What are the effects of cocaine?

Dr. Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine Specialist

Like other stimulant drugs, cocaine makes people feel happy, energetic and mentally alert. It also constricts blood vessels and boosts body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. Chronic use can lead to paranoia and psychosis. Withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression and sleepiness.

Mental effects of cocaine may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating and large pupils. High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.