Short-Term & Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use

Effects of cocaine use include nosebleeds, malnutrition, weight loss, drug addiction, and increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Effects of cocaine use include nosebleeds, malnutrition, weight loss, drug addiction, and increased risk of cardiovascular problems.

Cocaine is a highly addictive illicit drug. Its most common form is a white powder that is snorted, smoked, or injected. Crack cocaine, a variant of cocaine, produces similar effects for a shorter amount of time. Smoking crack and snorting cocaine are risky forms of substance use.

Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use

Cocaine may be used to improve production, energy, and mood. It is classified as a stimulant, which increases brain activity. Since cocaine is an illicit drug, any form of cocaine use is also a form of substance abuse.

Cocaine increases dopamine levels in the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls motivation, reward, and memory. Short-term side effects of cocaine use may include:

  • unpredictable behavior
  • high body temperature
  • runny nose
  • dilated pupils
  • nosebleeds
  • chest pain
  • increased heart rate

Cocaine Overdose

Cocaine’s status as an illicit drug means there is a high risk of overdose. It is often “cut” or mixed with other substances to reduce the amount of pure cocaine in each dose. Opioids are both a common and dangerous substance often cut with cocaine, including fentanyl.

The number of overdose deaths involving cocaine and opioids has increased in recent years. Symptoms of a cocaine overdose include:

  • trouble breathing
  • high blood pressure
  • heart arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm)
  • cardiac arrest (heart attack)
  • stroke
  • seizure

If you see someone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use

Cocaine can have lasting effects on many parts of the body. Your cardiovascular and mental health are at particularly high risk for long-term cocaine use.

Cocaine can increase your risk of long-term cardiovascular conditions, like constricted blood vessels, hypertension, heart arrhythmia, heart failure, and heart disease.

Long-term cocaine abuse can lead to a decline in mental health. Symptoms range from irritability to severe psychosis and hallucinations. Other long-term effects of cocaine may include a deviated septum, malnutrition, and increased risk of hepatitis in some patients.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine’s effects on dopamine change the body’s natural production of the neurotransmitter. The body can become dependent on cocaine to produce dopamine while building up a tolerance and requiring high doses to get the same effects.

Stopping cocaine use after becoming dependent can cause withdrawal. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • depression
  • severe cravings
  • sleeping problems
  • mood swings

Cocaine withdrawal can be uncomfortable and painful, making it difficult for many people to stop taking cocaine without professional help.

Treatment Programs For Cocaine Addiction

The benefits of illicit drug use likely do not outweigh the risks, and this is especially true for cocaine. If you’re experiencing serious side effects from cocaine but are unable to stop, you may benefit from a dedicated treatment program from a healthcare provider.

Addiction treatment for cocaine often starts with a detox program, where cocaine is flushed out of your system under the supervision of health professionals.

After detox, you move on to treatment options such as withdrawal management, cognitive behavioral therapy, and referrals to support groups.

For a cocaine addiction treatment program that supports you and your family, please contact Northeast Addictions Treatment Center today.


How Does Cocaine Affect Sex Drive?

At first, cocaine can increase your sex drive. However, after prolonged use, it can actually decrease your sex drive, lead to sexual dysfunction, and ultimately bring on sexual frustration when it becomes difficult to achieve an orgasm.

Learn more about The Effects Of Cocaine On Sex Drive

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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