Harm Reduction

Be aware of variable purity (range 2-70% approx.). Most serious cocaine/crack problems are related to dose levels and how that dose reaches the brain.

Mixing with other drugs and alcohol should be avoided or kept within the user’s own known limits. Mixing the two creates a third substance called cocaethylene which is a more potent version of the two.

Be aware that sharing with mates is a serious offence. For more advice, and further information, visit our legal page here.

Try not to use alone- at the very least make sure someone knows where you are, and don’t use alone in a locked room or isolated place.

Set a strict limit on expenditure and quantity. Don’t get cocaine on credit: if you can’t afford it you can’t afford it!

Cocaine can be taken in a number of ways, but the most common are insufflation (snorting), swallowing and occasionally injecting. For each route of administration, there are different health considerations that must be taken into account.

Snorting – always make sure you cut up your lines carefully (so as not to get too much), using a clean edge and on a clean surface. If possible use a new straw or other object to inhale, or if reusing make sure it’s been thoroughly sterilised first, as bacteria and some viruses can linger for a long time. Never share a straw or other object with anyone else without cleaning it first.

Swallowing – if wrapping yourself, carefully check how much you’re putting in a bomb. If someone else, particularly someone you don’t know, is doing it, try to keep an eye on what they’re doing. Using more than one paper can lessen any unpleasant taste and also slow the release of the substance into your system.

Injecting – this is rarely done with cocaine and only once it has been mixed with water, which should always be clean and as sterile as possible. Be very careful how much you use, as injecting needs far smaller amounts than other methods such as snorting. For general advice, see our ‘Safer injecting’ section here.