The effects of cocaine addiction on the body vary due to a host of factors—including cocaine purity, method of use, and dosage levels. However, even short-term cocaine addiction can cause damaging health effects, from congestion and shaking to serious respiratory and cardiac conditions.
The Effects of Cocaine Addiction on the Respiratory System
From the first experimentation with cocaine, the throat and nasal tissues begin to react, with symptoms varying largely by intake method. Snorting cocaine can lead to a variety of effects on the body, including congestion, crusting and nosebleeds. Additionally, sinus infections, swollen or itching throat and hoarseness can also be a consequence of snorting cocaine. The septum (the cartilage wall between the nostrils) is particularly damaged by snorting—especially with continued or high-dosage usage—leading to nasal secretions, or nasal wheezing colloquially known as “coke nose.”
Smoking rock cocaine (“crack”) leads to serious respiratory health effects. Chronic bronchitis, black or bloodied phlegm, difficulty breathing and chest pains commonly occur in frequent cocaine smokers. In fact, research shows that out of every 10 emergency room visits for cocaine related problems, four patients experience chest pains, while two find they encounter difficulty breathing entirely.
Other Effects of Cocaine Addiction on the Body
Many cocaine users experience anxiety and paranoia, leading to behaviors such as teeth grinding, shaking, involuntary muscle movements and even seizures. Some cocaine addicted individuals also find themselves with a tremendous amount of nausea, causing repeated vomiting, migraines, and a loss of balance. Temperature regulation can become extremely difficult in cocaine addicted individuals, as well—with many cocaine dependent people suffering from hypothermia and hypothermia.
Life Threatening Effects of Cocaine Addiction
Some of the health effects of cocaine addiction can be simply fatal. Those with cocaine addictions often have reduced blood flow to the heart, causing chest pains known as angina as well as hardened arteries. These two conditions can lead to cardiac arrest, even in teenagers. Additionally, long-term cocaine addictions can lend themselves to brain hemorrhaging, respiratory failure, kidney failure, or stroke. Ultimately, the body can also begin to slow down to a near-halt, crashing blood pressure, dangerously slowing heart rate, and suppressing breathing—resulting in coma or even loss of life.
Call Passages Addiction Treatment Center today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by dialing our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.
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