Cocaine is produced from the leaves of the coca plant (Erythoxylon Coca). The plant grows almost exclusively in northern and western South America. Columbia is now the main producer of illegal cocaine with Peru, Bolivia, and Chile providing significant amounts of the drug. The coca plant grows best in the mountain and jungle areas of these countries.
Hand picked coca leaves are soaked in gasoline and other chemicals to extract the coca base from the leaves. The moist leaves are then either pressed or dried resulting in powered leaves which it is then extracted from. Some people use other substances to mix with cocaine to increase its overall weight, these are called cutting agents.
Some of the substances used to mix with cocaine are harmless, but some can be harmful and lead to health problems of their own.
The most common substances used to mix with cocaine are: Baking Soda, Teething powder (as this has no taste and numbs the gums the same way cocaine does), Baby milk, Dried Milk, Epsom salts and Quinine.
The person who mixes a cutting agent with cocaine tends to use an odorless and tasteless substance so the user is not aware that a cutting agent has been used. So substances such as Dextrose, Creatine, Glucose, Lactose and Powder Vitamins are avoided as a cutting agent as a user will taste these and believe the cocaine is not of good quality.
In very rare occasions, rat poison can be used as a cutting agent for cocaine which can be lethal. Other illegal drugs such as Amphetamine (Speed) and other powdered drugs can also be used as a cutting agent as this gives a similar high as cocaine and can lead to other side effects aside from the ones experienced with cocaine.
Cocaine is a very addictive substance and the high is very short lived, lasting from 5 minutes to 30 minutes with the user having a “come down” for hours after use, hence wanting more.
I would advise anyone with a drug addiction to seek help as soon as possible as seeking help is the first step to overcoming a drug addiction.
If you or a loved one is planning to stop using cocaine, there is plenty of help to seek on the web. You could also seek professional advise or maybe go into a rehabilitation clinic or even see your family doctor and they could point you in the right direction.