Cocaine is a stimulant drug derived from the leaves of the coca bush which is processed to make cocaine.

Cocaine is usually in the form of a white powder (cocaine hydrochloride) which has a bitter and numbing taste. Coca can be processed to make cocaine base, known as freebase which is a more pure white powder and crack which is in the form of crystals which may be white, pink or yellow.

Other names

C, coke, nose candy, blow, snow, white lady, Charlie, toot, white dust or stardust.

The Effects of Cocaine Drug

Low to moderate doses

Cocaine Drug Effects may include:

  • Immediate rush
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sense of invincibility
  • Increased talkativeness
  • Increased libido
  • Paranoia
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Unpredictable aggressive or violent behaviour.

Higher doses

Cocaine Drug Effects may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures, convulsions
  • Heart attack and stroke

High doses and frequent heavy use can cause cocaine psychosis with symptoms including:

  • Paranoid delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Bizarre aggressive or violent behaviour

These symptoms usually disappear a few days after the person stops using cocaine.

Coming down

As the effects of cocaine wear off you may experience

  • Tension, agitation, anxiety
  • Intense hunger
  • Restless sleep
  • Radical mood swings
  • Depression
  • Exhaustion

Preventing and Reducing Harm


Injecting cocaine may cause:

  • vein and skin damage, abscesses and ulcers
  • becoming dependent
  • damage to heart, lungs, liver and brain,
  • infections such as tetanus, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS
  • stroke

Sharing equipment such as needles and syringes greatly increases the risk of contracting blood borne viruses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

It is safest not to inject drugs. However, if you choose to inject you should always use new clean equipment.  The National Alcohol and other Drug Hotline 1800 250 015  can provide information on where to obtain clean needles and syringes in your state and territory.

Legal Issues of Cocaine Drug

Federal and state laws provide penalties for possessing, using, making or selling cocaine, or driving under their influence.







Adapted from Drug Facts (Cocaine), Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2019.