Why You Feel Strange After Doing Coke

Why You Feel Strange After Doing Coke

Explore why you feel strange after doing coke, from immediate effects to long-term health risks.

Understanding the Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine, a highly addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant, increases levels of alertness, attention, and energy. Its use can lead to a host of physical and mental health effects that range from temporary physical reactions to long-term damage. It's essential to understand these effects to comprehend why you feel strange after doing coke.

Immediate Effects of Cocaine Use

The immediate effects of cocaine use vary based on the individual and the amount consumed. Typically, cocaine speeds up brain activity, helping individuals stay alert, awake, and sometimes providing an energy burst [2].

A small amount of cocaine induces euphoria, increased energy, mental alertness, and sensitivity to sight, sound, and touch. It also reduces the user’s need for sleep and food. While cocaine usually enhances focus and speeds up task completion, it can have the opposite effect on others. Taking a large amount of cocaine can increase these effects and the euphoria, but it can also cause erratic, strange behavior [3].

Long-Term Physical Effects of Cocaine

Long-term use of cocaine can lead to severe physical health effects. These include lung damage, worsening asthma symptoms, the development of puncture marks on the arms (tracks), and an increased risk of infections such as HIV or hepatitis C.

Cocaine produces its psychoactive and addictive effects primarily by acting on the brain's limbic system, a set of interconnected regions that regulate pleasure and motivation. An initial, short-term effect—a buildup of the neurochemical dopamine—gives rise to euphoria and a desire to take the drug again [4].

Chronic cocaine exposure causes physical changes in nerve cell structure in the limbic system, including the sprouting of new offshoots on dendrites. These changes are long-lasting and may contribute to the intense craving and relapse vulnerability associated with addiction.

In addition, chronic cocaine exposure causes an accumulation of the genetic transcription factor ΔFosB in the limbic system. ΔFosB stimulates certain genes and its accumulation to high levels could potentially promote addictive behaviors independently of cocaine's other effects in the brain.

In sum, the immediate and long-term effects of cocaine range from heightened alertness and energy to severe physical health consequences and alterations to brain structure. These effects can explain the strange feeling some individuals experience after consuming cocaine.

Health Risks and Dangers

Cocaine usage carries numerous health risks and dangers, some of which can be life-threatening. The 'strange feeling' after consuming cocaine may be due to the drug's impact on the cardiovascular system and the digestive and respiratory systems.

Cardiovascular Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine can wreak havoc on the cardiovascular system. This powerful stimulant causes the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to constrict, leading to elevated blood pressure. Over time, these effects can lead to serious health problems such as heart attacks, which account for 25 percent of deaths among people ages 18-45 who have abused cocaine or crack cocaine. In rare cases, cocaine can cause sudden death after its first use, typically due to cardiac arrest or seizures [6].

Long-term use of cocaine also reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, potentially causing brain damage and increasing the risk of aneurysm. It can also lead to memory problems similar to Alzheimer's.

Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Complications

Cocaine usage can lead to severe respiratory complications. People who abuse crack cocaine can develop "crack lung," or eosinophilic pneumonitis, which leads to symptoms such as a chronic cough, higher risk of infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis, acute respiratory distress, asthma, and pulmonary edema [5].

Many people who struggle with cocaine abuse develop septal perforations, which can cause a collapse of the nose structure, breathing problems, and potentially require plastic surgery for correction [5].

Moreover, cocaine abuse can lead to gastrointestinal damage. Symptoms may include stomach pain, ulcers, necrotic bowel, ischemic colitis, and liver damage. Mixing cocaine with alcohol can produce cocaethylene, which can lead to liver damage, aggression, increased depressive effects of alcohol, and stress on the heart [5].

Understanding these health risks and dangers is crucial for anyone considering or currently using cocaine. Immediate steps should be taken to seek help and treatment for cocaine use to avoid these serious, and potentially fatal, health complications.

