Cocaine is a highly addictive drug. Some may even get started and get hooked easily. Whether they have used it for a while or a long time, the effects are serious.
That’s why we put together this guide on the short and long-term side effects of cocaine. This is according to medical experts who have treated plenty of patients who have damaged their body due to cocaine. If you are addicted to the drug, you can view this page on how you can get help through Epiphany Wellness.
Let’s talk more about the short and long-term side effects of cocaine.
Short-term effects of cocaine use
The effects of cocaine are mostly physiological. They often include but are not limited to increased body temperature, dilated pupils, constricted blood vessels, and an increased heart rate and blood pressure.
It can also have short-term effects on the brain too. This can include irritability, restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, and may lead to erratic and violent behaviors. Before this, they could deal with excessive levels of happiness and excitement.
Even one hit can lead to dangerous consequences. For example, there are many severe medical consequences that can occur including:
- Disturbed heart rhythm
- Abdominal pain
- Heart attacks
In rare cases, sudden death will usually occur with short-term cocaine use. If you are smoking cocaine (in crack form), you could suffer from breathing difficulties that could end up lasting a long time. You can also face more dangerous side effects if you mix other cocaine with other drugs such as heroin and fentanyl.
These combinations are deadly and can cause a fatal overdose more than cocaine or heroin alone. One of the major causes of death can be slowed breathing which can lead to hypoxia. This can be due to the fact that the oxygen supply to the brain is shut down.
Long-term effects of cocaine
These will occur if you have been addicted to cocaine for a long period of time. Even if you survive various uses, the risk of overdose still exists. Especially if you have developed a tolerance.
The long-term effects and damage will also depend on the methods of cocaine use such as injecting, snorting, or smoking. Regardless, these are the following long-term effects that will occur.
- Severe weight loss
- Mood swings
- Sexual issues including infertility
- Damage to the veins
- Chronic respiratory issues (including failure)
- Loss of cartilage in the nose (if snorted)
- Irreversible damage to the brain and heart
- Consistent psychosis
- Amplification of mental health issues
- Tolerance to the point of a fatal overdose
Long-term effects can lead to damage that is irreversible. In the case of lost cartilage in your nose, it will also change the shape of it. This can be repaired with cosmetic surgery, which can be costly.
Likewise, nothing is more costly with your life. As mentioned, you could develop enough of a tolerance to snort, smoke, or inject cocaine. The dosage itself will be enough to cause a fatal overdose.
What are the withdrawal symptoms of cocaine?
Cocaine can develop withdrawal symptoms that will affect your entire body. Some of these can be serious enough to warrant inpatient medical assistance when you seek help. With that said, we will break down the withdrawal symptoms in the following categories:
Physical withdrawal symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Low energy
- Physical cravings
- Increased appetite
Psychological withdrawal symptoms
- Severe depression
- Mood changes
- Suicidal thoughts and ideations
- Concentration issues
These are just a list of the withdrawal symptoms that can occur. A person won’t get to experience all of them, but rather a few. It’s hard to tell what kind of symptoms a person who uses cocaine will deal with.
Regardless, it is important that someone should get the help they need now. This includes medical assistance if the withdrawal symptoms tend to be severe. It can also be due to several factors.
If the cocaine is potent and pure enough, withdrawal symptoms may reach severe levels. Other factors include any physical or mental conditions you may have and how long you have been using cocaine altogether. The duration and the administration method can also determine the level of withdrawal symptoms you may experience.
The first signs of cocaine withdrawal will begin within the first 24 hours. They can last around seven days (or even longer). Another stage of withdrawal will start after this time and can last up to 10 weeks.
The third and final stage will kick in at some point after the second. This stage will last up to six months. At this point, most of the withdrawal symptoms will have passed.
Yet, you can still deal with some cravings, mood changes, and depression. The first two stages of cocaine addiction will be prominent if the person has used cocaine for a lengthy period of time. If they quit cold turkey, the withdrawal symptoms can become more unbearable.
That’s why it is important for you to get the help you need as soon as possible. This way, you can receive the medical treatment needed. These withdrawal symptoms and its stages can last a period of time.
Not only that, the timeline will vary from one person to the next. Getting medically assisted help is your best option. You should never attempt an in-home detox.
Cocaine is a potent drug that can leave lasting damage in its wake. If you survive every use of cocaine, you will suffer from the long-term health effects. The sooner you quit now, the better.
Otherwise, you may be in for a long, difficult road when it comes time to finally get help. Another consequence you may suffer is irreversible damage and even death. No matter what, cocaine is a drug that should never be used.
If you are dealing with a cocaine addiction, now is the time to stop and get help. Your future self will thank you.