Health Effects of Cocaine
Cocaine comes in many different shapes and sizes like powder, paste, and rock-like forms referred to as “crack cocaine.” Cocaine is a highly addictive substance, yet it can still be legally prescribed and used in medical settings due to having therapeutic application as a pain reducer and for use when a person has a constriction of blood vessels, increasing blood pressure. If the drug is used for reasons without a prescription, then it is illegal. The health effects of cocaine are avoidable if a person does not abuse the drug, but in most cases of cocaine use, physical, mental, and emotional states are neglected.
Impact of Cocaine
Depending on the method, if a person smokes, injects, or snorts cocaine, the effects of cocaine use are nearly immediate. When cocaine is used, dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain, replenishes positive feelings and leads to a “high” or sense of euphoria. Increased energy, high self-esteem, and an exalted mood also follow cocaine intake. Many people will not seek cocaine treatment since cocaine after effects create an overwhelming feeling of self-confidence, sociability, and happiness or sense of accomplishment, which would decline or cease when cocaine use stops. Dependence on the drug is dangerous since these pleasing effects do not last long. The health risks of cocaine are not worthwhile, and excessive use can cause heart problems, seizures, and death.
Cocaine Effects on the Body
Cocaine travels through the blood system and the body, so organs and the brain are all negatively affected. The gastrointestinal tract is impacted, and stimulants decrease blood flow resulting in ulcers. Many individuals will find themselves losing their appetite and rapidly losing weight. Also, the digestive system is depleted, along with symptoms of vomiting or nausea. Other effects include sinus issues such as infections, nosebleeds, whistling when breathing, and loss of smell.
The heart is severely affected when a user abuses cocaine. The cardiovascular system works harder after use, increasing aging and heart rate. High blood pressure follows this rapid pace and constricts the arteries, and lessens the amount of blood that goes to the heart. Unfortunately, many problems occur, like heart attacks and heart diseases. In addition, the lungs and kidneys are abused after long-term cocaine use, such as a depleted respiratory system and muscle tissue breaking down, releasing a harmful protein that can cause damage to the kidneys.
Other Effects on the Body
- Dilated pupils
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Decreased sexual function
- Cardiac arrest
Regardless of the negative outcomes and potential risks of death, many people will refuse to stop abusing the drug because of the “crack high” that they experience. As soon as mild symptoms begin, a person should stop taking the drug, so overdosing does not become a serious threat.
The Brain on Cocaine
Since the drug dramatically affects dopamine absorbed by neurons, depression becomes a typical result after use. It is certainly not a wise idea for people with present mental illnesses to experiment with drugs, especially cocaine. Restlessness, paranoia, and auditory hallucinations often follow cocaine use. Stress levels spike in the brain, which causes paranoia and depression. Like the heart, the brain is proven to show signs of rapid aging, losing an average of 3.08 millimeters of gray matter per year compared to non-drug users who lose less than 2 millimeters per year. These impacts are inevitable cocaine effects on the brain.
Help at Evoke Wellness Treatment Center
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and is in need of a codeine detox, then our experienced medical staff is here to get you to sobriety. From heroin to alcohol detox, we offer a variety of programs to help fight addiction and safely get through the withdrawal process. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, don’t wait to get help. If you are a parent with an addiction problem, learn how the child of an addict can be affected and add more reasons to recovery today.