What are the Long-Term Effects of Using Cocaine
The long term effects of cocaine can have lasting ramifications for your body. Cocaine is an addictive drug that penetrates your mind and begins to change your brain chemically. However, it isn’t too late to stop this addiction and turn the clock around on these side effects.
The addictive qualities of cocaine are almost inescapable without professional help. We can be the ones to help you through your recovery process with the correct treatment plans and care facilities. So call us today at 623-263-7371, and we can help ease this process as you begin to live a life full of sobriety, happiness, and health.
Continue reading below for more information about cocaine and how it can alter someone’s life.
How Cocaine Begins to Change You
Cocaine first targets and affects your brain immediately upon use and can result in long term effects. Dopamine is a natural chemical in our minds; that is how we interpret pleasure and rewards. When using cocaine, it produces more dopamine rapidly. This creates a euphoric feeling that you experience. However, your brain cells become overloaded with the dopamine, and they have nowhere to go. Imagine you now have a traffic jam on your cell highway. This dopamine traffic jam is now stopping your brain cells from being able to communicate with each other. With continued excess use of cocaine, your brain will adapt to the dopamine. This means that your natural production of dopamine will not be noticed or affected.
For instance, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
with repeated exposure to cocaine, the brain starts to adapt so that the reward pathway becomes less sensitive to natural reinforcers. Simultaneously, circuits involved in stress become increasingly sensitive, leading to increased displeasure and negative moods when not taking the drug, which are signs of withdrawal. These combined effects make the user more likely to seek the drug instead of relationships, food, or other natural rewards. With regular use, tolerance may develop so that higher doses, more frequent use of cocaine, or both are needed to produce the same level of pleasure and relief from withdrawal experienced initially.
Slowly but surely, cocaine begins to change you. Furthermore, there are common effects of cocaine that start in your brain, and they will start spreading to other parts of your body. The long term effects of cocaine can be terrifying, but they can undergo treatment. However, the sooner you seek help for yourself or a loved one, the sooner we cure the adverse effects of cocaine.
Negative Effects on Your Brain
A cognitive function is how we mentally collect and understand the world around us in our everyday lives. For example, it is as simple as learning a new fact or thinking about eating dinner. There are eight domains of cognitive functions. The side effects of cocaine can grow to affect parts of your daily life as you fail to remember details, begin making impulsive decisions, and start to be unable to learn or process anything new. Brain cells begin to be put out of commission as cocaine continues to disrupt your cognitive functions.
In addition, as this is occurring, cocaine is also slowing down the glucose metabolism in your brain. This process is how your brain receives fuel to function physiologically. What happens after the cocaine slows down the metabolism? Mice were put under observation and we were able to see how the neurons in the mice’s’ brains functioned slower. In addition, some cells even died off. Therefore to put it simply, a long-term effect of using cocaine is losing brain cells.
Also, the impact of cocaine on your brain cells becomes more evident as someone beings to age. Typically the brain will lose 1.69 milliliters of gray matter each year. People who use cocaine on a regular basis can lose more than twice that each year. In conclusion, doubling the amount of gray matter you lose in a year is one of the long term effects of cocaine.
If you, or someone you care for, are experiencing addiction and the effects of cocaine, then call us today. Our trained experts can help anyone that contacts us. With our judgment-free policy, you will never feel ashamed or embarrassed about your past choices. We are here to help you start a healthier life today.
Psychological Effects of Cocaine
Cells in your brain aren’t the only thing that can be affected by cocaine. Your brain’s psychological functions can be significantly affected by cocaine, as well. Since cocaine is a stimulant, it impacts the central nervous system. The euphoric high it creates sends a surge of emotions throughout your body. But not all the feelings are of pleasure or happiness. Moreover, a common effect of cocaine use is becoming restless and anxious, not being able to sit still. You might also experience some irritability. These are more short term effects and can wear off within a couple of days. However, if you continue to use the substance, there are common cocaine effects that can become permanent. For example, according to Healthline, long term effects on the brain from cocaine use include:
- mood swings
- severe paranoia
- auditory hallucinations
The side effects of paranoia and hallucinations can become quite severe over some time. As the dosage of cocaine iincreases to satisfy the users’ tolerance, they will more likely succumb to psychosis. Also, paranoia and hallucinations can be long term side effects of crack because of the imbalance of dopamine and natural chemicals in the brain.
