Cocaine hydrochloride, commonly known as cocaine, is one of the world’s most widely known stimulant drugs. In America, over five million people use this drug at least once a year. More than one out of every five of these people is addicted to it or heavily abuses it. Whether or not you’re addicted, cocaine use comes with some potentially dire physical effects. You can prevent exposure to these effects by halting your drug use with help from a cocaine addiction treatment program.
What Is the Source of the Damaging Physical Effects of Cocaine?
Why is cocaine capable of producing its physical effects? As a stimulant, the drug speeds up the usual activity rate in your central nervous system. In turn, this increased activity rate leads to such things as:
- Narrowing of your blood vessels
- An accelerated heartbeat
- A higher-than-normal body temperature
- Elevated blood pressure
All of these changes help set the stage for the harmful physical effects of cocaine use. That’s true for the drug’s short-term effects as well as its long-term effects.
What Are the Harmful Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?
Short-term effects get their name because they appear soon after you take cocaine. You can experience these effects the very first time you use the drug. They can also occur in people who habitually use cocaine. The list of possible short-term effects of cocaine use includes:
- Pain in your abdomen
- An irregular heartbeat
- A heart attack
- Cardiac arrest
Overdoses are relatively common. Also, in rare circumstances, people actively using cocaine die without any advance warning. This is possible no matter how long you’ve used the drug. It’s also possible regardless of the specific amount of cocaine you take.
What Are the Harmful Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?
Over time, cocaine can seriously damage your brain and body. One of the most significant potential consequences of ongoing use is addiction or a substance use disorder. Addiction has a mental and psychological component. However, its root is the development of physical dependence on cocaine.
A range of other long-term, physical effects of cocaine on the body is also possible. For example, you can seriously damage your blood vessel and heart health. Blood vessel changes can increase your chances of experiencing a stroke. Cardiac changes can lead to inflamed heart tissue and loss of your heart’s ability to function normally. Ongoing cocaine use also increases your chances of developing ruptures in your aorta, the body’s main artery.
With time, the physical effects of cocaine on the body can damage your gastrointestinal (GI) system. Potential results of this damage include ulcers. In addition, they include tears in the walls of your GI tract.
You can also develop problems related to how cocaine enters your body. If you snort the drug, chronic nosebleeds and loss of your sense of smell are possible. You can also damage your nasal tissues. Cocaine injection can lead to collapsed or scarred veins and tissue and skin infections. Cocaine smoking can trigger asthma or acute respiratory distress. It also increases your risk for pneumonia.
Find Out More About the Physical Effects of Cocaine at Northpoint Colorado
Want to know more about how cocaine use can harm your physical health? Consult the knowledgeable staff at Northpoint Colorado. We can answer any questions about the damaging effects of using this stimulant drug.
Northpoint also features a full slate of treatments for cocaine addiction. With our help, you can stop taking cocaine now and in the future. When you do this, you make it possible to protect yourself from the drug’s harmful effects. Call us today at 970.579.4569 to get started, or fill out our online contact form.