Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant that directly affects the brain

More than 2000 street samples were analyzed in sheriff’s offices and police departments in US with Nartest Drug Analyzer NTX2000 to detect cocaine. NTX2000 can not only detect the presence of cocaine in very complex mixture of adulterants and diluents in street samples but also differenti- ate two forms of cocaine in several minutes.

Cocaine is a crystalline alkaloid powder produced from material found in the leaves of the Eryth- roxylon coca plant, which is indigenous to South America (DEA, 2006). Cocaine is the most pow- erful stimulant derived from a natural source (ONDCP, 2006). Historically, cocaine has been used in its pure chemical form, cocaine hydro- chloride. Previously used in medicine as a local anaesthetic, cocaine is now widely used illicitly for its euphoric and stimulating effects.

While cocaine powder is most commonly inhaled into the nasal passages, it can also be injected, smoked or ingested. Cocaine gives practically immediate effect which lasts for about 20 – 40 min- utes. As a result cocaine addiction is formed very fast. When cocaine is consumed with alcohol, it intensifies the euphoric effect, but increases the risk of sudden death.

‘Crack’ is a freebase, smokeable form of cocaine. Crack addiction is formed even faster because the next dose is necessary promptly so crack is considered to be ten times as dangerous than cocaine.

Cocaine use ranges from occasional use to repeated or compulsive use, with a variety of patterns between these extremes. Other than medical uses, there is no safe way to use cocaine. Any route of administration can lead to absorption of toxic amounts of cocaine, leading to acute cardiovascu- lar or cerebrovascular emergencies that could result in sudden death. Repeated cocaine use by any route of administration can produce addiction and other adverse health consequences.

Nartest NTX2000 contributes to the fighting against illicit drug trafficking providing detection of 5% of cocaine in suspected samples containing adulterants and diluents.

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