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Cocaine Effects on Your Body and Mind


Cocaine is an alkaloid, which is derived from the coca plant's leaves. The cocaine effects create or act as a stimulant of central nervous system, as a topical anesthetic, and as a suppressant of appetite. The cocaine effects are very harmful to the body and its consequences can lead to addiction, permanent damage or even death. The short-term or long-term cocaine effects depend on the duration and amount of usage of cocaine.

Cocaine acts very fast in the body though short-lived and the effects can almost be felt within 10 or 15 seconds, which starts to peak in 5 minutes and wears-off within 20 or 30 minutes.

We are here to discuss more about cocaine and its effects.

What are the cocaine effects in the brain?

The cells of both the cardiovascular system and central nervous system are stimulated with the consumption of cocaine. The pleasures of the brain, also known as the reward centre, is influenced by the cocaine or any other drugs, these drugs release a chemical called 'dopamine', which in turn creates feelings of euphoria or pleasure. With the consumption of cocaine, this process in interrupted, as cocaine blocks the dopamine and this building up of the dopamine in the brain retains the stimulation or pleasurable feeling.

Eventually, the body builds tolerance to the pleasure level felt with the use of cocaine in the initial stages and slow starts demanding more amount of cocaine to produce the same effect. In addition, the brain retains the euphoric memory and triggers intense cravings leading to relapse.

Once a person gets addicted to cocaine effects, he or she starts to feel paranoid and anxious and might even become fierce.

What are the cocaine effects on the emotions and behavior?

The cocaine effects in the body and behavior are many and different for different people. One feels mentally very alert, buzzing, and energetic. One may also feel a burst of self-confidence and euphoria, which makes her or him more talkative and sociable. Physically, there is a feeling of weirdness too. Other cocaine effects include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Increase in temperature
  • Mental alertness
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Increase in anxiety and sexuality

These are however short-term effects that are obviously visible when cocaine is consumed. The various ways in which the cocaine is administered include injection, oral, inhalers, suppository, as a local anesthetic, etc.

Medical Cocaine Effects

Since cocaine is a very powerful stimulant of the nervous system, the effects last between 15 and 30 minutes, based on the way in which it is administered. With excess dosage, convulsions and tremor can be observed. The cocaine effects can be acute, chronic, or addictive.

Acute Cocaine Effects: With prolonged or excessive use, this drug can cause tachycardia, itching, paranoid delusions, hallucinations, tachyarrhythmia, etc. and at times can be fatal.

Short-Term Cocaine Effects

Short-term cocaine effects are the immediate effects that are produced after the consumption of cocaine. It is these immediate effects that make a person addictive to cocaine. Some of the short-term effects include:
Increased energy, as cocaine prompts manic and quick action creating mental alertness along with physical energy levels
Since the blood vessels constrict, the heart rate and BP shoots up
Cocaine effects could also cause fever due to the increase in body temperature
The user becomes very sensitive to light, as the pupils get dilated
Since cocaine is a suppressant of appetite, the person consuming cocaine may not feel hungry on a regular basis and hence might lose weight.

Long-Term or Chronic Cocaine Effects

Adding to several immediate effects, cocaine offers its long-term effects for a regular user. These mostly last a lifetime and at times take away the life. This is because; cocaine makes the cells of the brain to adapt to functioning under imbalanced transmitter levels to compensate its extremes. This causes in appearing and disappearing of the receptors from the cell surface, which results in off' and 'on' working pattern of the brain. This eventually may cause persistent running nose, lethargy, insomnia, oversleep, etc. for the person. Heavy users may end up feeling depression and may even attempt suicide.

The long-term cocaine effects include:
Restlessness, which is normally experienced by prolonged users along with anxiousness, which affect various areas of life and relationships
Paranoia, which is caused by the prolonged cocaine effects, which makes a person socially unfit
Addiction, which is a very serious condition, where the body and mind becomes totally dependent on the usage of cocaine and the cocaine effects
Irritability and disturbed moods are very common, which may at times result in violence
Hallucinations created by cocaine are more auditory in nature
Various other health issues such as respiratory diseases, heart diseases, lung failure, heart attack, etc are some of the severe cocaine effects

Addictive Cocaine Effects

Addictive cocaine effects are nothing but the effects that eventually are caused due to prolonged usage of cocaine. This creates a dependence on the physical and mental levels and may result in various damages such as depression, psychosis, lethargy, agitation, etc.

Cocaine Effects During Overdose

There are certain effects that come along with the overdose of cocaine and it is very important to look out for such signs, as these conditions or symptoms call for medical attention immediately:

  • Extreme chest pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing
  • Severe sweating
  • Signs of delusion or hallucination

What are the various side effects caused by cocaine?

There are various other side effects that are caused due to the prolonged or frequent use of cocaine in various methods and forms and some of them are:

  • Sore throat
  • Lung trauma
  • Chest pain
  • Brochospasm
  • Pruritus
  • Fever
  • Flu-syndrome
  • Shortness of breath and pain
  • Hoarse voice
  • Asthma
  • Hemoptysis


It is highly suggested that since the cocaine effects are extremely habit-forming due to the temporary pleasures it can provide, one should not overestimate his or her ability to handle the effects. It is wise to seek a treatment center when one realizes that he or she is under regular use of cocaine and is enjoying the cocaine effects that are caused temporarily in the body and mind.