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Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Cocaine
Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that is used legally as a local anesthetic for some eye, ear, and throat surgeries. Cocaine is also called coke, C, snow, flake, or blow. It may contain other substances, such as cornstarch, talcum powder, or sugar. It may also contain other drugs, such as another local anesthetic called procaine or a stimulant such as amphetamine.
Two forms of cocaine are:
Small amounts of cocaine make a person feel euphoric, energetic, talkative, and mentally alert. It also decreases appetite and the need for sleep. When large amounts of cocaine are taken, the high is more intense. But large doses can cause strange or violent behavior in which the person may have tremors or muscle twitches or become paranoid.
After using cocaine, the person feels irritable, tired, and depressed. This is called a coke crash. When a person takes the drug at higher and higher doses (a binge), it can cause increasing irritability, restlessness, and paranoia that can result in a serious loss of touch with reality (paranoid psychosis).
Some people use cocaine often and may develop a stimulant use disorder. Moderate to severe stimulant use disorder is sometimes called addiction.
Use of cocaine can lead to serious health problems, including:
Sometimes sudden death can occur, even with the first use of cocaine. Sudden death from cocaine use may occur because of a heart attack or seizure in which breathing stops. Sudden death is more likely to occur when cocaine is used along with alcohol.
The effects of cocaine last about 1 to 2 hours. Cocaine can be detected in a urine drug screen up to 6 days after it has been taken.
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Patrice Burgess MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineChristine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral HealthKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineMichael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine
Current as of: August 22, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Christine R. Maldonado PhD - Behavioral Health & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer MD - Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine
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