What It’s Actually Like To Snort A Line Of Coke?

'The back of the tongue, nose and throat will go numb.’

What It's Actually Like To Snort A Line Of Coke?

by Anna Codrea-Rado |
Updated on

Duncan takes coke because it brings him out of his shell. ‘I like the buzz and the way it lubricates conversation,’ Duncan, whose name has been changed, tells The Debrief. ‘If you’re sitting around with mates chatting and listening to music, that situation is only enhanced by coke. It’s so nice being with your mates and talking about anything and everything and getting into weird conversations.’

Cocaine is a short-lived, high-strength stimulant and when snorted in powder form it’s known colloquially as coke. It comes from the coca plant which grows in South America and is linked to some of the world’s most violent drug-related crime gangs. You also get ‘crack’ cocaine which comes in rock form and is smoked, producing a more intense high.

Missi Wooldridge, Founder and CEO of US-based harm reduction organisation Healthy Nightlife explains how it works: ‘Cocaine speeds up the central nervous system, thus, a person may experience a burst of energy and great feelings of well-being, enhanced focus, stimulation, loss of appetite, and possible sexual arousal.’

Duncan echoes the idea of everything getting faster on coke when he says that it makes him really chatty. ‘You feel very confident in what you’re saying – there’s no doubt in your mind that what you’re saying is right,’ he says. ‘You’ll start talking about the music that’s playing and then spend five minutes going on about the post-Orbital career of Paul Hartnoll in extreme levels of detail.’

There’s something of a ceremony involved for Duncan when he racks up a few lines of coke with mates, he says. He explains that scooping the white powder out of the little baggy and cutting it up with a credit card on the back of the book while jabbering on about something esoteric is all part of the fun.

'There’s often quite a strong a petrol-y smell,’ Duncan says about the snorting process. That’s because gasoline is a key component in the production of cocaine. He goes on: ‘That’s the first thing you smell, followed by the feeling of the coke hitting the back of your throat and then you get that drip. The back of the tongue, nose and throat will go numb.’

Duncan says the initial buzz lasts about 10 to 15 minutes, then you ride out the after-effects for about an hour. ‘But within about 15 to 30 minutes of that first line, you want another one,’ he says.

Although coke is usually grouped together with other ‘party drugs’ like MDMA, Duncan doesn’t think it’s a good drug take in the club. ‘First of all, there’s a high requirement to administer it,’ he says, explaining that you end up wasting your night ‘going back and forth to the toilet all the time’ to snort another line.

Duncan also said that coke can be extremely moreish. ‘The one guaranteed feeling you’ll get is that you will want to have more coke,’ Duncan says. ‘You don’t get that feeling with MDMA or acid, but you just have this feeling of “I want a little bit more” and that pretty much goes on until the coke runs out.’

Wooldridge, who is based in the US, tells The Debrief that a big concern see she’s a lot with coke is what’s really in it. ‘Cocaine is one of the most highly adulterated substances on the market,’ she says. 'The primary risk is consuming or combining unknown substances and substances that may mimic some of the effects of cocaine.’

She goes on to explain that coke and some of its adulterants may cause anxiety and paranoia, agitation, dizziness, nausea, increased heart rate, and possible seizure, stroke, or heart attack, in more severe situations, heart attack – especially in higher doses.

In addition to the dangers posed by adulterants, earlier this year harm reduction experts started worrying that street cocaine in the UK was actually getting purer. Police seized a batch of coke in Sussex that was believed to be nearly 100 percent pure. Put simply, pure coke is a lot stronger than a street dealer’s usual gear and so it’s much more dangerous.

Wooldridge says a good way to try and stay safe while taking coke is to start with less. ‘A harm reduction rule of thumb is to "start low and go slow." Take a smaller amount and wait to see the effects before taking more,’ she says. This is advice is applicable to any recreational drug-taking and is widely considered the bedrock of a good harm reduction practice.

'Try having one or two people in your group of friends consume a dose before everyone consuming at the same time,’ Wooldridge adds. ‘This way, if there are negative reactions, someone can get help.’ Wooldridge emphasises that if someone in your group does have a bad reaction to coke, or any substance, to always seek help immediately.

Duncan says that another issue with coke is that it can make people get quite aggro. He says: ‘I think if you do have an aggressive side, or if there’s a bit of you that likes to be the boss, or if you’ve got an ego, coke will fuel that.’

If you’d like to find out more about the impacts of coke, or any other drug, visit TalkToFrank.com or drugwise.org.uk

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Follow Anna on Twitter @annacod

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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