Effects of Smoking Cocaine

Smoking cocaine has a number of effects on the body. Cocaine is a stimulant, and it provides a “high” for the user. Cocaine powder is usually snorted, but it can also be smoked. Cocaine powder that is smoked results in a faster high than snorted cocaine, but it is also a shorter high.


Crack cocaine is generally smoked, and it delivers a very rapid high - usually within 10 seconds. However, the high is over faster. As a result of this intense high, many feel even worse when the effects wear off and the user “crashes.”

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance. This means that the body craves its effects. After a while, the body comes to rely on having cocaine in order to function on a level approaching normal. Additionally, the body can build a tolerance to cocaine. This means that it takes more and more of the drug in order for the same effects. As a result, users may use increasingly dangerous dosages of cocaine in order to obtain the same high.

Smoking cocaine comes with a variety of long term and short term effects. It is important to be aware of these effects on the body, since they can be damaging to short term health, as well as having long term health consequences.

Short term effects of smoking cocaine

In the short term, smoking cocaine produces changes in the body that result in the feeling of a high. The inhaled cocaine travels to the lungs and then seeps into the bloodstream. As the drug is distributed throughout the body, the user will find that his or her body temperature rises, and he or she begins to sweat profusely. Heart rate increases, as does blood pressure. Users also usually experience shallow, rapid breathing. Pupils dilate, making the cocaine smoker more sensitive to light. Additionally, cocaine stimulates the body, reducing the amount of sleep one gets, as well as reducing one’s appetite.

In the short term, a cocaine user can expect to lose weight, and to get fewer hours of sleep. Many users stop caring for themselves, and their hygiene suffers.

Long term effects of smoking cocaine

In addition to the short term effects of smoking cocaine, there are also long term health consequences. Many users find that they have increasing respiratory problems. Just like tobacco smoke, cocaine smoke can result in an increased chance of lung cancer. The strain of increased blood pressure and heart rate can also contribute to heart attack. Having cocaine in the blood can, over the course of years, also contribute to stroke. Also, because those smoking cocaine experience loss of appetite and desire for sleep, the health problems that come along with rapid weight loss and lack of sleep are often apparent. Lack of hygiene can lead to oral diseases and rotted teeth. It also weakens the immune system and can result in a greater incidence of disease.

Many of those who try to quit smoking cocaine are plagued with other effects. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can include tremors, sweats, and even anxiety and paranoia. There are long term mental health effects associated with smoking cocaine, and depression can result. Some cocaine users even end up with suicidal tendencies, both before and after they quit using.

Even after someone quits smoking cocaine, the health effects remain. Heart, respiratory and mental health problems can persist even after the cocaine is no longer used. And addiction is never really “cured.” Former users often battle cravings to continue smoking cocaine for years after they quit. The way of addiction is a constant battle to avoid relapse into old behaviors. However, if a user does quit smoking cocaine, he or she can often reduce some of the dangers to the body. The body can begin recovering, although some effects might never be reversed.

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