What You Don't Know

Cocaine is a plant-derived chemical known for its stimulant effects which are often sold illegally in the United States in the form of a fine, white powder and is typically snorted by the abuser. Some users choose to smoke the substance because it gets them higher faster, but the user has a much higher chance of becoming addicted to the substance. Cocaine is a dangerous and fast acting drug. As with all stimulants, cocaine increases alertness, attention, and energy but it comes at a dangerous cost. The effects of the drug are only felt for a short period of time causing the user to constantly reach for the drug. Because of this, it is a highly addictive drug with side effects that can be felt long after the "high" has ended. 

Often, cocaine is mixed with other drugs to double up on the high some users feel. A popular mixture of heroin and cocaine, known as a speedball, is a highly addictive and dangerous substance that is injected into the body. The more substances mixed together, the higher chance a user has to experience an overdose and potentially die from mixing more than one substance. 

Short-Term Side Effects



Muscle Twitches


Increased heart rate

Increased blood pressure


Irregular heartbeat

Long-Term Side Effects


Panic Attacks

Trouble breathing or smelling (if snorted)

Lung problems (if smoked)

Stomach ulcers

Significant weight loss and malnourishment

Chest pain

Increased risk of a stroke or seizures


Those who start using cocaine at an early age are more likely to develop a substance use disorder from repeated use. The most important steps in preventing any substance abuse disorder, or an addiction or any substance, is to start the conversation about the dangers early. The sooner parents talk to their children about the risks of developing a substance abuse disorder, the better prepared their children will be in saying no to drugs such as cocaine. 

Are you or someone you love dealing with an addiction?

You are not fighting alone.

Norwich Unhooked partners with multiple local doctors, counselors, and hospitals in Norwich to help aid the community with substance abuse disorder treatment and prevention measures.