Cocaine is an illicit drug that is referred to by a number of street names. In discussions about cocaine, it’s common to see or hear the term “eight-ball”.
An eight-ball of cocaine refers to a certain dose of cocaine. This is about one-eighth of an ounce or three-and-a-half grams of cocaine. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, this term is believed to have originated in the mid-1980s.
Why Do People Take An 8 Ball?
An eight-ball of cocaine is a dangerous amount of cocaine to take at once. However, some people who use cocaine have reported using up to an 8-ball a day.
Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant. Snorting or injecting cocaine can cause a rapid rush of energy and euphoria (pleasure) within minutes. Smoking crack cocaine can cause intense effects within seconds.
Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca plant, which is native to Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru in South America. For centuries, coca leaves have been used for their anesthetic and stimulant effects.
Eight-balls may be purchased by drug dealers for recreational use at parties or in groups. How long an eight-ball of cocaine lasts will depend on a person’s standard dose of cocaine, how many people are using the cocaine, and how often.
How Much Does It Cost?
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the average retail price for one gram of cocaine is $96 to $160, depending on its purity.
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An 8-ball of coke is 3.5 grams of cocaine. Therefore the estimated cost, or going rate, of an eight-ball of coke would be $336 to $560.
Cocaine street pricing can vary based on:
- where you live
- drug source
- drug purity
Factors related to supply, demand, and distribution can also affect illicit drug costs.
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, lockdown measures stalled coca leaf harvesting, and other difficulties trafficking cocaine have influenced drug prices in some countries.
What Else Can An Eight Ball Refer To?
Cocaine is not the only illicit drug that can be referred to as an eight-ball.
People who use or sell illicit drugs often use the term ‘eight-ball’ to refer to 3.5 grams of crystal meth, or Olde English 800, which is a brand of malt liquor.
Dangers Of Taking An Eight Ball
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Using cocaine can cause a rush of euphoria, energy, and other side effects due to its effects on the brain.
Cocaine may cause:
- fast heart rate
- irregular heartbeat
- increased blood pressure
- high body temperature
- decreased appetite
- poor decision-making
- muscle twitches or tremors
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
Do not use an eight-ball of coke all at once. Taking an eight-ball in one sitting, or over the course of a day, can have toxic effects.
If you’ve never used cocaine before, or even if you have a high tolerance, using an eight ball of coke can be deadly.
In general, taking too much cocaine at one time may cause chest pain, difficulty breathing, seizures, heart attack, and stroke. It can also lead to sudden death.
Long-Term Health Consequences Of Heavy Cocaine Use
Using an eight-ball of cocaine is a sign of cocaine abuse and addiction. This is an excessive amount of cocaine that can, over time, cause serious health consequences.
Dangers of chronic, heavy cocaine use can include:
- psychosis (loss of touch with reality)
- brain damage
- changes in vision/vision loss
- nasal damage
- increased risk for bloodborne diseases (e.g. HIV, hepatitis C)
- respiratory distress
- liver and lung damage
- heart problems
- mood problems
Regular, heavy cocaine use can disrupt every aspect of a person’s life. Once addicted, their drug use can take top priority over work, relationships, food, and general well-being.
Using cocaine can become a costly and dangerous habit that can be difficult to kick alone.
Treatment For Cocaine Addiction
Millions of people in the United States use cocaine each year. At least one million live with a cocaine use disorder.
Treatment for cocaine abuse generally begins with detox, followed by an inpatient or outpatient rehab program.
Treatment for cocaine addiction can include:
- behavioral therapy
- support groups
- sober living
- aftercare support
If you or someone you know is using cocaine, it’s never too soon or too late to get help. Call our helpline today to learn more about cocaine addiction and how to find an addiction treatment center near you.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse—Cocaine DrugFacts
- United Nations Office on Drugs And Crime—COVID19 and Drug Supply Chain 2020
- United Nations Office on Drugs And Crime—Heroin and cocaine prices in Europe and USA
- Vice News—Australian Coke Is Getting Worse: We Asked Dealers Why
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary—What Does ‘8 Ball’ Mean?