Drug users turn to cocaine for the high it produces, but the thrill is far from safe. What they may not realize is that every time they use the drug, they subject themselves to a multitude of short- and long-term side effects of cocaine. A few of the cocaine side effects may seem relatively harmless, like a feeling of euphoria or a sense of restlessness. Others, however, can have life-threatening consequences. Addiction counseling can help, but only if treatment is sought before the negative effects of cocaine become too serious to recover from.
Short-Term Side Effects
The short-term side effects of cocaine are generally less severe than the long-term effects. Users will experience the high they initially wanted, and their body will react accordingly. Their heart rate, blood pressure, and even body temperature may rise, placing unique stress on the circulatory system. They may notice a decrease in appetite and sexual performance, and they may experience insomnia. In some cases, the drug user becomes paranoid and extremely suspicious of other people.
As the addiction continues, the user may become more susceptible to sudden spells of dizziness and difficulty moving. Tremors can make even simple tasks impossible to complete. Feelings of depression and anxiety further complicate normal life. When cornered by these cocaine side effects, users may turn to cocaine more frequently to combat the negative feelings. Unfortunately, this additional use only serves to aggravate symptoms and contribute to the development of long-term effects of cocaine.
Long-Term Side Effects
Through continued use of cocaine, long-term effects develop that can irreparably damage the body and mind. Users may fall victim to headaches, convulsions, and even seizures. The frequent strain placed on the heart can develop into heart disease. Users also become at high risk for a heart attack or stroke, which can be fatal. An initial lack of appetite may, over time, develop into malnourishment. Tremors and damage to the nervous system can lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease. The lungs can become diseased or damaged, making breathing difficult or impossible. Users may become impotent or even permanently sterile. Those who take the drug by snorting it risk permanently losing their sense of smell and may get frequent nosebleeds. Users who inject run a risk of contracting diseases like HIV, especially if sharing needles with friends.
Mentally, the negative effects of cocaine can be devastating. Visual and auditory hallucinations, combined with paranoia, irritability, and quick mood changes, can transform the user into a shadow of their former self. Sudden death may occur after only one dose of cocaine, but as users rely on more and more of the drug to achieve a high, overdosing becomes a real danger and can result in immediate death. Even if an overdose is avoided, one of the long-term effects of cocaine is a 700% increase in the risk of a stroke within a day of using the drug. When it comes to cocaine, long-term effects of the drug lead to a heightened chance of early death.
The side effects of cocaine take a toll not only on the user but on the friends and family who care about them. Call today to speak with a counselor about Better Addiction Care’s professional recovery network, composed of highly trained staff. Our nationwide network of treatment centers will continue to provide individualized support through a local recovery team even after treatment concludes. For more information on customized, 100% confidential addiction recovery programs, fill out our contact form today.