Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Cocaine and mental health

2-minute read

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug made from the leaves of the South American coca bush. Long-term users risk social and financial problems, and use has been linked to criminal behaviour. Users can also become psychotic.

Cocaine comes in three forms: cocaine hydrochloride, freebase and crack. Cocaine hydrochloride is a white powder usually mixed or ‘cut’ with other substances. It is typically snorted through the nose, but it can be injected, rubbed into the gums or added to food and drinks. Freebase is also a white powder, but crack cocaine is generally found in the form of larger crystals. Freebase and crack are usually smoked.

Cocaine is also known as coke, charlie, pepsi, blow, C and nose candy. Crack cocaine is also known as rock, base and sugar block.

Cocaine effects

Cocaine is a stimulant, which means it speeds up the messages going to and from your brain. Cocaine is highly addictive, and users crave the same experience over and over again. Learn about the many physical health effects of cocaine.

Mental health issues

Users might feel happy, bright and alert after taking cocaine, but there are downsides. Users can feel paranoid and agitated, have hallucinations, take risks, ignore pain and display unpredictable or violent behaviour.

Long-term users often feel depression, exhausted and can't sleep. They can become psychotic with delusions and hallucinations, and can act in strange, aggressive or violent ways.

Coming down after using cocaine can take days. Users can feel tense and anxious, depressed and tired, and up and down.

Find out about so called party drugs, including where to find help and support.

Not sure what to do next?

If you or someone you know are finding it difficult to manage issues as a result of drug use, try healthdirect’s symptom checker and get advice on when to seek professional help.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Kicking the habit

Kicking a cocaine habit is challenging. Users typically crash in the first few days after stopping use. Withdrawal can last about 10 weeks. People withdrawing have cravings and feel tired, anxious, angry and depressed.

Find help on the National Drugs Campaign and Druginfo websites.

You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Druginfo on 1300 85 85 84 if you need to talk to someone about drugs.

Last reviewed: July 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Cocaine | Drugs | ReachOut Australia

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that can cause long term impact on overall health. Read on to know how Cocaine addiction can affect you.

Read more on ReachOut.com website

Cocaine: tolerance and dependence - myDr.com.au

After prolonged use, cocaine is highly addictive and with regular use, larger amounts of cocaine are needed to get the same effect.

Read more on myDr website

Cocaine: what are the effects? - myDr.com.au

Read about the various effects of taking cocaine from the immediate effects of the rush to the crash that can follow afterwards and the long-term effects of cocaine use.

Read more on myDr website

ADF - Drug Facts - Cocaine

Cocaine comes from the leaves of the coca bush which is native to South America. The leaf extract is processed to produce 3 different forms of cocaine..

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Cocaine: what is it? - myDr.com.au

Cocaine is a stimulant drug and is made from the leaves of the coca bush. It is most commonly snorted.

Read more on myDr website

Cocaine: use with other drugs - myDr.com.au

Snorting and injecting cocaine can result in long-term effects on your health.

Read more on myDr website

Understanding cocaine for young people

Read more on headspace website

NSW Health - Don't let drugs use you

Find out all the information on using cocaine

Read more on NSW Health website

Amphetamines and Cocaine - Alcohol and Other Drugs Knowledge Centre

Read more on Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website

ADF - Drug Facts - new psychoactive substances

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a range of drugs that have been designed to mimic established illicit drugs, ie: cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo