There are two general categories into which cocaine use is divided; short-term cocaine use and long-term cocaine addiction. Each category produces its own symptoms and effects in individual users.

A single use of cocaine, even if it is for the first time, can result in some short-term effects which are noticeable immediately. They may not always cause bodily harm, but there have been instances where short-term users – including first time users – have died from using the drug.

Some of the short-term effects of cocaine use are dilated pupils, increased body temperature, increased heart rate and increased levels of energy. Mental alertness and decreased appetite along with constricted blood vessels and increased blood pressure are also symptoms of short-term cocaine use.

Many of those who try cocaine for the first time get hooked on the above mentioned short-term effects. They enjoy the feeling of increased energy, increased productivity at work, and the appetite suppression. Some cocaine users can go for days without eating.

The symptoms of long-term cocaine use can include behavioural issues such as stealing, lying, absences at work, a change in lifestyle and denying the use of the drug.The psychological effects of the drug on the user can include irritability and mood disturbances, restlessness, paranoia, auditory hallucinations, and symptoms of withdrawal upon ceasing the use of the drug.

As long-term users develop a tolerance for the drug, they are said to “chase the high”, which means they will continue to use increased amounts of cocaine in the hopes of obtaining the feeling they got the first time they used it. This can never be achieved and will often lead to insanity or death.