Cocaine is an illegal, addictive stimulant made from coca plant leaves. It is most commonly sold as a fine, white powder and popular nicknames include: blow, coke, crack, rock, and snow.

Users typically snort the powder or rub it on their gums, but they may also inject it or smoke it in freebase crystal form. Cocaine causes a feel-good chemical called “dopamine” to flood into the brain, disrupting normal nerve cell function and causing a high.


What are the potential short-term effects of cocaine use?

Effects vary from person to person and can sometimes lead to bizarre, unpredictable, and even violent behavior. The following effects may occur immediately and last anywhere between a few minutes and an hour:

  • Extreme excitability
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Irritability/restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hypersensitivity to light, touch, and/or sound
  • Nausea
  • Alertness
  • High body temperature
  • High energy
  • High blood pressure/fast heartrate
  • Euphoric happiness
  • Muscle twitches/tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Overdose and/or death

What are the potential long-term effects of cocaine use?

  • Nosebleeds
  • Bowel decay
  • Malnourishment
  • Diminished sense of smell
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Movement disorders (ex. Parkinson’s disease)
  • Other bloodborne diseases

What should I do if I have cocaine use disorder?

Please call us here at Two Dreams if you find yourself struggling with cocaine use disorder; our lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Two Dreams offers a safe, judgment-free place to start the healing process. There are many different ways to start managing addiction, and we understand that what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. We provide inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services based on the unique needs of each individual and the level of care needed. Our trained counselors, under the supervision of a physician, are happy to talk through these options with you and help decide which placement will best fit your needs. We ensure that the transitions into and out of treatment are as stress-free as possible by guiding you through each process step-by-step. Additionally, we provide step-down transition programs to help you shift out of the treatment center setting.

Our expert staff has been helping people with addiction for decades, so you can be sure that you and your loved ones will be in good hands. Dr. Andrea Barthwell, founder and CEO of Two Dreams, is widely regarded as one of the “Best Doctors in America” in the field of addiction medicine. She served as president of the American Addiction Society of Medicine (ASAM), as well as Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the White House under President George W. Bush. Her renowned status and experience in the field have allowed her to shape Two Dreams into the outstanding recovery center that it is today—one that is able to provide state-of-the-art care and services to those in need. We are here to help you in any way that we can; we are on your side.


Cocaine Education Resources