Addiction | 6 min read

What Is Coke? Dangers & Risks Of Using This Fatal Drug

Medically Reviewed

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu

On August 27, 2022

Written By

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

On April 17, 2022

We Provide Drug Rehab DBT Therapy in Brooklyn, NYC, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island, and Staten Island
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cocaine is one of the most common drugs used around the world. It is an incredibly addictive substance that can alter the course of someone’s life once they become addicted.

It is important to understand what cocaine is, how it works, the dangers and risks associated with using cocaine, and other information about this hazardous drug. Please read on to learn more about cocaine and what to do if you or a loved one suffers from cocaine addiction.

What Is Coke?

Coke is a hard drug that is very popular among a diverse demographic. Its official name is cocaine, but it goes by many other street names. Some street names for cocaine are coca, coke, flake, snow, crank, soda cot, and rock.

Cocaine is a powdered drug that appears as a fine white crystalline powder. Cocaine base, also known as crack cocaine, looks like small, oddly-shaped white crystals or rocks. There are many ways to take cocaine, the most common and popular one being to snort it up the nose.

This is popular because the nose is a mucous membrane. Therefore, it absorbs the cocaine into the bloodstream quicker than it would in other ways. Another common way to experience the high from cocaine is to dissolve the cocaine in water and inject it directly into the bloodstream. Finally, crack cocaine is smoked out of a pipe.

Cocaine can have many effects on the body, including a euphoric feeling known as the “high” or the “rush.” It is easy to quickly build a tolerance to cocaine, making it a fairly easy drug to overdose.

In 2020, approximately 5.2 million people aged 12 and older reported using cocaine in the past 12 months. Read more here. This shows that the influence of coke is widespread. It is also a drug that is not restrained to any particular demographics. It is incredibly hard to section the world’s population into cocaine users and folks who do not use cocaine because there are no clear indications of a person who is bound to get into cocaine.

Some people can be at risk for drug use, but cocaine is so incredibly popular that a demographic cannot be defined.

What Are The Risks & Side-Effects of Using Coke?

There are many risks and side effects of using cocaine in any capacity. It does not matter which way you consume the cocaine. It harms your body’s health regardless. There is no safe way to consume cocaine.

The following are the sensations and side effects of using cocaine immediately following a small dose.

  • A euphoric high
  • Increased energy
  • Talkativeness
  • Mental alertness or clarity
  • Hypersensitivity to sensations such as touch, sight, and sound
  • No need for sleep
  • No need for food

What Are The Risks & Side-Effects of Using Coke?

Cardiac arrhythmia or heart palpitations are common side effects of using cocaine. Increased blood pressure and increased heart rate are also very common side effects or indications of cocaine usage. Dilated pupils are another indication that a person is using cocaine. The pupils become enlarged, and the iris of the eye becomes a thin ring.

Restlessness, anxiety or panic attacks, moodiness and irritability, insomnia, and aggression are also side effects of cocaine usage.

Some of the risks associated with cocaine usage are the potential for sudden death due to stroke or cardiac arrest. Convulsions and seizures are also possible on cocaine. Overdoses are incredibly common with cocaine because it does not take long for a person to build up a tolerance to it. Once they return to it after losing the tolerance, they can ingest too much cocaine and die from an overdose.

Overdoses from cocaine are incredibly common in people relapsing after going drug-free. This is an incredible risk because they return to the same amount they took when their tolerance was higher but end up overdosing.

After a long cocaine binge or using cocaine for a while, a person can experience a crash. The crash is also called a comedown, which describes the feeling of coming down from the high of cocaine. The comedown is often described as mental and physical fatigue characterized by depression, exhaustion, sleeping for long periods, and general sluggishness that can last for days. After the comedown, the user will typically want to consume cocaine again.

What Are The Signs Someone Is Addicted To Coke?

Because cocaine is a stimulant drug that increases energy and alertness along with the euphoric high, it is one of the world’s most addictive substances. Drug addiction is characterized by compulsively using a drug despite knowing its consequences or risks.

Cocaine addiction has several signs that are noticeable to an untrained eye. If you believe that you or a loved one may have a cocaine addiction, please read the following signs of cocaine addiction. Symptoms of cocaine addiction are changes in sleep patterns, ignoring general hygiene, intense mood swings, violent outbursts, paranoia, panic attacks, financial struggles, secrecy, risk-taking or novelty-seeking behavior, loss of interest in hobbies, and lying.

With cocaine addiction, it is not unlikely that a person will hide it from other people. That is why many people who are suffering from cocaine addiction will behave in a manner that is sneaky or avoidant of other people. Typically, people suffering from coke addictions do not want to get caught. They want to continue their addiction without the burden of judgment or ridicule from others.

If a person does not get the cocaine they need to keep enough in their bloodstream to prevent withdrawal, they can go into withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, moodiness and irritability, intense cravings for cocaine or other drugs like it, and fever.

If you are using cocaine and begin to feel symptoms similar to the ones listed above, you may be suffering from cocaine addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can occur hours after not getting enough cocaine into your bloodstream. If you believe a loved one has a cocaine addiction, it is important to monitor their behavior.

A cocaine addiction, like any drug addiction, needs to be treated with severity and importance. However, if a loved one is sneaking around and lying to avoid telling you what is happening in their life, you may have to take the initiative to bring it up to them.

What Are The Signs Someone Is Addicted To Coke?

If you are planning on confronting or questioning someone about their drug use, there are several things you should make sure to account for. Firstly, if they are not coming to you to ask for help, they will probably resist or avoid any conversations about it. If they are being sneaky and lying, they will probably continue to be sneaky and lie, even if that is not who they are as a person. Cocaine is a controlling substance; it can make people behave in ways they have never behaved before.

Bring up the topic gently and explain that you love and care for the person. Tell them that you want to be someone who supports them through this difficult time of their life and that you are ready to help them whenever they are ready to help themselves. Of course, every situation is different. What works for many may not work for your situation, so be sure to read the room accordingly.

How To Get Help: What To Do For A Coke Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from a coke addiction, you do not have to suffer alone. Cocaine has a grip on thousands of people’s lives, so you are not alone in your struggle. There are thousands of other people searching for a way to live a drug and addiction-free life.

Everybody deserves to live a life free from the control of dangerous drugs and have a body and lifestyle that is healthy and sustainable. Healthy coping mechanisms, proper mental health practices, and addressing the root causes of addictive behaviors are great ways to help overcome a cocaine addiction.

If you are suffering from cocaine addiction, one of the most important things to do is communicate with friends and loved ones about your addiction. Explain that you are suffering and you want to get help. Creating a strong support system is one of the best ways to begin your journey to a drug-free life.

However, the best option is to come to a facility with professional staff trained in dealing with addiction. You deserve help, and you deserve a life that is healthy and free from addiction. So please reach out to a premier drug detox facility now so that you can start down the path to a greater tomorrow, free from the bondage of drug addiction, right away. You are more than your addiction, and you are more than your journey to a drug-free life.

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Amanda Stevens


Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. Read more

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  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Published May 2016. Accessed August 27, 2022.