What Type Of Drug Is Cocaine? Stimulant Or Depressant

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that gives your body a euphoric rush and, like other stimulants, an “up” feeling that can last as long as you keep using it. The effects of cocaine, however, can be disastrous to your cardiovascular system and put you at risk for a heart attack.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


What Type Of Drug Is Cocaine? Stimulant Or Depressant

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is processed from coca plant leaves. The growth of coca plants and the processing of cocaine for illegal sale in America usually occurs in South America.

This drug results in stimulation of the central nervous system through effects such as increased heart and breathing rates, periods of high energy, and feelings of well-being.

All forms of cocaine are stimulants, though mixed forms of cocaine that include depressant drugs, such as heroin, can have depressant effects in addition to stimulant effects.

Why Is Cocaine A Stimulant?

Cocaine affects the body by creating a feeling of euphoria, also referred to as a rush, as well as feelings of alertness and high energy — effects common to the stimulant class of drugs.

Cocaine drug abuse quickly builds a tolerance to the drug which results in the need to take more of it to achieve the same kind of rush, and increased use of cocaine can have negative effects on your health.

The Difference Between Stimulants And Depressants

In short, stimulants increase certain functions and systems of the body whereas depressants slow those systems down.

People who use cocaine experience elation and alertness from snorting the drug. However, people who use benzodiazepines, for example, experience the opposite effect, resulting in a decrease in anxiety.

Stimulant Drugs

Cocaine is not the only stimulant drug that is sold illegally. There are many others in the categories of amphetamines and methamphetamines.

Amphetamines have been around since the 1930s and have been used to treat such conditions such as congestion or ADHD.

Stimulants are typically abused when people want to increase feelings of energy. For example, college students and people with high-stress careers (such as healthcare professionals and executives) may abuse cocaine when they need to stay alert for long periods of time.

Depressant Drugs

Depressant medications slow down the body and the body’s systems usually to induce sleep or relieve anxiety.

When people abuse depressants, they may increase these feelings, though some depressant effects can be dangerous with high doses of the drugs.

Depressants include:

  • barbiturates
  • benzodiazepines
  • sedative-hypnotic sleep-aids
  • alcohol

Effects Of Short-Term Stimulant Use

The short-term effects of cocaine use on the body is often just like the word “stimulant” implies.

Cocaine and other stimulants produce feelings of exhilaration and can result in:

  • boosted self-esteem
  • enhanced physical performance
  • wakefulness

But these feelings can quickly turn negative, resulting in:

  • paranoia
  • irritability
  • tremors
  • dizziness
  • chest pain

Coming down from cocaine can impact mental health, causing feelings of depression.

Effects Of Long-Term Stimulant Use

The long-term effects of cocaine and other stimulants in large amounts can be detrimental to a person’s body.

Since cocaine powder is often snorted, this can result in:

  • loss of smell
  • runny nose
  • nosebleeds
  • problems swallowing

More often negative symptoms of cocaine use can include:

  • high blood pressure
  • elevated body temperature
  • dilated pupils
  • nausea
  • constricted blood vessels
  • tremors
  • fast heart rate
  • erratic heart rhythm
  • cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  • restlessness

Treatment Programs For Cocaine Use Disorder

Treatment programs are available for substance abuse involving stimulant drugs.

Cocaine addiction is treatable here at Bedrock Recovery Center. Our treatment plans can involve detox and usually involve different evidence-based treatment approaches (therapy).

Call our helpline today to learn about our Massachusetts-based treatment center.

  1. Drug Enforcement Administration https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov/sites/default/files/2021-11/Drugs%20of%20Abuse%202020-Web%20Version-508%20compliant.pdf
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/cocaine#:~:text=Cocaine%20is%20an%20addictive%20stimulant,%2C%20talcum%20powder%2C%20or%20sugar.

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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