Even the highest-quality cocaine carries the risk of overdose and poses numerous dangerous cardiac and neurological consequences.
On top of that, cocaine is known to trigger mental illnesses or worsen the condition of someone struggling with depression, anxiety or bipolar.
Regardless of why you choose to do cocaine or how often, the risk of dependency is extremely high.
Harm reduction methods or reducing the side effects will only improve your chances; it will not make the withdrawal easier or make snorting cocaine safe. See our cocaine addiction treatment.
You’ve landed here for a reason – if you want to reduce the side effects you are feeling from cocaine use, you will likely need our help. Our cocaine rehab helps thousands of people get sober every year. Contact us now.
Cocaine has high side effects
Regular, short-term or long-term use of cocaine can cause an individual to build up a higher tolerance of the drug, where higher quantities are needed to feel the original effects.
When frequently increasing the dose or frequency of use, the effects of a physical and psychological dependency can be recorded that increase the harmful effects that cocaine has on physical and mental health.
- Constricted blood vessels (stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation)
- Dilated pupils
- Higher body temperature
- Elevated heart rate (alongside high blood pressure and restricted blood flow, the risk of heart attack is higher)
- High blood pressure
- Behavioural changes (erratic, violent, confident, feeling invincible)
- The nose and mouth become damaged as snorting cocaine damages the mucous membranes.
- In addition, heavy use can lead to perforated septums leading to total nasal structure collapse.
- Chronic cocaine use can lead to blood clots, heart attacks, pulmonary embolism, strokes and deep vein thrombosis. In addition, inflammation and death of heart muscle can occur.
- When smoking cocaine (crack) can cause severe respiratory problems, increasing the risk of pneumonia, acute respiratory distress and asthma.
- Consistent use can lead to brain damage and the increased possibility of aneurysms. Strokes, seizures, cerebral atrophy, and cerebral vasculitis are all other continued use risks.
- Cocaine reduces blood flow to the stomach and intestines, causing tears and ulcers.
- Acute cocaine use can cause muscle damage, which has a severe knock-on effect on the kidneys. When cocaine metabolites, the toxicity can also cause significant damage to the liver.
Long term mental health side effects of cocaine use
- Depressive episodes can vary in length and severity
- Depressive episodes can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide
- Cocaine use has been connected to the development of PTSD
- Psychological and emotional regulation problems
- Trait impulsivity
While cocaine abuse symptoms often appear physically, several overwhelming psychological symptoms might require the intervention of a mental health professional to overcome safely and effectively.
A 2020 study found that cocaine abuse leads to psychiatric illnesses such as depression, anger, aggressiveness and paranoia. – Source.
Long-term mental side effects of cocaine abuse include insomnia, mood swings, irritability, extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delirium, and chronic depression.
Harm reduction methods
The best cocaine tip to reduce harm is to cut it out completely.
However, if you’ve been using cocaine for some time and have developed a higher tolerance or a possible dependency, it is recommended not to do this independently.
Dependencies and drug withdrawals are dangerous, and the medical approach is to undergo often detoxes supervised around the clock by doctors, nurses, and mental health practitioners.
Three withdrawal symptoms you need to recognise
Regardless if cocaine abuse stops immediately or gradually, you will experience withdrawal effects at some point.
However, unlike other drugs like heroin, cocaine withdrawal is not so easy to spot physically. Instead, typical symptoms of cocaine are psychological and manifest with behavioural changes.
- Beware of cravings: Cravings for cocaine can start in as little as 90 minutes after last use. Behavioural interventions effectively treat and manage cocaine cravings by discouraging drug use by replacing the high with alternative feel-good methods.
- The development of mental disorders: Depression, anxiety, irritability and intense sadness are common onsets of cocaine withdrawal.
- Suicide ideation or thoughts: As the brain no longer receives elevated dopamine levels, a “crash” is often seen in cocaine withdrawal, causing depression and low feelings to set in.
The severe nature of cocaine withdrawal means that you should put yourself in the hands of a medical professional when detoxing.
When a person with a cocaine use disorder abruptly stops, they will likely experience severe withdrawal symptoms that impact the mind.
Feelings of worthlessness will b common as you begin to slip away from the effects of the drug. Therefore, intervention is key to helping you overcome and manage these symptoms safely.
Don’t wait – get help now
A safe and effective recovery from cocaine is possible with the right help and intervention.
At Smarmore Castle, we offer a cocaine addiction recovery programme that delivers medically managed detoxes and proven therapies, alongside wellbeing, nutritional and pharmacological management.