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Short and Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

The effects of cocaine abuse can be devastating. The impacts that cocaine abuse can have on a person’s lifestyle, health, and emotional well-being can be extreme and hard to overcome. It can cause impacts to both physical and mental health that can be life-changing and require professional assistance to treat.

Cocaine abuse affects the lives of not only the person who is struggling, but also their friends, family, and other loved ones. Recovery is possible, and understanding the depth of impact that cocaine abuse has can help individuals who find themselves struggling to reach out for help.

How Dangerous is Cocaine?

Much like heroin and alcohol, cocaine is also a dangerous drug. Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is derived from the coca plant. It is potent and produces an immediate sense of euphoria and increased energy.

These effects of cocaine abuse are short-lived, and they tend to wear off quickly. Because of this, it fosters continued and repeated use to maintain the euphoric sensation, inevitably leading to dependence and addiction. Abusing cocaine also can lead to cardiovascular issues including heart attack and stroke.

There is also the potential risk of respiratory issues, and changes to brain structure and chemical make up. Other effects of cocaine abuse include anxiety, paranoia, and aggression.

Struggling with cocaine can have long-lasting effects on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as interpersonal relationships, leading to damage in these relationships.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a fast-acting drug that produces an intense sense of euphoria, or high, that wears off quickly and results in the opposite effects. When the drug’s effects wear off, a person could experience intense depression and cravings for cocaine.

Short-term effects of cocaine abuse can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Erratic behavior

Other short-term effects of cocaine can cause feelings of paranoia, anxiety, anger, and hostility. With prolonged use, these effects can become increasingly more difficult to manage.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

The long-term effects of cocaine abuse can be extremely dangerous. Prolonged use can result in tolerance, and as tolerance builds, more and more of the drug is required to feel the desired effects.

Due to the stimulant nature of the drug, cocaine leads to decreases in the need for sleep and food. This can cause severe paranoia, and hallucinations, and can cause psychotic episodes.

Other long-term effects of cocaine can also include:

  • Organ damage
  • Respiratory issues
  • Malnutrition
  • Dental issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Delirium and psychosis
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Cocaine Abuse and Organ Damage

The effects of cocaine abuse can lead to life-threatening damage to vital organs in the body. Because body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate are elevated with the use of cocaine, it can cause damage to the heart and blood vessels.

Due to impaired blood flow, kidney damage can occur as a result of cocaine abuse. The effects of cocaine also interfere with the chemicals in the brain.

Prolonged use can affect the brain’s physical and chemical structure, and can result in impaired memory, lack of coordination, and the development of mental health conditions such as depression.

Cocaine Abuse and Sleep

Sleep is a necessary part of life. It allows the body and brain to reset, and helps with energy production. When someone uses cocaine, it causes increased energy.

This often leads to individuals sleeping less, and results in increased irritability, angry outbursts, and potential psychotic episodes. Prolonged cocaine abuse can lead to sleep disturbances, and decreases in quality of sleep. 

Cocaine Withdrawal

The effects of cocaine abuse can result in addiction and inevitable withdrawal symptoms. When someone abruptly stops using cocaine, some physical and psychological symptoms can arise.

These symptoms include irritability, depression, anxiety, cravings, fatigue, increased appetite, muscle aches, and tremors. The physical symptoms of cocaine withdrawal are not immediately life-threatening, but they often lead to relapse.

This cycle can continue without professional assistance to stop using this drug.

Treatment and Detox

The first step to recovery from cocaine addiction is detox. Removing the substance from the body is a vital part of healing and getting healthy. When the substance is removed, the individual can undergo helpful therapies that can implement positive coping mechanisms into their lives.

CBT and DBT are beneficial forms of therapy to aid in learning these positive skills, and help prevent relapse. Treatment for cocaine abuse can consist of a combination of these therapies in conjunction with medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, as well as symptoms of depression and anxiety.

This can allow a person to gain their footing in recovery. There is hope for recovery.

Get Better And Heal Today

Struggling with cocaine abuse can lead to long-lasting impacts on a person’s life. It can result in fractured relationships with friends and family, loss of job, decline in productivity at work or school, and could potentially result in legal consequences.

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine abuse, there is hope. At Enlightened Recovery, we offer care for individuals struggling with drugs like cocaine to find a path to a healthier lifestyle.

Contact us today and begin your journey to a new life.

Begin Your Recovery at Enlightened Recovery

Enlightened Recovery is here to help you or your loved one overcome drug and alcohol addiction as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Our holistic treatment programs treat the whole person in recovery. We have locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Get the help that you deserve now with Enlightened Recovery.