Cocaine is classified as a stimulant and is one of the most profitable illicit drugs sold on the black market with annual revenues that rival the GNP of small nations. Like most stimulants, cocaine is responsible for producing extreme highs and extreme emotions ranging from ecstasy to paranoia.

Cocaine and Cocaine Derivatives

Cocaine and its derivatives are within the classification of drugs known as stimulants because of their affect on the body’s central nervous system. The chemical structure of stimulants mimics the body’s own chemicals of adrenalin and noradrenalin. The euphoria and boost of energy that is produced by cocaine and its derivative, crack, is beyond that of ordinary stimulants such as amphetamines. The high is considered to be so extraordinary that there is a near-instant psychological addiction to this recreational drug

Street Names

  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Gold Dust
  • Powder
  • Crack

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is a fast-acting stimulant that will produce feelings of joy, elation, and happiness. Many report an extreme boost in their self-confidence when under the influence of this substance. As with every drug, the more you use the less effective it becomes.  Addicts need to take more and more to get the same “high” as they did when they first began to take the drug.

Your Brain and Cocaine

Your brain already produces stimulants like dopamine that are responsible ​for producing feelings of excitement and euphoria.  Cocaine mimics that and tricks your brain into reacting as if something incredibly pleasurable happened. This effect lasts approximately 30 minutes with the powdered version of the drug, and can last several hours with the rock form, crack.

Many individuals claim an adverse reaction to the drug, exhibiting feelings of nervousness, accelerated heartbeats, and paranoia and there have been deaths for first time usage of both cocaine and crack due to its effect on the cardiovascular system.

Cocaine has been known to supply bursts of creativity when individuals begin use of it, later to diminish as the ​body becomes acclimated to the substance.

Dependency and Side Effects

Over time your body will become dependent upon the drug and its effects will lesson forcing cocaine users to take larger and larger quantities to receive comparable effects.

Long term side-effects of cocaine usage include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Blurred vision
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tooth loss
  • Nasal collapse
  • Psychosis
  • Death


You may overdose on any drug if you take enough of it to produce adverse effects. An overdose experience may be mild (heart palpitations) to extreme (heart attack, stroke, or death). Symptoms of stimulant​ overdose include:

  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Violence
  • Seizures

If you or someone close to you is experiencing these effects call 911 or a poison control center at once.

Drug Detoxification and Treatment

Cocaine may clear your system in as little as 3-4 days (as can be revealed by a drug test). The lingering psychological effects can last much longer. Many people find that they took cocaine in the first place to become someone else and are afraid of losing that larger than life persona. Many are unable to function off of the drug. Life seems dull. They will describe being unable to function off of it.

Treatment for cocaine usage may utilize multiple treatment options from medical to psychological as the drug produces both physical and psychological dependency.

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