Cocaine use impairs immune cell function, and also causes the HIV virus to replicate quickly. Cocaine users with HIV can accelerate the effects of the disease and experience increased damage to the brain and spinal cord and other neurological conditions stemming from HIV infection. Taking a large amount of cocaine can increase the effects and the euphoria of taking the drug, but it can cause erratic, strange behavior. Using cocaine once can cause these side effects, but regular, repeated use of cocaine can lead to a number of long term health issues.

  • Dopamine is usually released in response to a potential reward stimulus – such as looking at a great meal – then recycled back into the brain cell that released it.
  • Some users combine cocaine powder or crack with heroin in a “speedball.”
  • Repeated exposure to cocaine can trick your brain into thinking you need the substance to feel happy and for your body to function well.

Whenever possible, you should consult with a doctor or other treatment professional to help you make any treatment decisions in order to ensure that they will be the best choices for you. Coming down from the drug causes depression so severe that a person will do almost anything to get the drug—even commit murder. An ER doctor will test for those conditions and try to treat them first. They may also use medication to treat other complications you have. In the United States the manufacture, importation, possession, and distribution of cocaine are additionally regulated by the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. By the late Victorian era, cocaine use had appeared as a vice in literature.

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Cocaine, however, disturbs this process, preventing dopamine from being recycled back into the brain cells. This causes large amounts of dopamine between cells in the brain, which increases the effects of dopamine and the manner in which the reward system in the brain operates. Often times the signs of cocaine addiction can be difficult to identify.

Smoking involves the inhalation of cocaine vapor or smoke into the lungs, where absorption into the bloodstream is as rapid as by injection. Some users combine cocaine powder or crack with heroin in a “speedball.” Cocaine, often touted as the “caviar of street drugs,” is a high-priced way of getting high. The mystique of cocaine is often sensationalized in movies and by celebrities, who can afford this high-priced and illegal drug.

Cocaine addiction and co-occurring disorders

As with anything in life, when we experience highs, we increase the contrast between them and our resting state. Most of these other powders are relatively harmless, such as caffeine and aspirin. However, potentially harmful substances such as Levamisole and laundry detergent are becoming more commonly used in cutting cocaine.

effects of cocaine

Classified by the federal government as a high abuse, high dependency risk, the reality of cocaine hits after the high. Cocaine has extremely negative effects on the heart, brain, and emotional wellbeing of users. Many people who use cocaine become physically and psychologically dependent how long does cocaine stay in your system upon the drug, which can lead to long-term and devastating life-threatening consequences. Your brain becomes desensitized to cocaine when you use it frequently, so larger amounts taken more often are needed to feel the same effects.1,3 This concept is known as tolerance.

What Happens After Using Cocaine Once?

Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride. After an individual uses cocaine at a regular frequency over a long period of time, physical and psychological dependence, or addiction, develops. When an individual is dependent physically upon cocaine, he or she will develop symptoms of withdrawal if the drug is abruptly stopped. This may cause an addict to continue to use cocaine despite the negative consequences, as the resulting withdrawal symptoms can be particularly unpleasant.

effects of cocaine

As one of the world’s most addictive drugs, cocaine can harm your body after even a single use. At first, the drug stimulates your central nervous system, making you alert, incredibly focused, and seemingly full of energy. But once the substance wears off, you might feel lethargic, depressed, irritable, weak, and have trouble concentrating, which may make you want to use cocaine again. Repeated exposure to cocaine can trick your brain into thinking you need the substance to feel happy and for your body to function well. A cocaine addiction treatment program can help you avoid the long-term consequences of cocaine use. The principal routes of cocaine administration are oral, intranasal, intravenous, and inhalation.

How Does the Method of Ingestion Influence Cocaine’s Short-Term Effects?

Typically, using cocaine misuse increases your energy levels and heightens alertness. At the negative end of the spectrum, using cocaine can temporarily decrease the want for food and drink, causes hypersensitivity, to both sound and light, and can trigger paranoia. While most commonly found in white crystalline powder form, cocaine also comes as solid rock crystals. Mission Harbor is dedicated to treating Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles County with specialized mental and behavioral health programs in a convenient outpatient environment. Our treatment facility is accredited by the Joint Commission and LegitScript Certified. The way a person uses cocaine will affect the types of long-term, physical consequences they may experience.

Some users will frequently increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects. While tolerance to the high can occur, users can also become more sensitive (sensitization) to cocaine’s anesthetic and convulsant effects, without increasing the dose taken. This increased sensitivity may explain some deaths occurring after apparently low doses of cocaine. Cocaine’s effects appear almost immediately after a single dose, and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Taken in small amounts (up to 100 mg), cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert, especially to the sensations of sight, sound, and touch.

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

One mechanism is through its effects on structures deep in the brain. Scientists have discovered regions within the brain that, when stimulated, produce feelings of pleasure. One neural system that appears to be most affected by cocaine originates in a region, located deep within the brain, called the ventral tegmental area (VTA).

  • Tolerance builds as the body becomes so used to a substance that it no longer responds to it the way it initially did, and, as a result, the desired effects become blunted.
  • Eventually, visible holes can begin to form in the top of the mouth.
  • Cocaine withdrawal often has no visible physical symptoms, such as the vomiting and shaking that accompany withdrawal from heroin or alcohol.

Similar to many people struggling with addiction, Tommy is sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. He gets high, feels low, then gets high again to avoid feeling so low. Tommy feels much shame and guilt about his cocaine use and has only disclosed his cocaine use to his brother.