Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a euphoria-inducing stimulant. It is a potent, highly addictive drug.

What Are Common Street Names?

Crack, Coke, Blow, Coca, Flake, Snow

What Does It Look Like?

Cocaine is sold as a white powder. It is often diluted with a variety of substances such as local anesthetics. A cheaper form of cocaine, known as crack cocaine, looks like irregularly shaped rocks of a white or tan color.

How Is It Used?

Cocaine can be snorted or injected into the veins. Crack cocaine is smoked.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine?

Cocaine, like other stimulants such as methamphetamine, makes users more alert. Individuals often resort to cocaine for the sense of euphoria it produces. Unfortunately, cocaine’s euphoric effects are often replaced by unfavorable ones, which may include exhaustion, restlessness, irritability, and even anxiety and depression. These effects have been known to linger for multiple days.

Why Is Cocaine Harmful?

Cocaine has a high potential for abuse because it creates intense cravings that develop immediately after the negative after-effects of the previous use subside. Individuals can easily build a tolerance to cocaine, causing them to consume larger amounts of the substance to experience the same “rush.” Users who consume higher doses of cocaine may suffer from paranoia, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, strokes, and possibly death.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Repeated cocaine misuse can lead to drug addiction and health problems, including:

  • Lung damage
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Perforated or deviated septum
  • Renal failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Rare autoimmune diseases
Recognizing Cocaine Addiction

Habitual cocaine abuse causes the brain to rely on the drug. Cocaine addiction changes the mind and body in several ways, causing:

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Panic and paranoia
  • Extreme mood swings

Physical Signs

  • Rapid speech
  • Grinding teeth
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nosebleeds and runny nose
  • Suppressed appetite/weight loss
What Does a Cocaine Overdose Look Like?

When an individual takes a high dose of cocaine, cocaine’s usual effects are dangerously amplified. The overstimulation of the brain and body can cause it to shut down, often resulting in death. Because it is impossible to know the potency or purity of the drug, there is no way to know what amount of cocaine will lead to a deadly overdose.

Signs of Overdose
  • Tremors
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Difficulty breathing
  • High body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid heart rate

Individuals who overdose on cocaine require immediate medical attention as the symptoms stated above might precede the onset of a fatal heart attack, stroke, or seizure.

How Do You Treat Cocaine Addiction?

Cocaine Detox

An individual must stop using prior to treatment so that they are able to fully focus on their recovery. Because cocaine is not physically addictive, medical detox is not typically necessary. However, dangerous psychological withdrawal symptoms can occur after stopping cocaine use. Because of this, it is important that individuals consult with a healthcare professional to determine whether medically monitored detox is right for them.


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Psychosis
  • Delirium
  • Intense cravings
Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Once the body has rid itself of all toxic substances, the individual should address the psychological hold that cocaine has had on them by pursuing drug counseling. Addiction treatment teaches the individual to recognize and address negative behaviors, practice strategies to avoid relapse, and develop constructive ways to deal with setbacks. Rehabilitation options for cocaine addiction include inpatient (residential) treatment and outpatient treatment.


Because cocaine addiction is psychological, individuals can benefit greatly from supplementing traditional addiction treatment with alternative wellness therapies that help to heal the mind and spirit. Former cocaine users who relied on the drug to stay awake may value the opportunity to address the root of their sleeplessness and learn about healthy resting habits through Sleep Education. Those who used cocaine for its ability to induce euphoria may enjoy the natural, safe “rush” they can experience through Ropes Courses. Individuals struggling with the anxiety caused by their cocaine withdrawal can find relief through Acupuncture.

Drug rehab patient sleeping.

Sleep Education

Tips and practices to promote deep relaxation and enhance sound sleep, allowing you to sleep better and longer while in addiction treatment and after.

woman on rope course at mountainside

Ropes Course

High and low ropes challenge courses help develop teamwork and communication skills, deepen self-reflection as well as provide fun in sobriety

doctor placing acupuncture

Full Body Acupuncture

(This offering is paused due to COVID. It will resume when it is safer to do so.)
Traditional Chinese practice that stimulates specific points on the body to re-balance energy, ease aches and pain, decrease…

Review our Wellness page to find other beneficial activities that inspire total well-being.

Due to its glamorization in movies and music, cocaine does not hold the same stigma as other illegal drugs. However, cocaine is just as dangerous and addictive. If you or a loved one is struggling, reach out for help. Our compassionate team of addiction experts is here to help you reclaim your life.