January 19, 2024

Cocaine Side Effects

image representing cocaine side effects

Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled stimulant that is fiercely addictive. There are many dangers and side effects associated with the recreational abuse of cocaine. This page highlights the following issues:

  • What are the effects of cocaine?
  • What are the long-term side effects of cocaine use?
  • Are the negative effects of cocaine reversible?
  • What is the effect of cocaine on the brain?
  • How can you connect with cocaine detox and addiction treatment services?

Short-Term Side Effects of Cocaine

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Upon initial use, cocaine triggers short-term side effects that some people may find appealing. These cocaine side effects, which contribute to its allure, include sensations of euphoria, heightened energy levels, increased alertness, diminished appetite, and sleep requirements, as well as an inclination toward chattiness.

Short-term physiological and psychological negative effects of cocaine may include:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Volatile or violent behavior
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds, sights, and touch
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia

Even if cocaine is only used once, it can cause significant and potentially fatal medical complications, which may include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Changes to heart rhythm
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Seizure

The method of cocaine ingestion significantly influences the short-term effects of cocaine use experienced. Snorting, smoking, or intravenous injection of cocaine can impact the onset, duration, and likelihood of developing an addiction. Injecting cocaine delivers the most potent effects due to rapid bloodstream absorption, followed by smoking (crack cocaine) and snorting (powdered cocaine). That said, a more intense high also corresponds to an increased risk of addiction.

image representing side effects of coke

Long-Term Side Effects of Cocaine

The long-term side effects of cocaine can have a broad range of detrimental consequences, affecting both physical and mental health. Prolonged cocaine use can lead to the development of dependence, where the body becomes reliant on the drug, resulting in withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. These symptoms can include anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, increased appetite, irritability, paranoia, sleep issues, and intense cravings, which increase the risk of relapse.

Withdrawal symptoms and overdose risks are particularly high after a period of abstinence when tolerance is reduced. Chronic cocaine use can also lead to neurological problems, such as the potential development of Parkinson’s disease, as well as cognitive impairments including memory loss, poor decision-making, lack of focus, impaired impulse control, and motor dysfunction. Other potentially serious side effects of coke abuse include risk of strokes, seizures, brain aneurysms, or bleeding in the brain is also increased.

The effects of coke abuse can contribute to paranoia, hallucinations, depression, psychosis, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, significant weight loss, and dental problems. The negative effects can vary depending on the method of use, with snorting cocaine leading to a loss of smell, frequent nosebleeds, difficulty swallowing, sinus inflammation, and nasal septum damage. Smoking cocaine can result in a chronic cough, asthma, breathing difficulties, lung infections, and lung damage. Injecting cocaine carries risks of vein scarring, collapsed veins, skin or soft tissue infections, blood clot formation, bloodstream infections reaching organs, and a higher likelihood of contracting bloodborne diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

What are the side effects of cocaine addiction, then?

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction can have profound effects on various aspects of an individual’s life beyond the immediate symptoms. The side effects of coke addiction can extend to relationships, job performance, and overall lifestyle.

  • Relationships: Cocaine addiction often strains relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners. The unpredictable behavior, mood swings, and financial instability associated with addiction can lead to trust issues, communication breakdowns, and strained or severed connections with loved ones.
  • Professional performance: Sustaining employment can become challenging for individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. Frequent absenteeism, poor performance, and impaired judgment can jeopardize job security and advancement opportunities. The inability to meet professional responsibilities may lead to job loss and difficulties in finding new employment.
  • Financial consequences: The financial toll of cocaine addiction can be significant. The cost of acquiring drugs, legal fees resulting from drug-related offenses, and potential loss of income due to job instability can create financial instability and debt. This, in turn, can lead to further stress and strained relationships.
  • Legal issues: Cocaine addiction increases the risk of engaging in illegal activities to support the habit. Possession, distribution, or involvement in drug-related criminal activities can result in legal consequences, including arrests, convictions, and imprisonment. Such legal issues can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s record, reputation, and future opportunities.
  • Overall lifestyle: Cocaine addiction often becomes all-consuming, leading to a decline in physical and mental health, neglect of personal responsibilities, and a focus primarily on obtaining and using the drug. Hobbies, interests, and goals may take a backseat to the constant pursuit and preoccupation with cocaine, resulting in a diminished quality of life.

Addressing and overcoming cocaine addiction through comprehensive treatment can help individuals regain control over their lives, rebuild relationships, and reestablish a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

An image of a woman using addiction hotline's to learn about effects of cocaine

Call Addiction Hotline to Get Help for Cocaine Addiction

For immediate support regarding cocaine addiction, call our 24-hour cocaine addiction hotline.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with cocaine withdrawal or dependency, seeking help promptly is vital. Our 24-hour hotline ensures that you receive the essential assistance and direction needed to begin your recovery journey, even if you have no idea what to do next.

By calling 855-701-0479 toll-free, you will be connected with a trained professional dedicated to guiding you through the initial steps of seeking help. Call today and begin your recovery from cocaine addiction in Southern California tomorrow.

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