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Harmful Effects of Cocaine: What It Does to Your Mind and Body


Cocaine (C17H21NO4) is a powerfully addictive and psychoactive drug that nearly 5 million Americans use regularly. Often used as a recreational drug, cocaine sends high dopamine levels to the parts of your brain that control pleasure. However, cocaine has severe health consequences, both mental and physical. In fact, cocaine caused 1 in 5 drug overdose deaths in 2017. Even without overdosing, cocaine can negatively impact your health.

Here we give you the lowdown on how the regular use of cocaine can degrade your physical and mental health.

Short-term effects of cocaine on your body and mind

The short-term effects of cocaine vary, depending upon the amount of the drug ingested. Even with a single use of a small amount of cocaine you can experience:

  • Feeling euphoria
  • Increased talkativeness or quiet contemplation
  • Increased libido
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Increased body temperature and blood pressure
  • Aggression
  • Localized pain relief

Higher doses of cocaine, even in the short term, can lead to the following effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid and weak pulse
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Kidney failure
  • Hypothermia
  • Seizures
  • Increased heart rate and body temperature
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Stroke and convulsions

Some of these effects can send a person into a coma or even cause death.

Long-term effects of cocaine abuse on your body and mind

There are several physical and mental consequences of regular cocaine use. Some of them are:

  • Lost sense of smell: Snuffing heavy doses of cocaine powder can damage the odor receptors in your nose entirely and leave you without a sense of smell permanently. It can also lead to inflammation of the nose and nasal cavities and make holes in the roof of your mouth. You can also have nose bleeds and irritation.
  • Reduced cognitive abilities: Long-term use of cocaine can damage several cognitive functions of your brain, including decision-making powers, memory loss, both short-term and long-term, attention span, and performing motor tasks.
  • Lung damage: Cocaine can damage your lungs severely by forming scar tissue, causing internal lung bleeding, triggering asthma and other pulmonary diseases. You are also more at risk from diseases like HIV and hep C if you use cocaine regularly.
  • Nervous system disorders: Ingesting cocaine regularly can damage your blood vessels and cause movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease. It has also been shown to cause cerebral hemorrhage in a small number of people.
  • Heart risk: Prolonged cocaine use can lead to various health problems such as chest pain similar to heart attacks. The deterioration of heart muscles reducing the heart’s ability to pump blood properly is also seen. You also have a high risk of strokes if you regularly use cocaine.

About Complete Healthcare – Addiction Care

If you are looking for an addiction treatment facility to help you get over your cocaine addiction, Complete Healthcare should be your one-stop solution. With multiple treatment options available, a customized treatment plan can assist with specific Substance Use Disorders, including Opioids like Fentanyl and Heroin, Cocaine, Amphetamines, alcohol, and Marijuana. You can reach out to us at 614.882.4343 or fill our online contact form to know more.

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