What are the short-term
effects of cocaine use?
Cocaine's effects appear almost immediately after a single dose,
and disappear within a few minutes or hours. Taken in small amounts
(up to 100 mg), cocaine usually makes the user feel euphoric, energetic,
talkative, and mentally alert, especially to the sensations of sight,
sound, and touch. It can also temporarily decrease the need for
food and sleep. Some users find that the drug helps them to perform
simple physical and intellectual tasks more quickly, while others
can experience the opposite effect.
The duration of cocaine's immediate euphoric effects depends upon
the route of administration. The faster the absorption, the more
intense the high. Also, the faster the absorption, the shorter the
duration of action. The high from snorting is relatively slow in
onset, and may last 15 to 30 minutes, while that from smoking may
last 5 to 10 minutes
The short-term physiological effects of cocaine include constricted
blood vessels; dilated pupils; and increased temperature, heart
rate, and blood pressure. Large amounts (several hundred milligrams
or more) intensify the user's high, but may also lead to bizarre,
erratic, and violent behavior. These users may experience tremors,
vertigo, muscle twitches, paranoia, or, with repeated doses, a toxic
reaction closely resembling amphetamine poisoning. Some users of
cocaine report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety.
In rare instances, sudden death can occur on the first use of cocaine
or unexpectedly thereafter. Cocaine-related deaths are often a result
of cardiac arrest or seizures followed by respiratory arrest.
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Research Report Series 1999