Cocaine – whether snorted, smoked or injected into the bloodstream – can impact your brain, body and emotions in a matter of seconds. And while the high only last five to 30 minutes, the physical and mental damage can last forever.
Cocaine is highly addictive and people who use cocaine often don’t eat or sleep regularly. This can result in increased heart rate, muscle spasms and convulsions. Using cocaine can also change your mood, making you feel paranoid, angry and anxious.
Here’s a look at more of the short- and long-term effects of cocaine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- Hypersensitivity to sight, sound and touch
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Raised body temperature and blood pressure
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Tremors and muscle twitches
The long-term health effects of cocaine often depend on the method of use:
- Snorting: loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, problems swallowing
- Smoking: cough, asthma, respiratory distress, high risk of infections like pneumonia
- Consuming by mouth: severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
- Needle injection: higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, skin or soft tissue infections, scarring or collapsed veins
Other long-term effects of chronic cocaine include being malnourished (cocaine decreases appetite) and movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, cocaine can kill you. It can cause seizures, strokes and comas and change the way the heart beats, leading to a heart attack.
Getting Help for Cocaine Addiction
The best way to minimize the health effects of cocaine is to get help if you or someone you love is suffering from a cocaine use disorder. NorthStar Transitions can help – just pick up the phone and ask us about our treatment for cocaine dependency. Call today: 303-558-6400.