Cocaine Use: 10 Most Common Health Effects

How Cocaine Use Affects the Body

Main side effects of chronic cocaine use. S...

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Cocaine can have many different effects on the user’s body and mind. These effects, however, depend on several factors such purity of the cocaine, the quantity and the way that the drug enters the body. The emotional and mental state of the drug user can also play a part in the way that the drug affects the system.

Below are some of the signs and the symptoms of a cocaine abuse:

Cocaine Use and the Nervous System

Cocaine can have varied effects on the nervous system. Some users have experiences that are pleasurable. For example users have been reported to have feelings of excitement, increased energy levels, and euphoria. They also experience less tiredness and hunger and become increasingly social. On the other hand there could also be effects that are just the opposite. Restlessness, nausea, vertigo, headaches, dilated pupils and irritability are some of the not so pleasant side effects.

How Cocaine Use Affects the Brain

Cocaine plays havoc and interferes with the way that a lot of the chemicals in the brain respond. The neurotransmitters — dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, etc. —  are the most affected . The resulting chemical imbalance of cocaine use is responsible for  most of the major complications related to cocaine abuse.

Respiratory problems

Cocaine is generally sniffed or snorted and this causes substantial damage to the nasal tract. Recurring nosebleeds, stuffiness, hoarseness and sinusitis are some of the most common problems faced by cocaine users. The cartilage in between both the nostrils also is damaged as the blood supply to this area often is decreased.

“Coke nose” is a condition that cocaine users frequently experience. This occurs when the septum has a hole or perforation, which in turn results in a whistling sound when breathing.

Effects of Cocaine Use on the lungs

When cocaine is generally smoked with the help of a glass pipe or cigarettes, the resulting residue can lead to chronic coughing of black phlegm and chronic bronchitis. Inhaling the drug can also cause chest pains, shortness of breath, neck pain and even total respiratory failure.

Effects on the Sympathetic Nervous System

One of the biggest effects of the drug is that it acts as a stimulant to the sympathetic nervous system thus interfering with the functioning of epinephrine and adrenaline. This in turn results in high blood pressure, the narrowing of the blood vessels and an increase in the heart rate. This could often lead to a heart attack.

Other effects on the cardiovascular system

Among other complications due to cocaine use, there could also be symptoms such as abnormal or irregular heart beat, the walls of the aorta weakening, diseases related to the heart muscles and angina which is caused due to a decrease in the amount of blood flowing to the heart. All these could lead to heart attacks.

Over stimulation

As explained earlier, cocaine also causes over stimulation, which results in high blood pressure, and increased heart rate. Abnormal heart rates that could be ventricular fibrillation can result in sudden death.


Like any other drug, cocaine is lethal to a pregnant woman as the drug directly affects the fetus. Cocaine use when pregnant can result in miscarriages and still births. The babies that do make it into this world run a high risk of deformities at birth, and abnormal behavior.


Administrating cocaine by means of IV is the cause for various infections such as tetanus, abscesses in the brain or the lung, hepatitis C and B and HIV are also causes due to sharing of needles.

Other major effects

Apart from all of the above, cocaine use can also result strokes, low blood pressure, unconsciousness, coma, and hyperthermia.

This Article is written by Lena Butler, the author of Home Testing Kits a longer version of this article is located at 10 Most Common Health Side Effects of Cocaine Abuse, and resources from other home health and wellness testing articles are used such as Hepatitis C Test. Article from



Cocaine Use in the News:

Thomson assistant alleges cocaine use
HARRISONBURG — The assistant for a former Winchester prosecutor who faces a number of federal charges plans to plead guilty to two of her own in U.S. District Court on Monday.
Read more on The Northern Virginia Daily

Designer drug bans urged by UN
Bans on whole classes of substances should be adopted to curb rapid spread of designer drugs, report says The development of designer drugs is escalating so fast that national governments need to adopt generic bans on new substances, the UN’s drug agency has urged. The International Narcotics Control Board reports that illicit opium production in Afghanistan halved during last year to 3,600 …
Read more on Guardian Unlimited

Billings woman acquitted of cocaine distribution
A Billings woman admitted that she, her husband and his boss snorted cocaine they bought from an ex-Outlaws football player but denied distributing the drug.
Read more on Billings Gazette



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