No. 2 in our series; Cocaine -How Do You Take Yours?
This BP article was brought to you by A&E Lifestyles, a BP partnership in drug taking & drug investigating!
While the BP ‘knowledge’ tends to come from hundreds of combined years of experience of opiate and coca use (and that’s just the crew!), these days, drug taking for the enthusiast is changing. It’s broadening out, it’s becoming consumer savvy, it’s becoming mainstream. Nowadays, we aren’t so attached to one drug anymore, it’s a pill for this, then a smoke for that, then a whole pharmacopoeia of drugs for the come downs. We are learning how to use our drugs, we want to know more about them and what they do and what are the safest ways of taking them. The West has created a pill culture – and drugs are out there by the bucket load. This issue, BP looks at cocaine – and A&E are asking you “How do you take your coke?”
Cocaine is used by such a diverse group of people, probably because it lends itself to being snorted, smoked, injected, freebased, chased, chipped, drunk, or blown up an orifice somewhere, and as such, many of us will have a preference of our own. A (of A&E Lifestyles prefers to have it via injection and mixed with brown in a speedball, while E prefers to have the coke first, then the brown!). The emergence of crack has added more dimensions to what the phrase ‘using coke’ actually means. But as anyone who’s had a coke habit will tell you, no matter which way you take it, consistent, regular use of coke/crack can lead to a whole host of problems – the combo of no food, sleep, come down drugs and paranoia can lead to some serious shit , compounded by the potential health problems due to the method by which it’s administered. A&E spoke to a few coke fiends to get their views on using it their way and have collected some good harm reduction tips to remember – whichever way you use it. (We will cover crack in an upcoming issue).
The coke snorter: Associated paraphernalia; glass or silver tubes (your own!), glass or metal bullet, rolled up note; razor blade or credit card.
Michael, 32 – “I find snorting is the most sociable way to take coke, especially after a good meal when the next word spoken would be; ‘Oh a nice fat line would be go down well right now”. Mostly people chip in and we buy an amount between us and it gets divied up, then put out on a mirror on the table. People mostly share their straws too. Drinking alcohol seems to suit coke snorting and you can end up consuming quite a lot of alcohol without noticing or feeling too drunk.” Chronic snorting (over an 18month period) first left my nose ulcerated then, a hole emerged right through my septal membrane, which I’ve still got now.”
The freebaser: Associated paraphernalia: Various chemicals (depending on method used -ammonia hydroxide/ether/bicarbonate of soda; acetone); small jewellers gas torch; glass jar with lid; pipette; lamp; glass water pipe for smoking;gauze.
Debbie, 36: “I’ve only ever made freebase for myself at home. Because freebase has a very low melting point, you need to smoke it in a very cool way, using glass water pipes and a small gas jewellers torch, heating the glass tube around the rock, rather than putting the flame directly on it. You also get very good recycle using acetone.There are a few different methods of freebasing but as the chemicals go, I would seriously advise anyone who doesn’t have a good knowledge of chemistry to avoid using ether as it’s highly volatile. If you have very good coke, you’ll make very good freebase but as the first pipe can be so intense, you can get ‘blocked up’ with it quickly and further use leaves you feeling more and more wired. You don’t get the burnt lungs and lips like with crack as you’re smoking it in a much cooler manner. It’s extremely more-ish and can give you a severe problem if you use very regularly but it’s good to have the knowledge as you can also clean your coke of adulterants and return it back to a powdered form if you wish”.
Cocaine Injector: associated paraphernalia: spoon, works, water, filter etc , lighter sometimes, tourniquet.
Peter 34 (cocaine injector): “It can be a lonely life. Because injecting is so taboo (more so on the coke scene) I usually use it on my own and it’s really hard for me to get it together to go out after a few hits unlike snorting with friends. Injecting is a very intense way to take it. Because you can end up using coke all night, works often run out, become reused, blunt and arms become sore (another reason not to go out). Coke dehydrates you big time so my muscles and kidneys can really ache.”
