Both cocaine and crack cocaine are short-acting drugs, which have a strong stimulant effect. Users of crack cocaine tend to feel more alert and energetic and some of the common physical effects that occur with its use include sweating, due to raised body temperature, dry mouth; increased heart and pulse rate, due to constriction of the blood vessels, dilation of the pupils and loss of appetite. Cocaine may also cause gastrointestinal problems, such as nausea and abdominal pain. Loss of appetite tends to lead to malnutrition in chronic users and when taken in higher doses the drug may produce feelings of anxiety and panic.If cocaine is snorted the onset of its effects are rapid, but short lasting.Usually the drug’s effect will only last for up to 30 minutes, unless the dose is repeated.Users who smoke crack cocaine experience an even more rapid onset of its effect, but they are correspondingly short-lived.

If an individual takes large doses of the drug or repeats the dose over a period of hours it can lead to extreme paranoia, anxiety and in some cases, hallucinations.The effects usually disappear when the drug is eliminated from the body. Crack cocaine users may experience fatigue and depression when they come down from the drug-induced high.Excessive doses can lead to death, due to heart failure or respiratory failure.

In the UK it is becoming increasingly common to use cocaine with alcohol.When the two substances are taken together the liver combines them to produce cocaethylene, which intensifies the euphoria experienced with cocaine. However, cocaethylene also increases the risk of sudden death. Crack cocaine addiction is no joke.