Cocaine is a highly potent stimulant that is considered to be one of the greatest drug threats to the world because of the violence associated with trafficking and use, the physical and psychological effects associated with its use, and the costs to society as a whole.
There is differing risk whether cocaine is ingested by inhalation (snorting), injection, or smoking. It appears that obsessive cocaine use may develop even more quickly if the substance is smoked rather than snorted. Smoking allows extremely high doses of cocaine to reach the brain very rapidly and brings an intense and immediate high. The injecting drug user is at risk for transmitting or acquiring HIV infection/AIDS if needles or other injection equipment are shared.