When a person uses cocaine, he may become so enamored of the intoxicating effects of cocaine use that he may not even want to know about the damaging effects of the drug. But that would be a serious mistake. Anyone who was well-informed about the physical, mental and emotional damage done by this drug would be very unlikely to ever start using it. Families of cocaine addicts may not realize the damage that cocaine use can create until the disastrous effects are visited upon their loved ones.
Some Damage is Superficial, Some is Deep
When cocaine is snorted, the person may experience a runny nose and eventually have damage to the inside of the nose. But these effects are trivial compared to the real damage going on.
Cocaine users often go on binges, continuing to use cocaine over and over, as often as once an hour to maintain the euphoria. As tolerance builds, more cocaine is needed to get the same effect. This binge can result in a severe crash when the drug runs out or exhaustion takes over. The person may be exhausted and sleep for several days. This exhaustion is normally accompanied by depression due to the disruption of the normal balance of the body’s chemicals and depletion of physical resources. Delirium may also follow binge use.
The other results of heavy cocaine use can include anxiety, irritability and paranoia. A person may be restless and unable to relax or rest. But always, there are cravings for more cocaine.
Cocaine is a Strong Stimulant Which Creates Specific Health Problems
As a stimulant, cocaine increases the heart rate and constricts the blood vessels. This combination can result in heart damage all the way up to cardiac arrest. Heart attacks, convulsions, strokes and death sometimes result.
When too much cocaine is consumed, the body temperature can soar which can lead to organ breakdown. Hallucinations may occur.
As a stimulant, cocaine causes the user to lose the desire for normal amounts of food. Malnutrition may follow this loss of appetite.
Injection cocaine users may contract communicable diseases such as HIV or hepatitis. Effects of cocaine use include poor judgment which can lead to risky sexual activity, resulting in additional risks.
Cravings are Short Range Effects that Lead to Long Range Use
One of the most dangerous effects of cocaine use is the persistent craving for more of the drug. Once a person uses enough cocaine to set off cravings, these irresistible urges may drive him or her to use more of the drug, enough to drive him to a state of complete addiction. The Narconon drug and alcohol program offers hope of recovery even in this situation.
The Narconon New Life Detoxification, one phase of the overall recovery program, utilizes time in a low heat sauna, generous nutritional supplementation and moderate exercise to flush out toxins that remain behind after drug abuse. As a result, most people completing this step remark on their reduced or eliminated cravings.
Find out how Narconon can help a cocaine-addicted person make it all the way back to sobriety.
For more information about cocaine, see Cocaine Abuse info.