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See, Play and Learn
Cocaine is a white powder. It can be snorted up the nose or mixed with water and injected with a needle. Cocaine can also be made into small white rocks, called crack. Crack is smoked in a small glass pipe.
Cocaine speeds up your whole body. You may feel full of energy, happy, and excited. But then your mood can change. You can become angry, nervous, and afraid that someone's out to get you. You might do things that make no sense. After the "high" of the cocaine wears off, you can "crash" and feel tired and sad for days. You also get a strong craving to take the drug again to try to feel better.
No matter how cocaine is taken, it is dangerous. Some of the most common serious problems include heart attack and stroke. You are also at risk for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, from sharing needles or having unsafe sex. Cocaine is more dangerous when combined with other drugs or alcohol.
It is easy to lose control over cocaine use and become addicted. Then, even if you get treatment, it can be hard to stay off the drug. People who stopped using cocaine can still feel strong cravings for the drug, sometimes even years later.
NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Cocaine (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- Cocaine DrugFacts (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Also in Spanish
Diagnosis and Tests
- Drug Testing (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
- Drug Use Screening Tests (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
Treatments and Therapies
- What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF
- Cocaine (Drug Enforcement Administration)
Statistics and Research
- Trends in the Prevalence of Marijuana, Cocaine, and Other Illegal Drug Use -- National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS): 1991-2019 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Cocaine Smoking (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Cocaine-Related Disorders (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Crack Cocaine (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Activation of a hypothalamus-habenula circuit by mechanical stimulation inhibits cocaine addiction-like...
- Article: Transgenerational Cycle of Traumatization and HIV Risk Exposure among Crack Users.
- Article: MicroRNA-423-5p Mediates Cocaine-Induced Smooth Muscle Cell Contraction by Targeting Cacna2d2.
- Cocaine -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- FindTreatment.gov (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse Also in Spanish
- Partnership to End Addiction
- Mind Matters: The Body's Response to Cocaine (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
- What Are Cocaine and Crack? (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Cocaine and Pregnancy (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists) - PDF Also in Spanish
- Cocaine withdrawal (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Substance use -- cocaine (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
- Tips for Teens: The Truth about Cocaine (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) - PDF