The Dangerous Effects of Cocaine Use

cocaine side effects

The Dangerous Effects of Cocaine Use

One of the most widely-used and abused illegal substances in the United States, cocaine is a potent, addictive substance. It enhances the activity of the central and peripheral nervous systems, resulting in increased energy and alertness in users. As a recreational drug, cocaine produces an intense feeling of euphoria that can last from a few minutes to a few hours. When a cocaine user becomes dependent on the pleasurable feelings caused by the stimulant drug, his or her body will experience an adverse reaction to periods without it. If you recognize signs of cocaine abuse or addiction in yourself or a loved one, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to learn about the benefits of participating in a cocaine addiction recovery program.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that you can find in many forms, including a white powder, paste, or a solidified, rock-like substance known as “crack cocaine.” Depending on the way you use the drug, snort, smoke or inject, cocaine can deliver a rapid-onset, rewarding high that accompanies some pleasurable effects, including an increase in energy, feelings of euphoria, elevation in mood, and an inflated sense of self-esteem. Since cocaine temporarily suppresses appetite and decreases the need for sleep, some people also use the drug to lose weight, remain alert, improve their concentration, or accomplish a demanding task.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

While cocaine can deliver a range of pleasurable effects for users, the stimulant drug also renders a host of unwanted short-term consequences. Some common adverse short-term effects of cocaine use include:

  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Adverse Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Whether it’s occasionally used for a short duration, or for extended periods of time, any use of cocaine can have negative consequences on the health of users. Some possible lasting health effects of cocaine include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Nosebleeds (from snorting cocaine)
  • Unrelenting headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death

Signs of Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Regular cocaine users may develop a tolerance for the drug which means their body has built up a resistance to cocaine, and they will need increasingly larger amounts of the stimulant to get the same effect from it. Repeated cocaine use may result in dependence, which can lead to a cocaine addiction, occurring when the user feels compelled to keep using the drug, despite adverse personal and professional consequences associated with the substance abuse. Unfortunately, cocaine is a highly addictive drug and users who become dependent on it may exhibit telltale signs of addiction, like:

  • Neglecting or abandoning what were once life priorities
  • Getting in trouble with the law
  • Exhibiting uncharacteristically risky behavior
  • Continuing to use cocaine despite significant negative consequences
  • Experiencing troubled personal, professional, and social relationships

How to Address a Cocaine Addiction

Recovering from an addiction to cocaine can be extremely difficult, and the cravings that accompany cocaine withdrawal can be intense, but with the proper care and support via an outpatient or residential rehab program, cocaine abusers can overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives. If you are a frequent cocaine user, and you think you may be addicted to the stimulant drug, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to find out how one of BRS Rehab’s proven substance abuse programs can help.

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