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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

a person lays in a chair looking sad while struggling with the long term effects of cocaine use

Millions of Americans use cocaine one or more times per year. A significant percentage of these people will eventually develop problems that call for cocaine addiction treatment services. However, even if you’re not addicted, long-term use of this powerful stimulant can lead to serious harm. Cocaine-related harm often manifests in physical problems. But you may also experience significant changes in your mental and emotional well-being. Whether you need treatment or not, the only reliable way to avoid these harms is to stop using cocaine.

Addiction and Overdose as Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

If you regularly use cocaine, your chances of becoming addicted to it are quite high. That’s true, in part, because you can develop a rising tolerance to the drug’s effects. This tolerance often encourages increased use of cocaine. In turn, increased use makes eventual addiction more likely.

There is a unique danger to getting addicted to cocaine. Namely, as your tolerance rises, you can also become more and more sensitive to the drug’s effects on your system. This heightened sensitivity can not only make you feel unwell. It can also increase your susceptibility to a potentially fatal cocaine overdose.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use – Mental Health

Some of the most notable short- and long-term effects of cocaine use center on mental health-related concerns. The list of potential short-term mental effects includes:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiousness
  • Restlessness
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoid episodes

Impacts such as these can accumulate over time. The longer you use cocaine, the higher your risks for possible exposure to them. Long-term use of the drug can have even more serious mental health effects. That includes the onset of a psychotic mental state. People affected by psychosis experience hallucinations or delusional thoughts.

In addition, you can lose some of your core cognitive functions. For example, you may need help to focus or remember things. You may also find it harder to make smart decisions or control your impulsive urges.

Duration of use is not the only factor in these kinds of problems. Risks also arise when your doses of the drug increase. The same holds true when you shorten the time between doses of cocaine.

Physical Effects on the Body from Cocaine – General Risks

Some of the potential physical effects on the body from cocaine are shared by all people who use the drug. The most serious shared risks are related to various forms of organ damage. Over time, cocaine use can damage your:

  • Heart
  • Blood vessels
  • Small and large intestines
  • Nervous system

The accumulated effects of problems in these areas can be severe or even life-threatening.

Long-Term Risks Specific to the Way You Use Cocaine

Not everyone uses the same methods to get cocaine into their bloodstream. Some people nasally inhale, i.e., snort, the drug. Others inject it directly into their veins. Still, others smoke the form of cocaine known as crack. Each of these methods comes with its well-established long-term dangers. Potential problems range from a chronic runny nose to exposure to HIV and AIDS.

Find Out More About the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use at Northpoint Colorado

Concerned about the long-term effects of cocaine use on you or someone you know? Seek advice from the experts at Northpoint Colorado. With our help, you can get a detailed picture of the dangers that apply to your specific situation.

Do you or your loved one need cocaine treatment? Northpoint is here for you with a full slate of customized services. From detox to active rehab, we support each step of your progress toward sobriety. For more information on how we can help, call us today at 888.231.1281 or complete our online form.