How Long Does a Crack Cocaine High Last?

The length of time a cocaine high last depends on the person. Generally a high starts almost immediately and can last up to a couple hours. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Once someone ingests cocaine, whether by smoking, snorting, or intravenously, it immediately starts affecting the brain. Basically, cocaine disrupts the brain’s normal communication between neurons. Therefore, this causes an inundation of the “feel-good” chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin.

Excessive dopamine build up is what causes the intense feeling of euphoria that we call high. It also serves as a stimulant, promoting excessive energy and excited talking. In addition to affecting the user’s brain, crack cocaine can also have some negative effects on the body as a whole. The duration of the effect depends on many factors, including:

  • User’s state of health condition
  • Duration of use
  • Purity of the drug

Effects of a Crack Cocaine High

While some effects wear off within 15 minutes or so, there are also effects that can last for several hours after ingesting. Here’s a rundown, broken up by immediate versus secondary effects.Immediate: anxiety, dilated pupils, irritability, restlessness, increased body temperature, tachycardia (elevated pulse) and blood pressure, euphoria, increased sexual arousal, dizziness, loss of appetite, and increased talkativeness, among others.Secondary: agitation, depression, nervousness, dysphoria, fatigue, insomnia, drug cravings, itchy, and scratching, among others.More serious effects can occur if the user takes a higher dosage. These can include psychosis, disorientation, delusions, antisocial behavior, hallucinations, fear, aggression, and increased paranoia.

Exactly How Long Does A Cocaine High Last?

Cocaine starts working almost immediately. However, the duration of its effect depends on how the person uses the drug (smoking, snorting, IV). Many users smoke crack through a glass pipe. Such a method sends the drug straight to the person’s lungs. When the crack is smoked, the amount of time it lasts in the user’s body is relatively short since it metabolizes fast. The effect will last anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. When users snort cocaine or crack, they start feeling the effects in one to three minutes. Generally, the high can last between 15 minutes and two hours. Whereas, users who use cocaine intravenously generally feel effects immediately, due to the fact of it bypassing the parts of the body that filter out the drug and rather reaches the brain much faster.

Battling Cocaine Addiction: Where to Start

Acknowledging the addiction is the first big step toward recovery and fulfilling life. When a person decides to quit using crack cocaine, he or she has two options:

1. Quitting With Or Without the Assistance Of Friends And Family

It’s very difficult and highly unlikely that someone overcomes addictions successfully without assistance from support groups and professional help. Quitting with the support of friends and family can make a huge difference. A person’s supporters would have to do a lot of research about battling the addiction. They would also need to stay with the user 24/7 for at least several days to avoid a relapse.For some people, quitting at home may seem like a good option since it appears safe. However, the familiar environment tends to remind a person about the time they were using drugs, thus increasing their cravings and obsessions to use. Enlisting the help of addiction professionals is often the best path towards healthy, sustained sobriety.

2. Asking for Professional Help

Therapy at a professional rehabilitation center like The Last Resort is an excellent choice for men, who want long-term results.


Treatment programs include daily routines full of interesting and productive activities. This keeps people from thinking about their addiction and giving in to their cravings. After treatment is over, recovered gentlemen find it easier to lead a normal life since they already know how to structure their days.

Supportive Environment

No matter how much family and friends try, they can’t always understand what the person is going through. In a rehabilitation center (both in-patient and outpatient), users are in a supportive environment, which helps them deal with physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. At The Last Resort, many of our staff and therapists have experienced addiction themselves, allowing them to easily understand the struggles and provide first-hand insight.


In a professional rehabilitation center, clients have access to therapy sessions that help them understand the triggers behind their addiction and the coping mechanisms that should be used to help abate the likelihood of relapses. At The Last Resort, our therapy sessions work to uncover the root cause of addiction and the co-occurring connected trauma. For instance, TLR’s Equine Therapy teaches clients how to build relationships and trust by creating a bond with their horse. This form of therapeutic modality enforces responsibility and ownership, invoking the client develop a bond with their horse which ultimately encourages the client to experience this within themselves and with their peers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cocaine Addiction and Recovery

Q: What does cocaine withdrawal feel like?

A: When a person decides to stop using cocaine, the early symptoms of withdrawal begin almost immediately after the high feeling subsides. They include extreme cravings for more drugs, sleepiness, fatigue, inability to experience pleasure, anxiety, paranoia, and irritability. Further into withdrawal, these symptoms may mold into worsening depression, changes in appetite, feelings of uneasiness, nightmares, sleep problems, and fatigue.

Q: How long does recovery from a cocaine addiction take?

A: The severe physical withdrawal symptoms usually last a few days. However, the recovery period may take up to three months or longer depending on many factors, including how long the person has been using the drug and what type of assistance he or she is getting. After two or three months, physical and psychological symptoms are likely to disappear. However, emotional symptoms may continue to persist. If the individual has co-occurring disorders this may also lengthen the recovery process due to these disorders being exacerbated due to the individuals substance abuse.

Q: Is it possible to quit cocaine or crack without assistance?

A: Since cocaine leaves the body rather quickly, it’s possible to quit without assistance. However, this is usually short lived due to the contributing factors of their use. If the user hasn’t began to utilize healthy coping mechanisms then when the user experiences stressors there is a high likelihood that they may return to crack cocaine. This is why quitting substance apart from assistance is so difficult, it’s not so much a problem with willpower but rather a mental disorder that is best served being treated by professionals.

Q: What is worse: crack or cocaine?

A:  Both crack and cocaine are highly addictive and dangerous to the user’s health. Both of them may cause a quick overdose. Crack cocaine is considered slightly more hazardous since it has a quicker effect. Since crack is not pure cocaine, it’s hard to tell how much of the actual drug is present in the dose. This may lead to overdosing.  Meanwhile, additives used to create crack can be dangerous on their own. Withdrawal and treatment methodologies for both drugs are relatively the same.

Q: How long does cocaine stay in the system?

A: Cocaine can be detected in the person’s blood within 24 hours of the last use.

  • Saliva – 1 to 2 days
  • Urine – 1 to 3 days
  • Hair follicles – up to 3 months

Q: Is using cocaine during pregnancy harmful for the baby?

A: Being pregnant doesn’t reduce the adverse effects of the drug. Such side effects as high blood pressure, migraines, and cardiac arrhythmia could lead to a miscarriage, lack of oxygen and nutrition supply to the fetus, and other problems. The baby may have learning disabilities, limb growth defects, and heart problems. If a woman uses cocaine at the late stages of her pregnancy, the baby can be born addicted to the drug.

Q: How can I tell that someone is using cocaine?

A: Signs of a person using cocaine may not be obvious for a while. At first, people are usually careful not to reveal their problems. With time, they start slacking. You may notice changes in sleeping patterns, excessive enthusiasm, frequent mood swings, involuntary muscle twitching, impotence (for men), nausea, paranoia, sensitivity to light, smell, and sound.

Q: How can I help a person with cocaine addiction?

A: Friends and family members are often the first to notice when a person suffers from a cocaine problem. While it’s possible to help a user through withdrawal and recovery on your own, it’s important to get professional assistance.

Are you struggling with a crack or cocaine addiction? We can help. The Last Resort Recovery provides cocaine addiction treatment program designed specifically for men suffering from cocaine addiction. We’ll lead you on a path to sobriety with our modern substance abuse treatment and beautiful ranch facility!