cans and water bottles are used

  • Injecting: Cocaine hydrochloride is soluble in water and can be injected
    • crack or freebase must be reconverted to a salt to become soluble and capable of injection using citric or ascorbic acid. The effects are very slightly less euphoric though slightly longer lasting than piping

  • Chasing: Crack can be chased on tin foil with heat applied from below, in the same way as heroin. Rocks are crushed to increase surface area

  • Smoking/chipping: involves flaking bits of cocaine or crack into the top of a cigarette ‘joint’ and typically occurs in lower dose use


Last reviewed 01/2018