Psychological Impact of Cocaine Use

The psychological impact of cocaine use is significant and can lead to a range of psychiatric symptoms and violent behaviors. This section aims to shed light on these aspects and provide insight into why individuals might feel strange after consuming coke.

Psychiatric Symptoms Associated with Cocaine

Cocaine can induce a spectrum of psychiatric symptoms. These can include agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, and even suicidal and homicidal ideation. These symptoms can be primary, directly resulting from the drug's effect, or secondary, due to the exacerbation of pre-existing psychiatric disorders.

One of the most common psychiatric symptoms associated with cocaine use is paranoia, which occurs in 68% to 84% of individuals using the drug. The feelings of paranoia can contribute to the user feeling strange and disconnected from reality, which can be distressing and confusing.

Psychiatric Symptoms Percentage of Occurrence in Cocaine Users
Paranoia 68% - 84%
Hallucinations Variable
Suicidal ideation Variable
Homicidal ideation Variable

Violence and Suicidal Behavior

Violent behavior is also intrinsically linked to cocaine use. As many as 55% of individuals with cocaine-induced psychiatric symptoms may exhibit violent behaviors. This can range from self-inflicted harm to aggression towards others.

The relationship between cocaine use and lethal outcomes is also significant. Cocaine has been associated with as many as 31% of homicide cases. Furthermore, it has been found present in 18% to 22% of suicide cases. This link underscores the severe and life-threatening psychological impacts of cocaine use.

Violent Behaviors Percentage of Occurrence in Cocaine Users
General Violence Up to 55%
Association with Homicide Up to 31%
Association with Suicide 18% - 22%

These statistics underscore the potential for violent behavior and self-harm among individuals using cocaine, further explaining the strange and often unsettling feelings experienced after cocaine use. It's critical for users and those around them to be aware of these risks and seek immediate help if these behaviors are observed.

Addiction and Neurological Effects

Understanding why you feel strange after doing coke, requires delving into the neurological effects of cocaine. This powerful stimulant has a profound impact on the brain, influencing everything from pleasure and motivation to brain cell structure.

Addiction and Dopamine Release

Cocaine's addictive properties are primarily due to its impact on the brain's limbic system. This interconnected network of regions regulates pleasure and motivation. The immediate, short-term effect of cocaine use is a buildup of the neurochemical dopamine, leading to feelings of euphoria and a strong desire to continue using the drug.

The surge of dopamine in the brain’s reward circuit strongly reinforces drug-taking behavior, because the reward circuit eventually adapts to the excess dopamine and becomes less sensitive to it. As a result, people take stronger and more frequent doses in an attempt to feel the same high, and to obtain relief from withdrawal.

Impact on Brain Cells and ΔFosB Accumulation

Chronic cocaine use can cause significant changes in brain cell structure, particularly in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key region of the brain's reward circuit. This includes the sprouting of new offshoots on dendrites, the branch-like projections that help neurons interact with each other. These changes are long-lasting and may contribute to the intense cravings and vulnerability to relapse often seen in those with cocaine addiction.

Another significant impact of cocaine use on the brain involves the accumulation of a protein known as ΔFosB. This genetic transcription factor promotes certain genes and is naturally present in small quantities in the NAc. However, with chronic cocaine exposure, ΔFosB accumulates to high levels, potentially promoting addictive behaviors independently of cocaine's other effects in the brain.

The effects of cocaine on brain cells are varied, with some reverting quickly to normal once the drug leaves the brain, and others persisting for weeks, months, or perhaps even longer. Continued cocaine use can lead to significant physical and mental health problems, affecting various organs and systems, as well as emotional health and daily life. Understanding these impacts is crucial to understanding why cocaine induces strange feelings and has such a strong potential for addiction.

Different Forms of Cocaine

Cocaine comes in various forms and each has a unique set of effects on the user. The way in which cocaine is processed and consumed can significantly influence the intensity of its effects and the risk of addiction. Let's delve into the details.

