Cocaine Side Effects & Withdrawal: The Little White Lie
Any type of drug addiction is dangerous. That much is obvious to addicts, their families, and their loved ones. Cocaine addiction, though, brings with it a unique set of dangers and challenges.
Some hazardous cocaine side effects are obvious. It makes users paranoid. It makes them stay up for long periods of time. Too much cocaine or crack can lead to cardiac arrest.
Many cocaine side effects, though, are subtler. Not least among these is the myth that cocaine withdrawal doesn’t exist. Because the drug isn’t physically addicting, many addicts think they don’t need help to quit.
This couldn’t be further from the truth! Cocaine withdrawal brings with it unpleasant and nasty symptoms. In fact, after experiencing some of these cocaine withdrawal symptoms, many addicts looking for recovery rethink their plan to quit cold turkey.
Before we address any cocaine withdrawal symptoms, though, let’s look more broadly at cocaine side effects and how they manifest.
Cocaine Side Effects
Cocaine is a CNS stimulant. This means that, among other things, it speeds up how the body sends and receives information. It accomplishes this by releasing large amounts of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine and then blocking their reabsorption.
That’s enough science for one day. Find common cocaine side effects listed below:
• A Burst of Energy
• Increased Alertness
• Dilated Pupils
In addition to the above cocaine side effects, the drug also affects many major organs. These include: the heart, brain, sinuses, and kidneys.
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Because it’s a CNS stimulant, cocaine increases blood pressure and heart rate. At the same time, it constricts the arteries and blood vessels supplying the heart with blood. The combination is extremely dangerous and can lead to cardiac arrest. This is especially true of older cocaine users, but can manifest in younger users as well.
Because of how it constricts blood vessels, cocaine can damage the brain. Even recreational cocaine use can constrict and cut off the supply of blood to the brain. In turn, this can lead to a stroke. This is true of older and younger users.
Repeatedly sniffing cocaine is very damaging to the sinuses. This is due to cocaine itself, remember it constricts blood flow, and the filler used by drug dealers. Sniffing potentially harmful chemicals isn’t good for the sinuses. Over time, cocaine use can actually erode and perforate the cartilage between each nostril.
Another unexpected cocaine side effect is how damaging it is to the kidneys. Cocaine can cause rhabdomyolysis, or a breaking down of skeletal muscle tissue. As this tissue is broken down, it’s released into the bloodstream and filtered out by the kidneys. This muscle tissue damages the kidneys and can lead to acute kidney failure.
Having explored some broader cocaine side effects, let’s turn our attention to various cocaine withdrawal symptoms.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Just because it doesn’t produce a physical dependence, doesn’t mean that cocaine withdrawal is fictional. In fact, cocaine withdrawal is one of the most often overlooked side effects of long-term cocaine use.
What exactly do cocaine withdrawal symptoms look like, though? How does this sneaky white powder tighten its grip on addicts’ lives? Find a list of common cocaine withdrawal symptoms below:
• Overwhelming Cravings for the Drug
• Extreme Exhaustion (individuals have been known to sleep for up to twenty-four hours)
• Anxiety & Depression
• Cognitive Impairment & Confusion
• Suicidal Thoughts
And people think cocaine withdrawal doesn’t exist! Sounds like it exists to me. The good news these cocaine withdrawal symptoms offer is directly proportional to their severity. Because detoxing from coke is so unpleasant, there are many cocaine withdrawal and treatment options.
There are cocaine detoxes, inpatient rehabs, outpatient treatment centers, individual counseling, and even an entire twelve-step fellowship devoted to cocaine recovery.
If you or a loved one have experienced any of the above cocaine side effects or withdrawal symptoms, call Lighthouse today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015. We’re here to answer any and all questions you may have and help you or your loved one return to health!