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Cocaine is an upper that lasts about half an hour. It’s dangerous to use regularly and has both physical and mental effects

Cocaine in powdered formIt doesn’t mix well with other drugs. It is possible for someone to overdose if they take too much. If you think you have a problem, there are things you can do to get help.

What is cocaine?

Cocaine is a drug extracted from the coca plant, and it’s a stimulant with a short effect. In Ireland, cocaine is most commonly taken in powder form.

It’s also possible to make coke into smokeable forms called freebase or crack.

What does it do?

People will always react to drugs in different ways for a lot of reasons. But cocaine might make someone:

  • feel really confident and happy
  • have a faster heartbeat, higher blood pressure and body temperature
  • alert and full of energy
  • less hungry
  • horny.

This all happens for no more than about half an hour after they take it

Side effects

The longer term impacts of cocaine use can include:

  • trouble sleeping
  • becoming impotent
  • nosebleeds
  • sinus damage
  • increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and breathing problems.

It’s possible to get addicted to taking coke, and it can have a negative impact on your life. You may experience this through:

  • erratic moods
  • relationship problems
  • problems with whether you can complete work or study.

It’s also illegal. If you’re caught with/using cocaine this could affect your employment chances, travel and study in the future if you’re convicted.

Mixing it

Cocaine does not mix well with other drugs, especially alcohol. When cocaine and alcohol are mixed, they combine in your blood stream, which can damage your heart.

It’s also dangerous for someone’s heart to combining it with other stimulant drugs like speed or pills, or depressant drugs, like heroin or ketamine.

What happens if you overdose?

If someone’s overdosing on cocaine, they might:

  • vomit
  • hallucinate
  • be extremely paranoid and anxious
  • have chest pains
  • act bizarrely
  • have a fit

Someone who’s overdosed on cocaine may not know they’re in danger. If you see these symptoms in someone, or it happens to you, call an ambulance.

If someone has taken coke and seems to be paranoid or acting out a bit, give them plenty of space and don’t try to argue or force them anywhere.

Move them somewhere cool until the ambulance arrives if they’re overheating and have them sip water. Stay with them until the ambulance arrives, keeping an eye on them.

This article was last reviewed on 03 May 2017

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