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    What is cocaine?

    • Cocaine is a naturally occurring potent stimulant1
    • It can be injected intravenously, snorted, or smoked1
    • One derivative of cocaine is “crack” which is a form of the drug that is not neutralized by acid to form a salt. It is sold as a crystal rock.  It can be heated to form vapors which are then smoked1
    • Cocaine works by decreasing the availability of Dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system2

    What are the medical consequences of cocaine use?

    • Nausea3
    • Abdominal pain3
    • Neurological effects2
    • Cardiovascular effects
           Cardiac arrhythmias2
           Myocardial infarctions2
           Cardiac arrest3
    • Mental health effects
           Increased feelings of anxiety2
           Increased feelings of aggression2
           Increased risk of psychiatric disorders2
    • Increased risk of HIV and Hepatitis4

    What are the medical consequences of cocaine use in pregnancy?

    • Preterm labor4
    • Preterm premature rupture of membranes4
    • Placental abruption4
    • Decreased birth weight and size4, 5
    • Visual problems in the neonate5
    • Delayed language development in neonate5
    • Decreased attention span in child5

    1. Office of National Drug Control Policy.  Street Terms: Drug and Drug Trade.  Retrieved November 15, 2010 from http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/streetterms/. 
    2. Minnes, S. et al. (2012). Cocaine use during pregnancy and health outcomes after 10 years. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 126. 71-79.
    3. Drug Facts: Cocaine.  Retrieved January 15, 2014 from The National Institute on Drug Abuse Web site: http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
    4. Schempf, A.H. (2009).  Illicit Drug Use and Neonatal Outcomes: a Critical Review [Electronic Version]. Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey, 62:11.  749-757.
    5. Bandstra, E.S (2010). Prenatal Drug Exposure: Infant and Toddler Outcomes [Electronic Version]. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 29, 245-358. 
    January, 2014