Facts and myths about cocaine use

Facts and myths about cocaine use


The National Drugs Awareness Campaign, as part of its current campaign highlighting the dangers of cocaine, has published a list of facts and myths about the effects of the use of this drug:

Myth-cocaine isn’t addictive.

Fact-while not regarded as physically addictive, cocaine can produce severe psychological dependence because of the strong cravings it produces, leading to compulsive patterns of use.

As tolerance develops, users take larger and more frequent does to maintain 'the high'.

In addition, there is no recognised pharmacotherapy (chemical treatment) for cocaine dependence similar to methadone for heroin users. However, psychotherapies and counselling are said to be effective in the management of cocaine dependence.

Myth-cocaine is a clean,safe drug.

Fact-despite its ‘clean/safe’ image, common physical effects include sweating, loss of appetite, damage to the inside of the nose, increased heart and pulse rate.

Some people experience nausea, headaches, irritability, paranoia and hallucinations. Cocaine (even taken on its own) can affect heart rhythms, leading to possible heart attacks, raised blood pressure, respiratory failure and strokes.


Myth-there is no 'hangover' with cocaine.

Fact-the short ­term after-effects of use include fatigue and depression. The ‘crash’ or ‘low’ that follows the ‘high can be severe, and can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Hyperactivity, insomnia and weight loss can also result from frequent use.

Chronic use can lead to paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety attacks and agitation. Aggressive and violent behaviour are another common result of increased cocaine use.


Myth-cocaine use improves sexual desire and performance.

Fact-increased sexual desire immediately after taking the drug often leads to unsafe sexual behaviour, risking unplanned pregnancy and leaving users susceptible to HIV, Hepatitis B and sexually transmitted infections.

Following prolonged use, male cocaine users can experience difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.

Long-term use may result in reduced sexual drive, development of breasts in men and impotence.



Anonymous - 20/07/2005 12:14

Fact, Cocaine we can buy on the streets contains only a small amount of cocaine and the rest is other substances such as novacaine and whatever else is thrown in to make profit...surely the unknown substances are just as bad for your health as the cocaine its self....we should all be aware of street drugs...because you just never know what your taking. Thet don't come with a list of ingredients. Keep safe!!

Anonymous - 24/10/2006 19:17

yes, but cocaine is addictive, it makes your body want more. if you throw in other substances as well, arent you just putting more chemicals into your body? it cant be that healthy at all

vtboy35 - 23/02/2009 06:29

it only makes your body want more WHEN you are doing it. highs and lows work on alcohol, smokes and sex as well. all far more addictive.

in my opinion, it is not physically addictive as much as mentally, which I speak from through experience.

the greatest issue is that most that enjoy that high can not control not having that high. they can't afford more or better quality to keep the same state, so they move "down" to crack - and the slide begins.

i've been a user off and on for quite a long time. 

if you have the choice, never start! it can affect your mind over long term and, most certainly, your wallet.

and not everyone can walk away or limit themselves to searching out a cheaper and more powerful substitute. once you walk through that door, it's unlikely you will turn back.

briz - 24/04/2009 20:20

I think cocaine is a horriable drug. Even no I'll prob get some soon. I wish I never EVER started it has fucked with my life my body I'm 105 pounds but stand very short it hasn't effected my face or teeth yet.. I want reason to quit really but I have no job no kids and my spouse is the same!!!! So I'm stuck .. here don't touch it .

Healthy60 - 13/09/2009 17:09

Every thing that is on this earth, that is not poison, can be used in moderation, problem is, too many do not.  I am a very compulsive addictive personality. Be it Ciggs, Diet Coke, Food, whatever. I have no control

I had not used Cocaine since 1979, as I joined the Army. I did not use any street drugs, but chancing it and smoking some hash a few times while stationed in Germany.  Now almost 50, I have no connections, just an old man who stays at home with his very straight wife.  I ran across some people and I heard them talking and I started talking to them, after an hour or so, I asked if I could get some of that stuff (coke) I heard them talking about.  Since I had no connections, this was probably a one time chance, I asked for an Oz.  Thinking I could control myself, after all, I am very mature. The first time, I was able to stay under half a gram over a two day period. Unfortunately, the second time, four days later, I wanted to do more and I was up for two days, sitting in my living room. each time the rush of two lines would ware off, I was back at it. two nice lines about every 30 minutes for 40 hours.. When I went through the hassle of coming down, slept for a few hours, woke up and looked at myself in the mirror and said what are you doing. I washed it down the sink, all 20 grams that were left.  Even at 50, I see I still have no control.  So it is just an occassional Joint for me and that is where it ends.

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