Cocaine Drug Rehab Help-Line

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Cocaine Side Effects

Cocaine side effects depend largely on how much is used, how the drug is administered, how long of a period of time it is used, and on whether the stimulant is combined with alcohol or any other type of drug. When an individual takes high doses of cocaine for a long period of time they can begin to experience panic attacks, psychosis, paranoia and delusions. The regular use of cocaine can cause a person to develop a tolerance to the euphoric effects of the stimulant; thus, the cocaine user will have to take more and more of the drug in order to achieve the same desired effect.

Many users of this highly addictive stimulant are not aware of many of the dangerous cocaine side effects that are associated with the use of this potent drug, which can include:

  • Cocaine use can cause the blood vessels to thicken and constrict, which is reported to reduce the flow of oxygen to the heart; additionally, using cocaine causes the heart muscle to work harder, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke, even in otherwise healthy individuals.
  • Cocaine use has been reported to increase blood pressure, which can cause weakened blood vessels in the brain to burst wide open.
  • A person can overdose on even the smallest amount of cocaine; a stimulant overdose can cause seizures and heart failure or can cause the user's breathing to become weak or stop altogether.
  • When cocaine is combined with alcohol, the liver will produce cocaethylene, which is reported to be a powerful compound that increases the risk of sudden death beyond the risk of using cocaine alone.
  • Snorting cocaine can ultimately cause damage to the tissues in the nose and create holes in the bony separation between the nostrils and inside the nose; additionally, chronic cocaine use can cause infections in the sinus cavities that could potentially result in the loss of smell.
  • Smoking the drug in the form of crack cocaine can potentially cause a condition that is commonly referred to as "crack lung." Symptoms of this serious respiratory condition include severe chest pains, breathing problems, and fever, and can result in death.
  • Administering cocaine by way of injection can cause infections from used needles or from some of the impurities that are often in the drug; additionally, sharing needles to inject cocaine increases the risk for contracting hepatitis or becoming infected with HIV.
  • Cocaine use during pregnancy has been reported to increase the risk of miscarriage and premature and underweight delivery.
  • Cocaine use while breastfeeding delivers cocaine to the nursing infant, which exposes the child to all of the various effects of the powerful stimulant.
  • Cocaine use has been linked to poor concentration and judgment, which greatly increases the risk of pregnancy and of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Chronic cocaine use has been reported to cause weight loss, malnutrition, sexual problems, infertility, and social problems within the home and on the job.