Any illegal or even legal drug can have a damaging effect on your body and mind and cocaine is no exception. In all of its forms, cocaine is a strong and destructive stimulant that harms the nervous system and the brain while creating a noticeable change in the user’s physical appearance and behavior. After developing a cocaine addiction a person changes completely inside and out and eventually will find it difficult or even impossible to quit using it without professional help. It is dangerous and not recommended to quit using cocaine without the help of a rehab facility to provide medical treatment and care. Cocaine is one of the most addictive illegal drugs available and it does not take many uses for an addict to become completely consumed by it. After even the first couple of uses of the drug, a person can be hooked and unable to get away from the cycle of addiction that destroys their body and their mind.
Short Term Effects on the Body
As soon as a person ingests cocaine whether it is through snorting, injecting or smoking it, they instantly begin to feel the effects on their body. The short terms effects of cocaine use are a euphoric effect because it interferes with the brain’s reabsorption of dopamine, the chemical associated with pleasure. It also increases the heart rate and constricts blood vessels as users begin to feel an increased sense of energy and alertness. Some people can react differently though and experience negative effects while high on cocaine such as irritability, paranoia and anxiety. The powerful high associated with cocaine wears off quickly in only about 30 minutes to two hours. Users are left wanting more so they can maintain the high as long as possible.
Health Problems Related to Addiction
Long term use of cocaine can have damaging effects on nearly every part of the body. Cocaine’s effects on the heart can lead to an early heart attack even when there is no heart disease present. It can also cause an irregular heartbeat which can be dangerous to a person’s and even fatal. Cocaine has negative effects on the brain by constricting blood vessels leading to strokes, seizures and sometimes violent behavior. The drug is well-known as having the effect of decreased appetite. Someone with a cocaine addiction might lose weight rapidly and become malnourished because of their drug problem. It can also have damaging effects on the stomach causing ulcers or even perforation of the stomach and intestines. Cocaine can also perforate the nasal passages if it is snorted regularly or cause permanent lung damage if it is smoked.
The most dangerous effect of cocaine is the level of addictiveness of this powerful drug. Users never really experience the same type of “high” that they did the first time. They continue consuming more of the drug to experience the same effects as a tolerance quickly develops. The euphoric feeling continues to decrease over time and as addicts chase after the feeling that they used to experience when they started. Another addictive aspect of cocaine is the hard crash of withdrawal which can include depression, fatigue, anxiety and a strong craving for more of the drug. As cocaine addicts begin to experience withdrawal they find themselves wanting more to ward off their painful symptoms and to fuel their intense cravings. Cocaine can cause serious health problems for anyone that begins using it and develops an addiction. Only with proper medical treatment and help from a rehab facility can an addict quit using cocaine and repair some of the damage that they have caused.
If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, please contact us.
Cindy Nichols is the founder of 411 Intervention, a full-service intervention resource that helps individuals with addiction issues find treatment solutions. You can see an interview with Cindy here on Recovery Now TV.