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effects of cocaine use

What are the Effects of Cocaine Use?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that, while illegal, is often used recreationally. While many begin using cocaine with good intentions of moderation, it quickly devolves into dependence and addiction. Whether you’ve been using it for a short or a long time, it has various negative effects on the body and mind.

Some effects are short-term, mild, and easily reversible with proper treatment. Many other effects, however, are much more serious. Heavy, long-term use can cause long-term and even permanent damage to both your body and brain.

Whether you’re struggling with cocaine yourself or you see someone you love struggling, it’s important to know what the drug entails so you can detect if it’s gone too far.

Read on to learn more about cocaine and the various effects of its use.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is one of the more addictive substances due to how it affects the brain. When consumed, it attaches to dopamine transporters, therefore increasing dopamine production. The increased dopamine makes you feel great in the moment – giving you a temporary high that impacts everything from energy levels, thought patterns, appetite, motivation, mood, and more.

Simultaneously, it can diminish the dopamine produced by simple, everyday pleasures such as eating and exercise. All of this drives the desire to consume cocaine again. Unfortunately, continued and consistent use causes the body to build a tolerance. This means you’ll need more and more of it to achieve the same results.

This creates a downward spiral wherein an addiction forms as you constantly increase use. Regardless of how far along an addiction is, it’s never too late to get help and recover. Many forms of therapy can help you achieve total healing, it’s just a matter of accepting that you need help. However, the sooner you address it, the better to reduce the negative long-term effects.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

The effects of cocaine use can manifest in a variety of ways. Many effects are physical, while others are mental and psychological. You may also experience some issues in your environment and personal life – some easier to fix than others:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Decreased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Nausea
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Odd and erratic behaviour
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Feeling very alert and confident
  • Increased libido
  • Exciteable behaviour
  • Feeling chatty and high-energy
  • Weight loss

These are things that can happen in the moment as you use cocaine, or occur over time as your body is exposed to more and more of the drug. Some of these will stop occurring when the drug is stopped, or can at least be reversed once the addiction is overcome. Others have more lasting consequences.

nausea effect

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Long-term effects of cocaine use tend to kick in after you’ve been using the drug for a while, though that is not always the case. Even a moderate amount of the drug can cause lasting, long-term effects.

These implications apply to both physical and mental health. While most things can be treated, some things are irreversible:

  • Permanent damage to the brain and heart
  • Loss or damage to the cartilage in the nostrils if the drug is being snorted
  • Damage to veins
  • Ulcers and/or loss of blood supply to your body tissue (known as gangrene) may occur if the drug is injected
  • Respiratory problems – particularly if the drug is smoked
  • Severe weight loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Infertility and other sexual problems
  • Ongoing psychosis
  • Mental health issues – particularly the worsening of depression and anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Decrease in cognitive function, such as attention span, impulse, memory, motor skills, and decision-making
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings

Other Effects of Cocaine Use

While the mental and physical effects of cocaine addiction are perhaps the most debilitating, but the external and circumstantial effects can also be extremely devastating. Things that involve those around you and your lifestyle can be hard or even impossible to mend.

Some of these things can include:

  • Strained relationships with everyone around you
  • Kids and partners can feel neglected and de-prioritized
  • Financial struggle as it becomes more and more expensive with constant use
  • You may withdraw significantly from social activities and hobbies
  • Poor performance at work which can lead to termination and a loss of your career
  • Lacking academic performance if you’re in school, which can affect your ability to graduate on time
  • Risky and even illegal behaviour, which can lead to arrest and imprisonment

The longer an addiction goes on, the harder it can be to come back from these things. Some people may not be willing to forgive and will permanently move on from the relationship, for example. Thus, the sooner you seek help and pursue recovery, the better.

At Lily Recovery, we offer a wide variety of therapy methods and techniques, including holistic options and activities. We’ll also work with family members and loved ones, conducting family therapy if necessary. We believe that by combining proper therapy with a quiet, private, structured environment, you have a good chance at success and long-term results.

Our program accepts only ten women at any given time and employs only women. We strive to create as safe and comfortable a facility as possible where you’ll find endless compassion and support.

other effects of cocaine use

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

Our facility is an inpatient treatment program, meaning women live at our facility for the duration of their treatment. The average stay is about 45 days, but it can be more or less depending on the individual. We’ll meet with you and discuss a specific, personalized treatment plan with the exact therapies that you need to get better.

We’re also proud to be a self-referring facility, meaning you don’t need to go through any special process to access our program; you can simply check yourself in. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help. Whether you have questions for yourself or you’re seeking treatment on behalf of another, we’ll offer as much guidance as we can.