Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine
Short-term side effects of cocaine use can range from mild irritants to acute health concerns. Many of these worsen over time to become chronic, long-term health complications. However, many do respond well to treatment.
Cocaine drug addiction can have a wide variety of extreme effects on the body.
These can be short-term or long-term effects of cocaine use, with many of the long-term effects of this drug being worsened forms of the initial side effects.
Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine
Cocaine may affect the heart, brain, gastrointestinal system, and much more in the short term. Read on to learn about some of the most common short-term effects of cocaine abuse.
Effects On The Heart
Cocaine’s effect on the cardiovascular system can have a full range of impacts, from mild to gravely severe.
Cocaine use can cause an increase in body temperature, which can be severe and lead to hyperthermia or heatstroke which can be life-threatening.
Dangerously high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, restricted blood vessels, and heart attacks are also common, and these effects are much more severe.
These serious side effects are often worsened when cocaine cutting agents are introduced to the body.
Many of these cutting agents can cause or increase inflammation of heart tissue, and even infection. This is especially the case when cocaine is injected into the veins.
Effects On The Brain
Because it affects neurotransmitters such as dopamine, cocaine has a significant impact on the brain.
Violent behavior is common with cocaine use, as the neural pathways are rewritten to favor cocaine over all other rewards and stimuli.
This is partially why cravings occur, worsening the period of cocaine withdrawal.
Cocaine-induced psychosis can also be a side effect of this drug. However, all of these neurological changes can respond well to substance abuse treatment and forms of therapy.
Effects On The Intestines
Gastrointestinal side effects of cocaine use are very common, such as nausea, abdominal pain, and more.
This is often due to decreased blood flow coming from the heart, as it can have a profound effect on this area of the body.
Additionally, there are cases of attempting to smuggle cocaine by wrapping the substance is some form of containment, such as a balloon or condom.
If this containment is damaged, cocaine is then directly introduced to this area. This can cause serious health complications, including collapse and even sudden death.
Effects On The Eyes
As mentioned, cocaine is a stimulant drug. Stimulants can cause the fight or flight response to become engaged.
This has many effects on the body, including dilating or enlarging the pupils. This is so common that dilated pupils from cocaine use are often called “cocaine eyes.”
The effect is short-lived and may take a few minutes to appear, depending on how cocaine is ingested. Typically, the faster the method of ingestion, the faster your pupils will dilate.
Effects On The Mouth And Jaw
Stimulant drugs can cause muscle twitches in the jaw. When this occurs, these sporadic spasms of the mouth are called “cocaine jaw“.
These twitches can eventually lead to long-term oral health problems, such as teeth grinding disorders, even to the point of dental erosion.
Mouth problems associated with cocaine use are often heightened when the method of ingestion is via rubbing cocaine on the teeth and gums.
Effects On Weight
Cocaine abuse and weight loss go hand in hand. As a stimulant, cocaine can increase your metabolic rate, causing you to burn more calories. Stimulants also tend to suppress appetite.
Weight loss can be a long-term effect of cocaine use, but signs of weight loss start appearing quickly after a person’s first use.
Some studies have suggested that chronic cocaine use can lead to weight loss due to appetite suppression and increased energy expenditure, while others have found that it can lead to weight gain due to altered metabolism and reduced physical activity.
Effects On The Rest Of The Body
The side effects described do not encompass all of the possible symptoms of cocaine use.
Other side effects of cocaine abuse can also include:
- nosebleeds, septum problems, and “coke nose”
- increased risk of infection from diseases like hepatitis
- sleep problems from cocaine abuse
For both mental and physical effects, these situations often become worse over time. High doses of cocaine also increase the risk of developing these poor health outcomes.
But for many of these side effects, whether long-term or short-term, treatment is possible.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment At Spring Hill Recovery Center
- National Institute of Health (NIH) | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Cocaine DrugFacts https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cocaine
- National Institute of Health | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) - Cocaine Research Report: What is Cocaine? https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/cocaine/what-cocaine
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) | National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) — The skinny on cocaine: Insights into eating behavior and body weight in cocaine-dependent men https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3863945/