Long-Term Health Risks Caused by Cocaine
The more you use cocaine, the further you run the risk of permanent health issues on your body. Blood flow is crucial to how our bodies operate. Cocaine slows down blood flow throughout the body, which results in bodily functions being unable to perform. A common effect of cocaine is a loss of smell and other sensory functions. Organs begin to falter when the consistent flow of blood isn’t powering them. However, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine use “reduces blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to tears and ulcerations.” This discomfort provokes a loss of appetite in the individual who is using, which can, unfortunately, lead to malnourishment. Extreme weight loss is a common side effect due to cocaine and is dangerously unhealthy long-term.
The heart is the most vital organ in the human body. Cocaine can start to narrow your blood vessels. The narrowing means your heart struggles to push blood through these smaller pathways and has to work much harder to get blood to your brain. In addition, with the heart working overtime, chest pains can occur. Sometimes they are so severe that the individual might believe they have a heart attack. The narrow blood vessels create added stress on your cardiovascular system and can cause an irregular heartbeat. However, your brain then won’t receive the correct amount of blood, and your brain cells begin to die if they don’t accept blood.
Diseases and Disorders
Moreover, diseases and disorders can be long term effects of cocaine use. This effect is because the continual uncontrolled flooding of dopamine in the brain can cause damage. Specifically, there is damage to the structure and operations of your brain. Neurological diseases and disorders can develop because the mind is continuously unhealthy under cocaine. Adverse side effects of cocaine include increased risks for strokes, seizures, and movement disorders. Also, Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder that can form from cocaine use. This disease causes interference on the central nervous system, damaging cells, and messing with the dopamine levels.
In short, do not suffer alone. Contact us today if you need help battling a cocaine addiction. You are not alone in this. You have a team of experts standing by ready to help you on your new journey to sobriety. Call us today and start a healthier life tomorrow.
Damaging Effects Based on How You Use Cocaine
Cocaine comes in many forms and can go into the body in three separate ways. You can snort cocaine through the nose in its powdered form. Also, you can smoke it or inject it with a needle. However, there are specific damaging side effects of crack based on how it gets in the body.
If cocaine inhaled through the nose, the individual will experience frequent nosebleeds, creating a permanently inflamed nasal septum. Since the nose and throat are connected, difficulty to swallow will occur along with a hoarse voice. In addition. the most common long-term effect of snorting cocaine can be the loss of smell. If cocaine is regularly smoked, then breathing problems can occur. Lungs become damaged and irritated. If a previous lung condition was present before drug use such as asthma, those conditions could worsen over time.
If you inject cocaine into the skin, veins can begin to collapse over multiple uses. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse:
people who inject cocaine have puncture marks called tracks, most commonly in their forearms, and they are at risk of contracting infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. They also may experience allergic reactions, either to the drug itself or to additives in street cocaine, which in severe cases can result in death.
Furthermore, cocaine begins a negative chain of events throughout the entire body resulting in bodily harm.
Can I Heal from My Cocaine Addiction?
All of this information is daunting to discover. The moral of the story is to seek help as soon as possible. Cocaine addiction can show over time. Seeking professional help is the first step to begin healing. Once you call us, we will help guide you through the first bit of the process. We can tailor the right treatment plan for you and your needs to heal. Your experience around cocaine will be evaluated, such as how long you used the drug and how much you took. To see if your brain can recover from these harsh side effects, we will need to look into your brain’s chemical history.
To summarize, recovery from these side effects is possible, but it can take time. Your treatment plan will focus on you becoming sober as a priority. Only then can your brain and body begin to heal and mend itself back together. We want to help you start this process! Call us today and start your sober, healthy life.
Written By Julia Bashaw
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