It is estimated that around 14 percent of American adults have tried cocaine. This drug is very dangerous and leads to more emergency room visits than other drugs. The side effects of cocaine can affect relationships with friends and family as well as having a devastating effect on many organs in the body. If you or your loved ones are using cocaine, call to find a residential treatment option that can assist.
Cocaine Side Effects
Cocaine can affect the brain very quickly, interfering with the nerves in this area and limiting the absorption of dopamine and serotonin. Long term cocaine use can lead to serious dangers.
- Short term cocaine use can increase your risk of heart attack, even if you are young and healthy. If you use large amounts of cocaine it can cause erratic or violent behavior and can increase your risk of muscle twitches, tremors, vertigo or paranoia. Cocaine use has also been linked to a decline in sexual function.
- The method you use to take in cocaine can lead to different side effects. Snorting the drug can cause you to lose your sense of smell and lead to sniffling, irritation of the nasal septum, hoarseness or nosebleeds. Those that inject the drug can cause puncture marks on the skin, allergic reactions or collapsed veins.
- Those that use cocaine long term have a serious risk of heart attack, heart arrhythmia, seizures, stroke, abdominal pain, headaches, nausea, kidney damage or death. These effects are equally likely regardless of health or age. Combining alcohol with cocaine increases the risk of serious complications.
- Using cocaine over long periods of time can also lead to depression, addiction, psychosis, isolation from friends and family severe respiratory infections and paranoia. Drug addiction can also cause individuals to take risks they would not have normally, such as driving while under the influence. Some also steal in order to get enough money to buy more cocaine.
- Other side effects of cocaine use include excitability, agitation, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, difficulty passing urine, dilated pupils, urinary incontinence, increased sweating, dizziness, fainting spells, lightheadedness, rapid speech, nervous tics, trouble breathing, numbness or tingling in the feet, hands or arms, unusual muscle weakness or extreme weight loss.
Rapid use of cocaine can lead to addiction or dependence on the drug. Dependence refers to needing increasing amounts of cocaine to get the same rush because the body is developing a tolerance to the substance. As people use cocaine more frequently, the body begins to depend on this drug for pleasure and loses its ability to derive pleasure from natural rewards such as sex or food like it normally would. Adults ages 18-25 have a higher rate of cocaine compared to other age groups. Men also tend to use cocaine more than women.