Coffee and Cocaine

coffee and cocaine

(Updated in August 2021)

For many, coffee is a must-have energy kick in the morning. For regular coffee drinkers, caffeine becomes a necessary part of their routine to keep them going throughout the day. While some may rely on caffeine to get through the week, others may feel the need to use something stronger, like cocaine. While this may seem like a major jump, these two substances may be more similar than you think. As a luxury rehab in Florida, we are diving into comparing coffee and cocaine.

Comparing Caffeine vs Cocaine

Both coffee and cocaine are stimulants that give you energy and stimulate the reward system in your brain. In coffee, the ingredient that is responsible for the quick boost in energy is caffeine. Because coffee produces intense effects in many of its users, many avid coffee drinkers have wondered, “Is coffee a drug or not?” While it’s no surprise that cocaine is addictive, your body can actually become dependent on caffeine as well. As with long-term cocaine abuse, your body can become dependent on caffeine as a result of excessive coffee consumption. In both cases, the higher your tolerance, the more you’ll need the next time around to feel the same effects.

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, enhancing concentration, boosting energy, and increasing your metabolism. Whether it’s from coffee, tea, or soda, many people begin to feel as if they need their daily dose of caffeine to stay awake and function. One of the most alarming caffeine addiction facts is that more than 90 percent of adults in the United States consume caffeine regularly.1 Although caffeine is relatively safe to consume, overconsumption can lead to a caffeine addiction. But is caffeine considered a drug? Yes, caffeine is considered a stimulant drug that, although natural, can also produce some form of physical dependence. Despite what many believe, caffeine is addictive, and a person who suddenly stops consuming coffee or other caffeinated drinks may experience symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, including:

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Tremors or uncontrollable shaking
  • Lack of energy
  • Depressed mood

Similarly, regular caffeine users will also experience a crash, otherwise known as withdrawal symptoms, when they don’t get their fix. Like cocaine, caffeine also has a half-life, which is the time it takes for half the amount of any substance in the body to decrease or be eliminated. The half-life of caffeine in healthier people is about 5 hours but can also range from 1.5 to 9.5 hours, depending on how much caffeine the person drinks and how often. Any form of dependency isn’t healthy, and people who become desperate for their energy boost may turn to more serious substances.

What Is Cocaine Like?

While coffee is generally considered safe to consume, cocaine is an illegal drug in the U.S. known for its adverse side effects and a high potential for abuse. Although coffee and cocaine both increase energy and alertness, cocaine is much more potent, addictive, and dangerous. Only heavy, regular coffee drinkers may become addicted to caffeine, but because of its chemical components and intense euphoric effects, cocaine users are more likely to develop an addiction and struggle to quit using. Any attempt to end their addiction without the help of a luxury detox treatment can result in cocaine withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of sexual drive
  • Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Cravings
  • Muscle aches
  • Tremors

So, is caffeine as addictive as cocaine? No, while comparing cocaine and coffee, you may have realized that cocaine abuse is a much more serious and damaging habit. Although drinking your daily cup of Joe can lead to dependence on caffeine, it wouldn’t be nearly as damaging or difficult to quit as a dependence on cocaine. At our rehab in South Florida, we offer a luxury residential program where people battling with a cocaine addiction can recover without sacrificing comfort.

Luckily, a big discrepancy between caffeine vs cocaine is the number of people using or consuming these substances. According to a 2018 survey, 64% of Americans drink an estimated one cup of coffee a day minimum, and this number has been rising for the past six years.2 Cocaine abuse is less common — but still alarming. In fact, about 0.6% of the population of the United States were estimated to have used cocaine in a month in 2014.3 While this number seems minuscule in comparison, for those 1.5 million Americans, this is a serious problem and major cause for concern in their life.

What About Coffee in Cocaine?

You may have never heard of this, but crack and coffee are also a common combination, predominantly among cocaine users. Many people who are addicted to cocaine use multiple substances to enhance the side effects of the drugs they’re taking. This practice is known as polydrug abuse. Surprisingly enough, because coffee and cocaine are both CNS stimulants, cocaine users will drink something with caffeine before or after using cocaine to intensify the high they’re experiencing. However, combining these two stimulants increases the risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems like stroke, chest pains (angina pectoris), heart attack (myocardial infarction), abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmias), and even sudden death. So, while this goes without being said, do not mix cocaine and coffee together.

If you’re suffering from a cocaine addiction or any other substance abuse disorder, it’s time to seek treatment. You or your loved one can get the assistance needed to achieve sobriety at Seaside Palm Beach. Reach out to us today at 561-677-9374 to learn more about our luxury addiction treatment programs.



  1. NCBI- Food sources and intakes of caffeine in the diets of persons in the United States
  2. Reuters- Americans are drinking a daily cup of coffee at the highest level in six years: survey
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse- What is the scope of cocaine use in the United States?

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