Powder Cocaine vs. Crack Cocaine

Powder cocaine, often referred to as 'coke,' is a fine white powder derived from the leaves of the coca plant. It's usually snorted through the nose, but can also be mixed with water and injected directly into the bloodstream.

Crack cocaine, on the other hand, is a more potent form of the substance, which comes in a rock or chunk form. Crack is created by cooking cocaine powder with baking soda. The result is a substance that is stronger and more addictive than the powdered form of the drug. It is usually smoked in a glass pipe or added to tobacco or marijuana and smoked.

According to NCBI, crack cocaine is associated with more frequent and intense symptoms compared to powder cocaine. It's also easier and more economical to market, making it much less expensive and more accessible.

Form Appearance Consumption Method Intensity of Effects
Powder Cocaine Fine white powder Snorted or injected Moderate
Crack Cocaine Rock or chunk form Smoked High

Freebase Cocaine and its Effects

Freebase cocaine is another form of the drug that is also smoked, similar to crack cocaine. However, instead of using baking soda, ammonia is used to "free" the cocaine base from its natural form. The result is a solid, smokable substance that delivers a rapid, intense high.

The terms "crack" and "freebase" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they actually refer to different forms of the drug. The main difference lies in the process used to create them and the substances used to convert the cocaine base.

Form Process Consumption Method Intensity of Effects
Crack Cocaine Cocaine powder cooked with baking soda Smoked High
Freebase Cocaine Cocaine base "freed" using ammonia Smoked Very high

By understanding the different forms of cocaine and their effects, we can better comprehend the risks associated with cocaine use and why people might feel strange after consuming it. It's crucial to note that all forms of cocaine carry significant health risks and can lead to addiction, physical harm, and severe mental health issues.

Cocaine Use and Health Concerns

Cocaine consumption, illegal in the U.S., can lead to a range of physical and mental health effects. It's a highly addictive drug that increases levels of alertness, attention, and energy, classified as a stimulant. The focus here is on its impact on mental health and its role in HIV progression.

Impact on Mental Health

Cocaine can significantly impact mental health. The immediate effects of cocaine include feelings of alertness, a lack of desire to sleep, and increased confidence. Cocaine speeds up the brain, helping individuals stay awake and providing an energy burst. It also acts as a pain reliever. However, the effects of cocaine usually peak in 2-5 minutes and last from 10 minutes up to a couple of hours, with the duration varying based on the strength of the cocaine [2].

Long-term, cocaine can cause symptoms such as anxiety, extreme irritability, and depression, which can worsen cravings. Withdrawal from cocaine can lead to other symptoms such as craving the drug, agitation, hunger, difficulty sleeping, exhaustion, anxiety, irritability, and depression. Untreated depression from cocaine use can increase a person’s risk of self-harm and suicide. It also increases their risk of relapsing simply to alleviate painful depression symptoms.

Cocaine Use and HIV Progression

Cocaine use can also have serious physical health effects, including an increased risk of infections such as HIV or hepatitis C. Cocaine use can lead to temporary physical reactions such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, nasal irritation, and trouble swallowing. Long-term effects can include lung damage, worsening asthma symptoms, the development of puncture marks on the arms (tracks), and an increased risk of the said infections.

In summary, cocaine use can lead to several physical and mental health concerns. Its addictive nature can result in significant long-term health issues, including mental health disorders and an increased risk of HIV and other infections. It's essential to recognize the potential dangers associated with cocaine use and seek help if necessary to prevent or manage these health concerns.


[1]: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/cocaine-use-and-its-effects

[2]: https://headspace.org.au/explore-topics/for-young-people/cocaine-effects-on-mental-health/

[3]: https://windwardway.com/cocaine-rehab/effects/

[4]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851032/

[5]: https://americanaddictioncenters.org/cocaine-treatment/long-term-side-effects-of-abuse

[6]: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-happens-if-you-do-coke-once

[7]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181074/

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