Cocaine is the most commonly abused drug and potentially the most dangerous too. It is also called the “Caviar of all the street drugs” because it is highly addictive and very expensive. Cocaine use initially generates a feeling of euphoria, but the long-term effects of cocaine use are life threatening. People who get addicted to cocaine develop tolerance rapidly and start taking larger amounts of the drug. The long-term effects of cocaine are fatal because it has an adverse impact on almost every organ of the body. It hampers normal brain functioning and causes psychological disturbances. Here are some significant effects of long-term use of cocaine.
Effects of Cocaine on the Cardiovascular system:
The long-term use of cocaine has a direct impact on heart and blood vessels. It causes both increased heart rate and increased blood pressure. Prolonged use of cocaine is seen to cause more heart attacks than people who do not abuse cocaine.
Effects of Cocaine on the brain:
Cocaine is a very powerful stimulant of the central nervous system. The long-term use of cocaine results in an altered mental status. An addict may experience headaches, hallucinations, and seizures. Many addicts become depressed, irritable; have sleeping disorders, anxiety, and paranoia.
Effects of Cocaine on Liver:
Cocaine is hepatotoxic when used in large quantities. Its damaging effects are more severe when taken with alcohol. Both of these substances combined are known to damage the liver and the impact of both of these combined is life threatening.
Effects of cocaine on the Respiratory System:
Cocaine affects the respiratory system when it is smoked. This damages the lungs over time and causes chest pain, coughing, and dark colored sputum. Smoking cocaine is also known to exacerbate asthma if it is already present in the person.
Effects of Cocaine on the Gastrointestinal System:
People who use cocaine for longer periods often experience abdominal pain. Longer use of cocaine is known to cause certain life-threatening abdominal illnesses. It can cause gangrene of the intestines, perforation of the duodenum and many other conditions.
Many long-term effects of cocaine are also caused by the mode of administration. If a person is taking cocaine through the nose for prolonged periods, it may lead to loss of sense of olfaction, bloody nose, and nasal irritation, which will eventually result in nasal congestion or a constant runny nose. If a person prefers to inject the drug, he may have an infection or allergic reaction at the injection site, which can prove fatal. Smoking cocaine leads to lung damage and ingesting it causes problems in the bowel. Cocaine is also known to affect the kidneys and hampers normal kidney functions. It is observed that people who use cocaine for longer periods lose their appetites and therefore experience weight loss. Prolonged cocaine use also has adverse effects on the reproductive health of both males and females and may lead to infertility.
Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and a powerful brain stimulant too. Initially, it makes you feel euphoric and relaxed but its long-term effects are noteworthy. It involves almost every system of the body and its tolerance develops early in the course. Many studies have proven that cocaine causes early aging of the brain. It causes psychological disturbances and leaves a person angry, depressed, irritable and ultimately lonely and isolated. It is very important to nip the evil in the bud, meaning if a loved one has fallen victim to cocaine abuse do not avoid him. Instead make sure that he calls it quits before it is too late because the longer the addiction is, the more difficult it is to get rid of it.
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