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The Disturbing Physical Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction

physical side effects cocaine

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

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Side effects of cocaine addiction range from physical to emotional consequences. Prevalent cocaine side effects, or withdrawal symptoms, include perforated septums, sudden heart attacks, and abscesses due to injections. Recent studies show that palatal perforation and a gruesome heart condition can also develop through cocaine use.

Cocaine withdrawal is less painful than withdrawal from alcohol or opioids, which can cause violent physical symptoms such as vomiting, restlessness, and sweating. Nevertheless, cocaine withdrawal can still require an individual to seek medical attention, such as medical detox.

Common Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Exhaustion
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Increased craving for cocaine
  • Slowed thinking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Physical symptoms, such as chills, tremors, muscle aches, and nerve pain
  • Anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure
  • Anxiety or Depression
  • Unpleasant dreams or nightmares

Worsening Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Palatal perforation is the development of a hole in the roof of your mouth. While heavy cocaine use has contributed to holes in our nasal cavities, palatal perforation is a side effect that is less commonly known. How does someone develop a hole in the roof of their mouth? Well, it all has to do with cocaine’s vasoconstriction properties. This side effect occurs when cocaine constricts and shrinks blood vessels.

Ironically, this side effect is what makes the substance an incredibly useful local anesthetic. When cocaine cuts off the supply of blood to a particular area, say the roof of your mouth, it also deprives that area of oxygen. This deprivation, in turn, causes tissue to begin to shrink and die. Over time, this leads to a hole in the area in question.

An Enlarged Heart

side effects of cocaine addiction

Cocaine addiction impacts the heart- but to what extent? First, the heart can enlarge to around three times the size of a normal, healthy heart. That alone is alarming. Doctors theorize that the increase in size is due to, once again, cocaine’s vasoconstriction properties. Because cocaine constricts blood vessels, the heart has to work harder than ever to pump and supply the body with blood.

But what are the impacts of an enlarged heart? First, the heart is less able to pump blood efficiently. Thus, this can lead to changes in blood pressure, chest pain, and even death. In the long run, the heart of a heavy cocaine user may stop working- leading to a painful death.

The physical impacts of cocaine addiction are severe. Users can suffer damage to their noses and palates, increased blood pressure and heart rate, cardiovascular failure, infections, overdoses, and a myriad of other conditions. Even if someone is lucky enough to escape this, the emotional side effects of cocaine addiction can be painful in a different way. Loss of relationships, jobs, careers, dreams, and self-esteem can lead many down a dark path. For help with cocaine addiction, please contact our cocaine drug rehab today.

Cocaine Detox and Treatment

The most challenging withdrawal symptoms to overcoming cocaine addiction are anxiety, depression, and cravings. Though there are currently no approved medications to treat symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine, medical drug detox is the safest way to manage cocaine side effects and relieve symptoms.

Next, after the detox, a cocaine addiction treatment program is the next logical step in recovery from the addiction. Admission will depend on the duration of the withdrawal, which can last for months after the final dose. Users should seek help immediately if they experience suicidal thoughts or intense feelings of depression. While quitting cocaine cold turkey may not be the safest option, our drug rehab facility can help manage the cravings and help overcome the barriers to long-term recovery.