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Cocaine is an illicit stimulant drug that provides users with a boost in energy, mood, and confidence. With that in mind, it isn’t hard to see why the allure of cocaine continues to persist. Sadly, those desirable effects are very short-lived, and before you know it your recreational cocaine use has evolved into an addiction.
Once in the grip of a cocaine addiction, the drug begins to degrade your physical and psychological health slowly. The long-term effects of cocaine are devastating. To learn more about the damage caused by long-term cocaine abuse, and how to break free, please read on.
What Are Some Signs of Cocaine Abuse or Addiction?
When occasional cocaine use evolves into an addiction, you will begin noticing the adverse effects it has on your life. The signs and symptoms of cocaine addiction are physical, emotional, and behavioral, and include:
- Physical symptoms. Weight loss is a very common sign of cocaine abuse or addiction. Other physical signs are bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, constant sniffing, muscle tics, and frequent nose bleeds. Insomnia is also common with cocaine abuse or addiction.
- Frequent mood swings. At first, cocaine provides a state of euphoria and boundless energy, but that doesn’t last. As soon as tolerance increases, the drug takes control of the brain circuitry. From that point, coming down off cocaine causes intense mood swings, irritability, and avoidance of friends and family.
- Changes in work performance. In the early days of cocaine use, you were likely very productive at work. Later, once addiction sets in, your work performance starts to suffer. Things like excessive absences, being late to meetings, lack of concentration and focus, and loss of motivation harm job performance.
- Financial problems. Cocaine is an expensive drug. If you become addicted to cocaine, it can quickly devastate your finances. You’ll not only max out credit cards and deplete savings but may also lose your job due to cocaine’s effect on work performance.
- Personality changes. Cocaine use can cause paranoid behavior, panic attacks, depression, erratic behavior, and anger. When the drug wears off, you may feel flat or unresponsive to people around you. A cocaine addiction can also lead someone to become dishonest, such as stealing money to support the habit.
What Are the Long Term Health Effects of Cocaine Addiction?
Regardless of the desirable short-term effects of cocaine, long-term use of the drug is found to be very hard on the body. Some of the damage is associated with the way the cocaine is consumed. For example, snorting cocaine over an extended period can cause serious damage to nasal tissue and cartilage. Smoking cocaine, however, causes lung damage.
The long-term effects of cocaine abuse impact both physical and psychological health. Consider some of the long-term health effects of cocaine abuse:
- Damage to nasal septum.
- Damage to the gut.
- Severe weight loss.
- Heart damage.
- Aortic rupture.
- Lung damage.
- Increased risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Bleeding in the brain.
- Memory problems.
- Increased risk of stroke.
- Increased risk of seizure.
- Diminished motor skills.
- Reduced impulse control.
- Mouth area ulcers aka coke mouth.
What Are the Risks of Cocaine Abuse?
It isn’t only long-term damage from cocaine to be concerned about. Consider these risks with regular use of cocaine:
- Overdose. Partygoers may binge cocaine, taking multiple doses to sustain a high during clubbing, at a concert, or at a party. Bingeing cocaine can put you at increased risk of an overdose, called cocaine toxicity.
- Fentanyl. The cocaine supply has become tainted with fentanyl, which has led to an increase in cocaine-related overdose deaths. This is due to the potent effects of the fentanyl.
- Toxic pairings. Cocaine abuse often escalates toward combining substances to maximize the effects. These pairings may involve Adderall, alcohol, heroin, and Xanax, and could result in toxicity.
- Malnutrition. Cocaine use suppresses the appetite, so if cocaine use becomes habitual it can lead to dramatic weight loss and malnutrition.
- Pregnancy problems. There are dangers to the unborn baby when the mother uses cocaine. These include preterm labor, miscarriage, separation of the placenta, and difficult delivery.
- Addiction. Cocaine addiction can evolve quickly, and many risks come with addiction. These include damage to the nasal tissues and cartilage, financial ruin, and unstable mental health, to name a few.
How to Succeed in Cocaine Addiction Recovery
A cocaine habit is tough to break free from without expert help. A residential rehab program helps you learn how to overcome the strong cravings of a cocaine addiction. The treatment program teaches you new ways to respond to cravings and triggers in recovery, which helps you avoid a relapse. These new coping techniques are essential if you are to be successful in recovery.
Here’s what to expect in rehab:
- Detox. To launch your new life in recovery, you first have to complete detox and withdrawal. But don’t worry, a team of caring detox experts will have your back and can greatly reduce any discomfort.
- Therapy. One-on-one therapy and group therapy form the basis of addiction treatment. The clinical team uses evidence-based therapies to help you achieve the best treatment outcomes.
- Contingency Management. CM uses a reward system to shape your behavior choices while you are learning to live without cocaine. CM is found to be very effective for treating cocaine addiction in particular.
- CBT. CBT equips you with the tools to respond to cocaine cravings and other triggers without relapsing. Under the guidance of a CBT therapist, you can address the disordered thought patterns that fueled the cocaine use.
- Holistic methods. Holistic health involves the mind, body, and spirit. To achieve wellness, all three of these realms must be healthy. In treatment, you will be counseled to improve wellness by eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and managing stress. Some of the methods include meditation, yoga, and mindfulness training.
- 12-step program. AA’s 12-step program is helpful in early recovery as it provides a step-by-step roadmap to achieve success.
To avoid the long-term effects of cocaine abuse or addiction, please seek out the support you need now.
Capo by the Sea Helps You Overcome Cocaine Addiction
Capo by the Sea is a leading luxury addiction recovery center. If you are concerned about the long-term effects of cocaine use, please reach out to our team today at (888) 529-2114.