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Short and Long-term Effects of Cocaine Use

man discusses effects of cocaine use with doctor

Cocaine is an extremely addictive stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant and may be snorted, injected, or smoked.  While cocaine is often used recreationally as a party drug, many users don’t fully understand the consequences that may come from cocaine abuse.  Some people don’t even consider cocaine to be highly addictive and believe they can continue sporadic use without any long-term effects. Understanding both the short and long-term harm that can come from cocaine use may better inform the decision to use, as well as encourage those with addictions to seek professional help.

Quick Fixes are Not Fixes

Cocaine can create an intense high and sense of euphoria during use, but this artificial joy does not come without a cost.  As with any drug that induces happiness by throwing off the balance of mood-regulating chemicals in the brain, anxiety and depression levels increase once the drug has left the system.  People coming down off a cocaine high may feel agitated and irritable and are likely to experience cravings for the drug to ease their symptoms. Additionally, even occasional use increases the risk of potentially catastrophic health events such as heart attack and stroke.

Never as Good as The First Time

For those that continue to use cocaine over time, the development of tolerance will necessitate an increased dose for each use.  Along with addiction, regular cocaine use is likely to cause sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, problems with sexual performance, hallucinations, and chronic mental health issues such as severe anxiety and depression.  An addiction to cocaine can cause the brain to lose its ability to regulate mood on its own, meaning that cocaine abusers will feel the need to use the drug just to stay sane. While the drug may allow an addicted person to feign normalcy for some time, it also heightens the risk of delirium and psychosis.  

Cocaine use is a dangerous and risky behavior that often leads to addiction.  If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.