Cocaine is a well-known illicit drug. It combines stimulant effects with feelings of power and energy. However, like all illicit substances, cocaine is not good for your health in the short or long term. Cocaine side effects can be unpleasant and ultimately signify the need for cocaine addiction treatment.
Even legal and socially acceptable substances like alcohol and marijuana can be detrimental if used excessively, and cocaine is no different. Unfortunately, many cocaine users will use it several times in succession to prevent the feelings of energy and power from fading. This leads to prolonged periods of work, studying, or partying without rest, and when a person finally does crash, it can be unpleasant.
Immediate Cocaine Side Effects
When talking about the adverse side effects of cocaine, it is important to understand that cocaine affects the body and mind almost immediately after a person consumes it. The high from the dose will hit and then only last from minutes to at most one hour.
On a physical level, a person may experience the following cocaine side effects:
- Constricted blood vessels
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle twitches
- Nerve pain
- Vertigo (dizziness)
Beyond the physical effects, common adverse mental side effects include:
- Paranoia (fear of someone or something)
Some consumers feel anger to the point of showing violent, bizarre, or unstable behavior as a night goes on and more cocaine is consumed. Typically in a night, a person will consume cocaine multiple times due to the short stint of the positive effects.
Side Effects of Coming Down from a Cocaine High
Often called the cocaine comedown or crash, the aftermath of a cocaine binge is far worse than any alcohol hangover and highly unpleasant. Unlike with alcohol, there are minimal physical symptoms of a cocaine comedown and eventual crash, but the psychological symptoms can make you feel extreme discomfort.
During the comedown period after a cocaine binge, it is common to experience intense physical cravings to consume more cocaine. If you don’t give in to the cravings, you will reach the point of crashing.
The most common symptom of a cocaine crash is excessive fatigue. During this time, it is completely within reason to sleep for upward of 12-16 hours (depending on the amount of cocaine consumed).
Other symptoms of cocaine crash include:
- Suspicion or paranoia
- Lack of pleasure
Long-Term Consequences of Continued Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is a harsh drug on the body and mind. With continued and frequent consumption, cocaine can cause significant physical health damage and take a toll on a person’s work and home life.
When consuming cocaine, your heart is put under an immense amount of stress because of an increase in your blood pressure and heart rate, while your oxygen intake often slows because of shorter and quicker breaths. This causes stress on the heart for even the healthiest of people.
Someone in poor physical condition, or a genetic predisposition, could easily develop heart problems. These heart conditions may include irregular heartbeats or murmurs, or even cardiac arrest or heart attack. Stroke and seizure are also significant side effects of consistent cocaine intake.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Regularly snorting cocaine can lead to loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and an overall irritation of the nasal septum leading to a chronically inflamed, runny nose. Smoking crack cocaine damages the lungs and can worsen asthma.”
Cocaine addiction can completely derail relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. With the constantly shifting ups and downs, it can be hard for family and friends to stick with you simply because of the toll it takes on their own mental health. On top of this, in covering up an addiction, lying, secrecy, and deceit are far too common. Financially, the need to fuel a cocaine addiction often results in unpaid bills and or excessive debt.
Find Treatment for Cocaine Addiction in Massachusetts at Vertava Health
At Vertava Health Massachusetts, we have the goal of helping you or your loved one reach recovery within the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains. Our recovery from addiction options include wilderness therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dual diagnosis treatment, and individualized counseling. To learn more, call us today at 888.451.5895.