Cocaine Health Risks: Intestinal Gangrene and Other Problems

When you buy cocaine from a drug dealer, he never tells you that some cocaine users develop intestinal problems that kill them. Cocaine use causes blood vessels to constrict which limits the blood flow to different parts of the body. This is what causes thickening of the heart muscle that leads to heart failure or heart attack. When the blood vessels of the intestines are constricted, sections of the intestines sometimes die which then permits gangrene to develop. If surgery is not performed immediately, death will result.

Intestinal Digestive System

It is also thought that cocaine may have other toxic effects on the bowel that increase the chances of tissue death.

Damaging effects appear to be more pronounced when cocaine is injected, smoked or consumed by mouth (usually a dose of cocaine wrapped in a small bit of paper).

Blood Clots Can Also Kill Intestinal Tissue

The tendency of cocaine to cause blood clots can also contribute to intestinal problems. If a blood clot forms in the arteries feeding blood to the intestines, this blockage can also result in the development of gangrene.

Most of those suffering from these problems have been in their 30s and 40s and otherwise in good health.

Cocaine users have also been found to suffer from ulcers and perforations of the stomach and intestines, especially those who smoke crack. The use of cocaine results in these problems showing up in a much younger population than usual.

Cocaine abuse results in so many different kinds of serious physical damage that the only safety is avoiding the use of the drug.


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