Effects of Crack Cocaine

The effects of crack cocaine are dangerous and even deadly. The effects of crack cocaine also cause deadly side effects. Learn more about crack cocaine effects.

The effects of crack cocaine are potentially devastating and can be seen in every area of a crack addict's life. The physical and psychological effects of crack cocaine are seen both during and after crack use. These crack cocaine effects typically indicate the need for medical treatment and cocaine rehab. The side effects of crack cocaine can be even worse and possibly even deadly.1

Effects of Crack Cocaine: Physical Crack Cocaine Effects

The physical crack cocaine effects happen due to the extreme stimulating properties of crack cocaine and then the crash after ceasing crack cocaine use. Crack cocaine effects also reflect the physical dependence crack users have on crack cocaine.

Physical crack cocaine effects include:

  • Restlessness, agitation
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bronchitis
  • Respiratory problems such as congestion of the lungs, wheezing and spitting up black phlegm
  • Burning of the lips, tongue, and throat
  • Slowed digestion
  • Blood vessel constriction
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Brain seizures
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sweating
  • Rise in blood sugar levels and body temperature
  • Suppressed desire for food, sex, friends, family, etc.
  • Heart attack, stroke, death

Many of these physical crack cocaine effects lead to permanent or lethal side effects.

Effects of Crack Cocaine: Psychological Crack Cocaine Effects

Psychological or emotional crack cocaine effects can change how a person feels about themselves and the world around them. The primary crack cocaine effects that make crack appealing are the extreme euphoria and mental and physical alertness. The euphoria experienced as a crack cocaine effect the first time crack is used, is often the most pleasurable and is not matched by other uses of crack cocaine. Crack addicts often continue to use crack searching for the extreme euphoria felt the first time crack was used. (read: Crack Cocaine Symptoms: Signs of Crack Cocaine Use)

Psychological crack cocaine effects include:

  • Euphoria
  • Uninhibited, impaired judgment, impulsive
  • Grandiosity
  • Hypersexuality
  • Hypervigilance
  • Compulsivity
  • Mood change, anxiety, irritability, argumentative
  • Transient panic, terror of impending death, paranoia
  • Delusions, hallucinations (particularly auditory hallucinations)

Effects of Crack Cocaine: Side Effects of Crack Cocaine

While immediate effects of crack cocaine can result in seizure, stroke or death, these risks become greater over time. The side effects of crack cocaine often occur after longer-term use.

The side effects of crack cocaine include:

  • Disability from drug-induced health problems
  • Emphysema and other lung damage
  • Changes in blood pressure, heart rates, and breathing rates
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite leading to malnutrition and weight loss
  • Cold sweats
  • Swelling and bleeding of mucous membranes
  • Damage to nasal cavities
  • Heart attacks, strokes or seizures leading to brain damage or death
  • Suffocation from brain seizures

article references

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2021, December 15). Effects of Crack Cocaine, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Last Updated: December 29, 2021

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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