Cocaine spelled out with cocaine and a dollar bill

Cocaine is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs currently being abused. Despite the well-known dangers cocaine abuse exhibits, it remains the second most commonly abused drug in the world behind only marijuana.

Cocaine is an alkaloid extracted from coca shrubs indigenous to South America that has a long history of both medical and recreational use. Cocaine is used recreationally for its intense euphoric and stimulant high in which it produces when insufflated or injected.

Here we discuss the short-term effects of cocaine use.

Short Term Effects of Cocaine Use


The principle effect of cocaine that makes it so addictive is its ability to cause an intense A pile of white cocaine sits on a table with a rasta backgroundeuphoria in users. Cocaine acts as a dopamine reuptake-inhibitor, thus causing the pleasure neurotransmitter dopamine to accumulate in the brain.

Thus, cocaine essentially hijacks the brain’s natural reward system.


Cocaine is a stimulant drug, also known as an upper. It causes the user to feel an intense surge of energy.

This energy is also coupled with feelings of invincibility, which can often lead to poor decision-making. The energy in which cocaine provides also includes physical side effects, such as high blood pressure and large pupils.


Cocaine has a very short half-life of approximately an hour, with the actual high lasting much less time. With such a short duration of action, cocaine notoriously causes craving for more of the drug very shortly after dosing.

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Local numbing

Cocaine acts as a local anesthetic, meaning that it numbs the areas in which it comes into contact with. This actually is the only legitimate reason cocaine is still used medically in rare circumstances.

This effect has given cocaine the slang “numbies”, referring to rubbing some on the gums.

Stimulant effects

The stimulant nature of cocaine causes it to have several physical side effects. These include clenching teeth, wide pupils, fidgeting, and talking particularly fast. This also includes an increase heart rate and blood pressure.

These stimulant effects can be particularly dangerous for those with prior heart conditions.

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.