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Alcohol & Other Drugs

Learn About Cocaine Reference List

Author: Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research


The list below provides the references to the research studies discussed in Learn About Cocaine. The references are arranged according to the relevant section where the research is mentioned. Within each section, pertinent sentences are listed in the order they appear in the information sheet. Links to the studies are included if available online. Materials not available online may be accessed through your local library.

Why do we use cocaine?

About 11% of BC residents have tried cocaine:

Zhao, J., Vallance, K., Martin, G., Macdonald, S., & Stockwell, T. (2014). Prevalence of Substance Use in Lifetime, Past Year and Past 30 Days in British Columbia and Other Provinces of Canada from 2008 to 2012(2).


What happens when we use cocaine?

Frequent use of cocaine may lead to temporary psychotic symptoms:

Roncero, C., Ros-Cucurull, E., Daigre, C., & Casas, M. (2012). Prevalence and risk factors of psychotic symptoms in cocaine-dependent patients. Actas Españolas de Psiquiatría, 40(4), 187–97.

Over time, people who snort cocaine can suffer from chapped nostrils, and the nasal septum separating them can get damaged:

Glauser, J., & Queen, J. R. (2007). An overview of non-cardiac cocaine toxicity. The Journal of Emergency Medicine, 32(2), 181–6.

Ongoing use also increases our risk of heart problems:

Finkel, J. B., & Marhefka, G. D. (2011). Rethinking cocaine-associated chest pain and acute coronary syndromes. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 86(12), 1198–207.

Knuepfer, M. M. (2003). Cardiovascular disorders associated with cocaine use: Myths and truths. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 97(3), 181–222.

Ghuran, A., & Nolan, J. (2000). Recreational drug misuse: Issues for the cardiologist. Heart, 83(6), 627–33.

A woman who uses the drug when pregnant may give birth prematurely, or the baby may have a low birth weight:

Gouin, K., Murphy, K., & Shah, P. S. (2011). Effects of cocaine use during pregnancy on low birthweight and preterm birth: Systematic review and metaanalyses. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 204(4), 340.

Sharing drug-use equipment is associated with infections and blood-borne diseases that may lead to problems of the heart, lungs and liver:

Chan, J. (2014). Hepatitis C. Disease-a-Month, 60(5), 201–12.

Staitieh, B., & Guidot, D. M. (2014). Noninfectious pulmonary complications of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection. American Journal of Medical Sciences, 348(6), 502–511.

Hou, W., Fu, J., Ge, Y., Du, J., & Hua, S. (2013). Incidence and risk of lung cancer in HIV-infected patients. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 139(11), 1781–94.

Islam, F. M., Wu, J., Jansson, J., & Wilson, D. P. (2012). Relative risk of cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis. HIV Medicine, 13(8), 453–68.

Roed, T., Lebech, A.-M., Kjaer, A., & Weis, N. (2012). Hepatitis C virus infection and risk of coronary artery disease: A systematic review of the literature. Clinical Physiology and Functional Imaging, 32(6), 421–30.

Price, J. C., & Thio, C. L. (2010). Liver disease in the HIV-infected individual. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 8(12), 1002–12.

Monto, A., Ma, S. C., Wright, T. L., & Wright, T. L. (2008). Liver disease in injection drug users with Hepatitis C , with and without HIV coinfection. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 27(2), 49–59.

Moorman, J., Saad, M., Kosseifi, S., & Krishnaswamy, G. (2005). Hepatitis C Virus and the lung: Implications for therapy. Chest, 128, 2882–92.


When is using cocaine a problem?

For instance, if we share pipes, straws or needles, we are at risk of infection:

Pouget, E. R., Hagan, H., & Des Jarlais, D. C. (2012). Meta-analysis of hepatitis C seroconversion in relation to shared syringes and drug preparation equipment. Addiction, 107(6), 1057–65.

Caiaffa, W. T., Zocratto, K. F., Osimani, M. L., Martínez, P. L., Radulich, G., Latorre, L., et al., (2011). Hepatitis C virus among non-injecting cocaine users (NICUs) in South America: Can injectors be a bridge? Addiction, 106(1), 143–51.

Fischer, B., Powis, J., Firestone Cruz, M., Rudzinski, K., & Rehm, J. (2008). Hepatitis C virus transmission among oral crack users: Viral detection on crack paraphernalia. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 20(1), 29–32.

Scheinmann, R., Hagan, H., Lelutiu-Weinberger, C., Stern, R., Des Jarlais, D. C., Flom, P. L., & Strauss, S. (2007). Non-injection drug use and Hepatitis C Virus: A systematic review. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 89(1), 1–12.

If we regularly use large amounts of cocaine, we are at risk of dependence:

Mahoney, J. J., Kalechstein, A. D., De La Garza, R., & Newton, T. F. (2007). A qualitative and quantitative review of cocaine-induced craving: The phenomenon of priming. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 31(3), 593–9.

Pierce, R. C., & Vanderschuren, L. J. M. J. (2010). Kicking the habit: The neural basis of ingrained behaviors in cocaine addiction. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 35(2), 212–9.


About the author

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The Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, formerly CARBC, is a member of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information. The institute is dedicated to the study of substance use in support of community-wide efforts aimed at providing all people with access to healthier lives, whether using substances or not. For more, visit


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