Cocaine is an exceedingly dangerous street drug that can lead to addiction almost from the very first use. Approximately 1.5 million people in the U.S. used cocaine in 2013, according to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Cocaine Effects

When cocaine is ingested, it produces feelings of euphoria and increased energy levels and mental focus, known as a “high.” When the high subsides, the user may experience unpleasant symptoms like restlessness, anxiety and agitation. These symptoms can make the user want the drug again and again, which leads to repetitive use, tolerance (needing more of the drug to get the same effect) and addiction.
When cocaine is used over an extended period of time, the results can be devastating to both the mind and body. Prolonged use leads to sleep deprivation and reduced appetite, which may result in weight loss and even malnutrition. The drug also increases blood pressure and heart rate, which increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. Cocaine can also damage vital organs like the liver and kidneys and lead to lung damage and breathing problems.

Are You Addicted?

Signs of a cocaine addiction might include:

  • Nosebleeds or a persistently runny nose if the drug is sniffed
  • Hoarseness or difficult swallowing
  • Needing more of the substance to get the same effects (tolerance)
  • Irritability, restlessness and mood fluctuations
  • Hallucinations and paranoia
  • Withdrawal symptoms if the drug is stopped
  • Spending more time getting, using and recovering from effects of cocaine
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and social activities
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