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Fact Sheet - Cocaine

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  • Regardless of how cocaine is used or how frequently, a user can experience acute cardiovascular or cerebrovascular emergencies, such as a heart attack or stroke, which could result in sudden death.
  • The faster the body absorbs cocaine, the more intense the high and the shorter the duration of action.
  • The high from snorting cocaine may last 15 to 30 minutes, while the high from smoking may last 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Bingeing on cocaine can cause a period of full-blown paranoid psychosis in which the user loses touch with reality and experiences auditory hallucinations.
  • Cocaine use can disturb the rhythm of the heart and induce heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures.
  • Chronic cocaine use tends to decrease appetite, which may lead to malnourishment.
  • Individuals repeatedly snorting cocaine may experience nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, a chronically runny nose, and a loss of their sense of smell.
  • Nearly 50% of all men arrested in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Chicago in 2003 tested positive for cocaine use.
  • Many cocaine addicts report that they seek, but are unable to achieve, as much pleasure as they did from their first exposure.
  • Some cocaine users will increase their doses to intensify and prolong the euphoric effects.


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