Some users find that the drug helps them to perform simple physical and intellectual tasks more quickly, while others can experience the opposite effect. The duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects depends upon the route of administration.
The faster the absorption, the more intense the high. Also, the faster the absorption, the shorter the duration of action. The high from snorting is relatively slow in onset, and may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.
The short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted blood vessels; dilated pupils; and increased temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Large amounts (several hundred milligrams or more) intensify the user's high, but may also lead to bizarre, erratic, and violent behavior.
These users may experience tremors, vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or, with repeated doses, a toxic reaction closely resembling amphetamine poisoning. Some users of cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.
In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine or unexpectedly thereafter. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.
Has cocaine become a problem for you?
Take the Coccaine Screening Quiz
Do you think you may need treatment for drug abuse? Take the Drug Abuse Treatment Screening Quiz to find out.
See also other health effects of cocaine use.
Back to: Cocaine FAQ