Describe cocaine and heroin usage and effects.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Cocaine acts as a stimulant and was a very popular street drug during the 1980s, when it sold for a relatively high price and was commonly used as a party drug among well-to-do urban dwellers and celebrities. It is normally sold in powder form and snorted in through the nose. The form known as "crack" cocaine comes in solid form and is usualy smoked. But can also be crushed and snorted. Snorting forces the drug to enter the blood stream very quickly so the effects are instantaneous. Heroin is a potent narcotic that causes a euphoric effect, and is also available in powdered form. It is usually "cooked" (or heated until it melts) and injected intravenously, although it can also be snorted. Both drugs are highly addictive, and can cause serious lifestyle problems due to the efforts necessary to procure enough money to pay for more drugs, which among lower socioeconomic groups usually leads to criminal activity (stealing, prostitution, etc). Both drugs are also often "cut" or adulterated with cheaper and sometimes poisonous materials (such as talcum powder, amphetamines, cleaning products, or baking soda), which can also cause problems.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team