Many people who are addicted to drugs like cocaine don’t think about the long-term effects drug use will have on their bodies. If you’re a drug user looking to get clean, seek a cocaine addiction treatment program in North Carolina for the best results. The only way to avoid lasting complications associated with drug use is to abstain. If you or a loved one suffers from an addiction to cocaine, getting clean is the best way to avoid further effects. 

What are the Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

The high from cocaine is short-lived, which plays a huge part in how dangerous the substance is. Cocaine causes immense feelings of euphoria, followed shortly by a “crash” or intense feelings of depression. People who use cocaine frequently will often use it repeatedly to keep the crash from occurring, only making the crash worse in the long run when they finally cease use. 

Other short-term effects of cocaine use include: 

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Hyperstimulation 
  • Violent or irrational behavior 
  • Depression 
  • Intense cravings
  • Psychosis 
  • Seizures
  • Sudden death from overdose

What are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

Many users are unaware of the long-term effects associated with cocaine use. Each time an addict uses cocaine, their risk of these life-long effects increases. That means that heavy users are at the highest risk for developing issues down the line. 

Effects on the Body

Using cocaine for a long period of time can cause a lot of stress on the body, resulting in malnutrition, loss of appetite, disorientation, tooth decay, and so much more. In media, we often see images of people before and after cocaine use, showcasing addicts as people with declining health or poor physical appearance. This is because cocaine causes these effects. Many of these will go away after discontinuing the use of cocaine and working toward a healthier body, but it does take effort to bounce back. 

Effects on the Heart

Cocaine can cause immediate cardiovascular damage after just one use, like rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and more. These effects often feel like paranoia, anxiety, or stress. With continued use, the damage to the heart will get more severe and can cause issues such as: 

  • Blood clots that lead to heart attack, stroke, DVT, or pulmonary embolism
  • Tachycardia
  • Arrhythmia
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Permanently increased blood pressure 

Effects on the Respiratory System

In the short term, snorting cocaine causes major damage to the mucous membrane within the nose and can lead to throat and upper respiratory problems in the long run. Smoking cocaine is also known to cause serious respiratory issues. 

Side effects of frequent cocaine use can include:

  • Black sputum
  • Cough
  • Wheezing sounds
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Increased white blood cell count
  • Higher body temperature
  • Permanent lung damage

If you or someone you love is addicted to cocaine, it’s a good idea to be evaluated by a medical professional as a part of the recovery process. A doctor can help avoid and long-term effects by treating them immediately. While some issues cannot be treated, a doctor can make you or your loved one aware of them. For example, if you have tachycardia as a result of long-term cocaine use, your doctor may be able to teach you ways to cope with it, or they may prescribe a medication to help.

How to Find a Cocaine Addiction Program in North Carolina 

If you’re looking for a cocaine addiction program in North Carolina, look no further. Asheville Recovery Center is here to help. To learn more about our addiction programs and how we can help you get and stay sober, call an addiction specialist today.

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