The Dangers of Cocaine: How Cocaine Affects the Body and Mind

The Dangers of Cocaine: How Cocaine Can Harm the Body

Substance addiction can be a difficult battle, and each person varies on what specific substance they are struggling with. Cocaine is a prevalent drug used that is misused as it is a powerfully addictive stimulant. During active addiction, we rarely think of the risks that using can cause.

Many dangers come along with abusing cocaine. These dangers can affect the mind and body and cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Along with the dangers of withdrawal, you also take many risks when using cocaine long-term.

At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer many treatment options to help those struggling with addiction. We provide multiple therapy methods, holistic treatment options, and transportation to and from detox centers. Healing Pines Recovery is here to help you through your recovery journey while making it a safe environment.

How Cocaine Can Harm the Body

Any foreign substance put into the body can have a physical or mental effect. Cocaine is a drug that induces long-term changes in the brain. Some of the changes that can occur are the response receptors in your brain that process stress.

A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined that chronic cocaine exposure affects many areas of the brain, including the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). When this part of the brain is diminished, it can cause:

  •  Poor decision-making
  •  Inability to adapt to negative consequences of drug use
  • Lack of self-insight

Not only does cocaine cause physical changes to the body, but it can also affect your mental health. Some of these effects can include:

  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Higher risk of panic attacks

Long-Term and Short-Term Effects of Cocaine

When talking about the effects of cocaine, there are two categories they fall under: long-term and short-term. Some of the short-term effects of cocaine may not seem all that unsettling, however,  remember they are temporary.

The short-term effects of cocaine can include:

  • Hypersensitivity to sight, sounds, and touch
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia or extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • Extreme happiness and energy

The long-term effects of cocaine are where the real dangers come into play. These dangers affect your health and overall well-being and can lead to serious health problems. Some of the long-term effects can vary based on the consumption method.

These methods and effects can include:

  • Snorting: Loss of smell, nosebleeds, frequent runny nose, and difficulty swallowing
  • Smoking: Cough, asthma, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections like pneumonia
  • Consuming by mouth: Severe bowel decay from reduced blood flow
  • Needle injection: Higher risk for contracting HIV, hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases, skin or soft tissue infections, and scarring or collapsed veins

The general long-term effects of cocaine can still apply to anyone, no matter the method used to take it. For example, chronic cocaine use can cause an individual to become malnourished, develop movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, and even cause severe paranoia leading to auditory hallucinations.

Cocaine and Associated Withdrawal Symptoms

Not only are there dangers that come with using cocaine but also withdrawal. For those that have been using it for extended periods, their bodies can develop a dependency. When the substance is removed from the body, withdrawal symptoms occur.

Withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even deadly without proper guidance and treatment. Each individual will experience different symptoms based on how much they have used, the intensity of their dependency, and how long they have been using cocaine.

Some symptoms of withdrawal can include:

  • Agitations and restless behavior
  • Depressed mood
  • Fatigue
  • General feelings of discomfort
  • Increased appetite
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams
  • Suicidal thoughts

Withdrawal symptoms of cocaine can linger for months. This is known as the detox period, where cocaine is being processed out of the body. Unfortunately, you will also have to deal with powerful and intense cravings for cocaine during this time. While the detox period of recovery can be dangerous and scary, there are still those out there willing to help provide the support needed.

Healing Pines Recovery is an addiction recovery treatment center that specializes in creating individualized plans for each of our clients. We offer the support needed to face your addictions while getting the guidance of professionals. Although we do not have a detox program, we do have connections to detox centers in the area and provide transportation. Healing Pines Recovery has a variety of options for treatment and is more than equipped to create a plan for you.

Cocaine is a dangerous and addictive drug that many people struggle with. We sometimes don’t realize how harmful this substance can be to our bodies and the risks we run while actively using it. There is no instance where cocaine use is safe, and even when deciding to stop using it, there are still lingering dangers with withdrawal.

Many dangers can come with using cocaine. At times we don’t consider these risks and the effects that substances have on our bodies and our mind. When in active addiction, there are moments when we disregard the dangers cocaine can have on our bodies.

During detox is when most of these health risks can occur. Without the proper guidance from a professional, detoxing from cocaine can be harmful. At Healing Pines Recovery, we offer many different treatment options for those struggling with drug use and provide transportation to partnered detox centers.

If you are struggling with substance use and identify as male, reach out to Healing Pines Recovery at (720) 575-2621 for further information.

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