Coke up the bum: associated paraphernalia; long slim tube/ bic ben, alcohol and a spliff, lubricant, condoms
Just 17?: “Well, I take it with my partner mostly and he’s got a fair bit of it so we’ve ended up using in sex. It delays your orgasm – and blowing base smoke somewhere intimate is also very cool. Things can get dry so you need a lubricant and watch the condom when your using one because you mightn’t feel it come off. As I said, we do it in private and I hear a few people are doing it too but everything in moderation, that’s what I say. Some of my mates smoke it in a roll up or joint but I’m sure that’s a waste”.
Note: Christ 17, your right. Smoking powder is a total waste of time – you may as well set fire to your cash right there and then. (It has to be coke in its rock (freebase or crack form only, for smoking). Take a look at the tips alongside this. As for orifices: care must be taken – coke severely dries out the membranes that need to be moist in order to function well – tears make transmission of blood borne viruses like HIV and even HCV easier. Therefore, make sure you use lubricant for sex, take it a bit easy or check yourself to ensure cokes anesthetizing ability has not left you with a cut or abrasion that you hadn’t felt. If you do use coke with sex, sprinkle sparingly and NEVER DIRECTLY on the hole on the tip of your dick (urethral opening) likewise with women, the opening between the clitoris and the vaginal orifice in the vulva. Use very sparingly (see BP issue 5 for coke and sex details)
Safer Snorting Tips:
Firstly; never share your snorting utensils, always have your own. Chop and screen your cocaine very finely. Nasal douching – never ‘over’ douche your nasal passages but clean after your coke session has ended (it’s not wise to douche more than every few days)- Commercial nasal sprays can be too rough when used frequently, this salt water remedy is probably the best: Make a weak salt water solution, ¼ teaspoon salt in glass of warm water. Pinch your thumb and forefinger together and pour a little of the salt water over them. Raise it to your nostrils and sniff gently so a warm salt spray is spread over the membranes inside. The 2nd step is to lubricate your nasal passages with Vitamin E oil. Open up a capsule of Vit E oil (HealthAid £6.00)and dab some of the oil onto your little finger or cotton bud and very gently, stick it up your nose, wiggle it around a bit so the oil coats the membrane on all sides. Include the inner rim of your nostril and the little pocket near the tip of your nose. (see BP. Iss. 5)
Problems: If crusting in your nose continues or you get nosebleeds, try and give the coke a rest for a while and see your doctor. If you notice any malfunction in your nasal/sinus system whatsoever, it could be a sign of oncoming problems and you should seek a sympathetic doctor out as soon as possible.
Coke with Alcohol:
Cocaine dehydrates the body. It can be dangerous if alcohol is substituted for drinking water as a dehydrated body will absorb alcohol into the bloodstream even more rapidly and further drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning. If you must drink alcohol while snorting, remember to substitute every 2nd glass with a glass of water. The combo of coke and alcohol also produces a substance called cocaethylene which can really give your liver a hard time. Keep up your fluids.
Safer Injecting Tips:
Sterile works every times goes without saying as does always getting more works than you need when at a chemist or needle exchange as you’re bound to run short. Rotating your sites is essential whenever possible because the anesthetic in coke makes it impossible to tell when your out of a vein, you can do yourself harm by missing your hit or poking around for veins. Try not to let water and spoons sit out exposed for any length of time and keep your coke covered up -get fresh water and clean your spoon often. Because cocaine doesn’t need heat to dissolve, you have more chance of bacteria entering the process so you must be particularly hygienic at every stage of the process. No squeezing those zits just before a hit – wash your hand and injection site. You can’t always be in the circumstances to be able to do these things but if you can manage just one or two – it’s got to be better than nothing. Injecting carries extra risks so you have got to try and take that extra bit of care.
Safer Smoking Tips:
Be careful when using drugs for the comedown as regular use will result in you having another habit. However, there is something to be said for having a bit of grass or a valium put by to have 20 minutes before your session ends, it can bring a session to an earlier and more comfortable end. You can spend a lot of cash on coke so invest in the right equipment; glass, heatproof pipes, proper gauze (from headshops), small gas/torch lighter. Don’t stick cocaine powder in a cigarette – it’s not made to work, you’re probably just feeling the cut. You can stick a rock of crack in a joint of course, that’s up to you -it smokes a little fast, no recycle available and you’re smoking tobacco probably -so a pipe is probably best here.