Snorted, smoked or injected, Cocaine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. Acute tolerance develops quickly. This, along with the drug’s strong reinforcement properties, makes it highly addictive.

Signs of Intoxication:

In low doses:

  • Feelings of well being and elation soon followed by anxiety
  • Depression and paranoia

In high doses:

  • Rapid respiration
  • Loss of coordination
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Onset of tremors, nausea
  • Convulsion
  • Seizures

Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Sleep and eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Impulsive and compulsive behaviour
  • Malnutrition


Mind & Behaviour: Delusion, sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety disorders, paranoia, violent behaviour, altered perception of reality which can lead to aggressive behaviour; violent psychotic disorders which could last days or weeks after the drug has been stopped..
Heart & Blood: Rapid or irregular heartbeat, hypertension, constricted blood vessels and arteries. In large doses: ruptured blood vessels: may cause death due to heart attack or cardiac failure.
Central Nervous System: Directly stimulated.
Brain: Constricted blood vessels and decreased blood flow to some brain areas can lead to tissue damage, stroke, hemorrhage and permanent brain damaged.
Nose: Injury to nasal passages from snorting.
Lungs: Lung abnormalities and edema (excess watery fluid). Respiratory depression which can cause death.
Liver: Danger of liver failure; high incidence of hepatitis in intravenous users due to unsterile/shared needles.
Kidneys: Damage, failure.
Gastrointestinal System: Abdominal difficulties which may require surgery; damaged tract.
Bones & Muscles: Rhabdomyloysis (potentially fatal disease destroying skeletal muscle).
Sexual Organs: Sexual dysfunction is common in heavy users.
Fetus: Decreased oxygen supply, spontaneous abortion, premature labor, stillborns, low birth weight, hemorrhage, brain and heart abnormalities, malformations. Increased risk of sudden infant death; abnormal behaviour in infants and children; growth retardation.
Other Risks: Risk of diseases transmitted by unsterile or shared needles (hepatitis, AIDS); risks of chronic heart and connective tissue diseases; risks of severe weight loss and malnutrition due to decreased appetite.

Crack or Rock

crack2Free-based, alkalinized cocaine. Smoked, users face greater risks of dying suddenly. Produces intense euphoria, followed within minutes by “CRASH”. Leads to frequent dosing and very rapid addiction.