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Cocaine

Table of Contents


Overview

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is used legally as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It may contain other substances, such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. It may also contain other drugs, such as another local anesthetic called procaine or a stimulant such as amphetamine.

Two forms of cocaine are:

Small amounts of cocaine make a person feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert. It also decreases appetite and the need for sleep. When large amounts of cocaine are taken, the high is more intense. But large doses can cause strange or violent behavior in which the person may have tremors or muscle twitches or become paranoid.

After using cocaine, the person feels irritable, tired, and depressed. This is called a coke crash. When a person takes the drug at higher and higher doses (a binge), it can cause increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia that can result in a serious loss of touch with reality (paranoid psychosis).

Use of cocaine can lead to serious health problems, including:

Sometimes sudden death can occur, even with the first use of cocaine. Sudden death from cocaine use may occur because of a heart attack or seizure in which breathing stops. Sudden death is more likely to occur when cocaine is used along with alcohol.

The effects of cocaine last about 1 to 2 hours. Cocaine can be detected in a urine drug screen up to 6 days after it has been taken.

Signs of use


Credits for Cocaine

Current as of: February 11, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine


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