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How Long Does Crack Cocaine Last?

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Crack cocaine is an extremely addictive and potent stimulant drug that is derived from powdered cocaine. It is created by dissolving powdered cocaine in a solvent to create a hardened, rock-like version of the drug.[1] Crack cocaine is only found on the street illegally, which means it has no medicinal uses.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “In 2021, approximately 24,486 people died from an overdose involving cocaine.”[2]

If you or a loved one abuse crack, you might be wondering how long the effects of the drugs last. Crack cocaine produces a relatively short-lived high, which causes many users to binge on it. This can pose a risk of experiencing a life-threatening overdose.

How Long Does it Take the Effects of Crack Cocaine to Kick In?

The length of time it takes crack cocaine to take effect will depend on how it was used. People who abuse crack may smoke, snort, or inject the substance.

If you snort crack, it will take about 1 to 3 minutes for you to feel the effects. Smoking the substance makes the effects happen faster, at about 10 to 15 seconds. Lastly, if you inject crack you will feel the effects instantaneously, as the drug goes directly into your bloodstream.

The effects of crack cocaine include:

  • A rush of euphoria
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • High blood pressure and tachycardia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Fear or aggressive behavior

Once you abuse crack, you will begin to crave it after the effects wear off. This is because of the way crack cocaine affects the dopamine receptors in your brain. Dopamine is the chemical responsible for pleasure and reward, which means that your brain will begin to associate crack with these feelings – leading to the development of addiction.

How Long Do the Effects of Crack Cocaine Last?

How long a crack high will last depends on a variety of factors, including the purity and potency of the drug, how often you use it, and your overall health. However, most people experience similar timelines when it comes to the high of crack cocaine.

First, you will feel a euphoric rush of energy within 10 seconds to a couple of minutes of ingesting crack. This euphoria may last the entire high, however, after the initial pleasurable effects you might begin to experience anxiety or paranoia.

How long the effects of crack cocaine last depends on the method of administration:

  • Injecting – when you inject crack the high will last 10 to 15 minutes
  • Snorting – when you snort crack cocaine the high will last 15 to 30 minutes
  • Smoking – when you smoke crack the high will last 10 to 15 minutes

While snorting crack causes the high to last longer, the potency of the drug will be increased when you inject or smoke it because the drug enters your bloodstream faster, causing the full effects to take place all at once.

It is important to note that because the effects of crack cocaine are short-lived, many people who abuse it tend to binge on it. A crack binge refers to using large amounts of crack in a short period to keep the high going. Binging on crack cocaine can be incredibly dangerous, putting you at risk of taking too much crack at once and experiencing an overdose.

Can You Overdose on Crack?

Because most people who abuse crack cocaine binge on it, the risk of overdose is high. Additionally, crack is not a substance that is regulated by the FDA as it is created and sold illegally on the street, so there is no way for you to tell how potent your crack is, making it impossible to determine whether you are ingesting a safe amount.

Symptoms of a crack overdose include:[3]

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chest pains
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme agitation or aggressive behavior
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures, strokes, and heart attacks

If someone you love is experiencing a crack overdose, you must contact 911 immediately. Crack overdoses can cause life-threatening heart attacks, seizures, and strokes that must be treated by medical professionals.

Find Help for Crack Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one are addicted to crack cocaine, professional drug rehab is necessary. The long-term abuse of this substance can lead to a variety of adverse health effects, including life-threatening heart complications like heart attacks. By attending a drug rehab program, you can receive the support and tools you need to maintain long-term sobriety.

To learn more about our crack cocaine addiction treatment program, contact Carolina Center for Recovery today.


  1. The National Drug Intelligence Center: Crack Cocaine Fast Facts, Retrieved July 2023 From
  2. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States, Retrieved July 2023 From
  3. The National Institutes of Health (NIH): Cocaine Toxicity, Retrieved July 2023 From