- Euphoria: This intense feeling comes from the brain’s reward system. Nature has designed the brain to reward good behavior that perpetuates the species. For example, eating is pleasurable because it promotes survival. But cocaine and other drugs of abuse hijack the brain and cause it to release more neurotransmitters than mundane but critical activities, like eating.
- A sense of being supremely confident: Sometimes called grandiosity, a person high on cocaine may have such an intense feeling of wellbeing that they have the illusion of being better than everyone else.
- Being outgoing: Cocaine can make a person feel particularly sociable. During a cocaine high, a person may talk excitedly and jump from one topic to another. For this reason, cocaine use may be especially attractive to individuals who usually experience anxiety or fear in a social setting, as well as those who are depressed.
- Demonstrating uncharacteristic mood swings: A person on cocaine may shift from being outgoing to being hostile. In this state, the individual may exhibit restlessness, have an angry outburst, or be hyperactive or restless.
Cocaine use is linked to numerous short-term side effects.
According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, the following are some of the reported short-term effects:
- A loss of appetite
- Rapid breathing
- Cravings to use cocaine again
- Dilated pupils
- Increased blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate
- Contracted blood vessels
- Convulsions or seizures
- Trouble sleeping
- Irreversible damage to the heart, brain, and blood vessels
- High blood pressure, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, and death
- Damage to the kidneys, liver, and lungs
- Serious tooth decay
- Weight loss and malnutrition
- Damage to the reproductive capacity of males and females
- If sniffed, damage to nasal cavity tissues
- If smoked, lung damage
- Development of a substance use disorder
- If injected, risk of abscesses and infectious disease, as well as track marks
Cocaine use can also result in a fatal overdose. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, from 2001 to 2014, there was a 42 percent rise in the number of cocaine-involved deaths. In 2006, the number of cocaine overdoses showed a high of over 7,000 deaths. The low for this period was in 2010, when the rate was just above 4,000 fatal overdoses. In 2014, there were more the 5,000 cocaine overdose deaths.