There are some cocaine side effects you might not know about, so we will outline some of the information here. Of all the drugs being trafficked all over the world, cocaine rates second. National statistics show that 11.6% of people 18-25 years old do cocaine; the figure for people 26 or older is 16.50%. In 2008, statistics showed that just under 15% of all Americans had tried cocaine at one time or another. At the time of the research, 1.9 million were using. Six percent of those people had tried it by their senior year of high school. The highest amount of users falls into the 18 to 25-year-old range.
What Are the Cocaine Side Effects?
The signs of the basic cocaine side effects that start out as minimal in the beginning are changes in sensory sensations like losing their sense of smell and taste, sneezing, having the sniffles or even a congested nose. This can also lead to congestion of the chest if they have been snorting cocaine. This will then lead to nasal pain (because of the snorting) nosebleeds, sore throats and the breakdown of their inner nose. As the drug use gets worse, they can then move on to more serious side effects like having convulsions and seizures if they do too much cocaine or have a cocaine addiction. They can also get confused and have hallucinations where they are unable to tell if things are real or not. This is caused by the effects on the brain.
Cocaine users also have times when they are happy, they have a lot of energy and have an unreal sense of being invincible and overconfident. They begin to think nothing can happen to them, nothing can touch them. Other times they become agitated, irritated, are very nervous, antsy and being so restless that nothing makes them happy. They may have trouble being able to urinate or have incontinence. Usually, they are not eating very well, if at all, so there may be some dizziness, weight loss, stomach irritation, nausea or vomiting. They may feel light-headed, their heart racing, they break out in a sweat and have mood swings. One minute they are fine, the next they are angry or mad. They may experience numbing in their hands and feet, trouble breathing, and weakness in their muscles. As they build up a tolerance to the drug and need more, the symptoms and problems will become worse and will increase the amount of everything they do such as their speech increases; they are unable to sleep sometimes for days at a time and they seem to have spasms. They can be very argumentative and become very aggressive and paranoid.
What Are the Permanent Side Effects of Cocaine?
There is a lot of damage to the brain over time with cocaine abuse. The users may have some psychosis and they may even cover up some forms of mental illness. They do not know for sure if this is because of the cocaine or if they had them before and used the cocaine to cover it up. There may be some permanent psychological damage that causes long-term or permanent problems. The part of the brain that controls pleasure is definitely damaged and will affect their capability to feel pleasure in sex or any of the things they used to enjoy doing. This can bring on depression and periods of over-the-top sexual behavior and other extreme choices of activity that used to give them pleasure. It may come out in other extreme actions and other addictive behavior as well.
Physical Effects of Cocaine
The physical side effects of cocaine use can be bad; it can damage your heart, cause you to have a heart attack, and give you high blood pressure. If you snort the drug, you can cause damage to your nose, larynx, throat, and can cause permanent damage to your nose and throat to the point where you may have to have surgery to repair the damage. You can have problems with constant pneumonia, bleeding, scar tissue in your nose, bronchitis; you can develop asthma and breathing problems. If you are smoking the drug, it can cause damage to your lungs, and cause cancer in your lungs, throat, and your respiratory area.
Lack of concentration and being able to focus can come from permanent brain damage, and the possibility of a stroke can be brought on as a result of the high blood pressure. There can be permanent damage to the teeth from grinding their teeth and clenching up their jaws, as well as breaking off of their teeth or teeth falling out. There can be permanent scars and sores on their face and other parts of their body from picking and scratching their skin during hallucinations where they think that they have things crawling on them. Even after cocaine use has ended they can still have the symptoms of cocaine use and can continue to have cocaine side effects physically and mentally.