The duration of a cocaine high depends on a few factors, such as the method of ingestion and how much you use, but it typically lasts approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Some people may experience lingering effects for hours after taking it, and the comedown effects can also last a few days.

Healthline does not endorse the illegal use of any substances. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using them.

Compared with the effects of other substances, the effects of cocaine don’t last very long. A typical cocaine high only lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on how you ingest it.

The effects usually come on hard and fast, which is part of why cocaine tends to have high dependence potential despite relatively short-lived effects.

Cocaine produces a temporary euphoric effect that may make a person feel excited, energetic, more confident, and sociable. Anecdotally, some people find that cocaine also increases their capacity for creativity.

These effects occur because cocaine influences dopamine pathways in the brain’s reward center. When you use cocaine, the brain receives a temporary jolt of stimulation from increased dopamine production.

However, some people may also experience increased anxiety, panic, or paranoia from using cocaine, according to a research report from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Ultimately, the short-term effects vary from person to person based on the dosage and delivery method.

Again, it depends on how you ingest it and a few other factors. The methods that get cocaine into your bloodstream faster allow it to wear off faster, too.

Here’s what to expect in terms of how long the high lasts:

  • Snorting: 15-30 minutes
  • Gumming: 15-30 minutes
  • Smoking: 5-10 minutes
  • Injecting: 5-15 minutes

Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of a cocaine high aren’t the same for everyone. Some people might feel lingering effects for up to 4 hours.

How much you use and whether you’ve taken other substances can also affect how long a cocaine high lasts.

Once the high wears off, you’re likely to feel some lingering, not-so-pleasant effects as part of the comedown. This can last a few days, according to a 2017 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) resource guide.

During this time, you might feel really tired, restless, and irritable. Trouble sleeping is pretty common after doing coke, too.

That depends on how you use it. The faster a substance makes it into your bloodstream, the quicker its effects kick in.

When you snort or gum coke, the effects come on slower compared with smoking or injecting it. This is because it has to get through mucus, skin, and other tissues before hitting your bloodstream.

Here’s the general onset time of effects for the different methods of use:

  • Smoking or snorting: 2 to 3 minutes
  • Chewing or gumming: approximately 1 to 2 hours
  • Injecting: within 5 minutes

The time cocaine can be detected in your system depends on the type of drug test you take.

Here are the typical detection times by test type:

With prolonged and repeated use, cocaine may cause damage to your:

  • Lungs (when smoked)
  • Nose (when snorted)
  • Digestive system
  • Heart
  • Brain and memory

However, a 2018 review of studies suggests that it may be inaccurate to associate cognitive deficits with chronic cocaine users based on inconsistent data comparisons. The researchers conclude that this negative association could affect treatment programs and public policy.

Regular cocaine use puts people at a higher risk of developing a tolerance, which can subsequently cause physical and psychological effects of cocaine addiction.

Healthline does not endorse the illegal use of any substances. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using them.

There’s really no such thing as completely safe cocaine use, but if you’re going to do it, there are some things you can do that could make it a tad safer.

Keep the following in mind to reduce some of the risks:

  • Test it before you use it. Cocaine’s often cut with other substances. These sometimes include speed and fentanyl, which can be lethal. You can order cocaine test kits at
  • Be smart about your props. Never share needles, pipes, and straws. Always inspect your devices before using. Check pipes and straws for chips or other damage, and make sure needles are sterile.
  • Don’t mix. Your risk for serious effects and overdose are a lot higher when you mix substances. Don’t use coke with anything else, including alcohol.
  • Go low and slow. Stick to a low dose. Avoid redosing for as long as you can. Consider only keeping a small amount accessible to you during a session. Keep in mind that cocaine has a high potential for leading to substance use disorder. The more you use it, the higher the chances of developing dependence.
  • Avoid it if you have a heart-related condition. Stay away from coke if you have high blood pressure or any other heart condition. The effects of cocaine use on the cardiovascular system are well documented, including the increased risk of heart attack even in otherwise healthy people. Your risk is even higher if you have an existing medical condition.
  • Don’t do it alone. Have a friend with you in case things go south and you need help. It should be someone you trust who knows how to spot the signs of an overdose.

If you’re doing coke or are around someone else who is, it’s important to know the signs of an overdose.

Call 911 or your local emergency services right away if you or someone else experiences any of these signs or symptoms:

Don’t worry about law enforcement getting involved. You don’t need to mention the substances used over the phone. Just be sure to tell them about the specific symptoms so they can send the appropriate response.

If you’re looking after someone else, get them into the recovery position. Lay them on their side with their body supported by a bent knee. This position helps keep their airway open. It can prevent choking in case they begin to vomit.

Cocaine highs are usually intense but short-lived. Even so, this powerful stimulant has a high potential for addiction and overdose.

If you’re concerned about your cocaine use, help is available. Consider talking to your primary healthcare provider.

Be open and honest about your substance use. Patient confidentiality laws prevent them from sharing this information with law enforcement.

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Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddle board.