Also Called: 
coke, blow, nose candy, candy cane, happy dust, icing, snow, white

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an illegal drug made from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a white powder that people snort (sniff through a tube into the nose) to get high. Cocaine can make you feel on top of the world for a short period of time, but some people can get over-confident, arrogant and aggressive while on the drug. Unwanted side effects can include a faster heartbeat, nosebleeds, muscle twitches and extreme sweating.

Cocaine is highly addictive and expensive. There are real risks to using this drug.

Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine kicks in approximately 15 minutes after snorting it and the high can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

While on cocaine, you may feel extremely energetic, alert, talkative, confident, and turned on. You probably won’t want to eat, and you might get the sense that things around you are moving faster. The “high” feeling only lasts for an hour at maximum, usually closer to 20 minutes, but it can take several hours to feel “normal” again—sometimes up to three days to feel like the drug is totally out of your system.

As you are “coming down,” you might feel very tired, sore, depressed, anxious, and irritable and you might have a hard time falling asleep. The comedown will be more intense if you have taken other drugs, including alcohol.

Problems Using Cocaine

Cocaine is often mixed with other stuff like lidocaine and procaine which are local anesthetics. Cocaine naturally makes your gums go numb when applied, and since lidocaine causes stronger numbness, you’re tricked into thinking the coke is high-quality, when it’s actually diluted. Another substance often found in cocaine is levamisole, which is a drug used by veterinarians to treat worm infestations.

Because the cocaine high is so short and so intense, people often want to take more as soon as the effects start to wear off. Cocaine users often “binge” and “crash”, meaning they take the drug over and over in a short period, and then have feelings of intense depression, sluggishness and hunger afterwards.

Because cocaine is snorted, it can cause permanent damage to the inside of your nose over time.

Some users go through a temporary loss of touch with reality, hallucinations or intense anxiety, worry and panic.

Sharing the rolled up bill or tube that is used to snort cocaine is dangerous because it can be a way to pass along a blood disease such as Hepatitis C.

Some people become highly addicted to cocaine and begin to take higher and higher amounts each time. Many people have died from taking too much. A cocaine overdose can raise the body's temperature or cause convulsions, a heart attack and heart failure. The risk of overdosing is greater if you mix coke with other drugs or alcohol.

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