Known to be the “caviar of street drugs,” cocaine is known to be one of the more expensive drugs used to get high. While such a title may make it seem sensationalized, the fact is that the drug has extremely powerful and negative effects on just about every aspect of your health, including both long-term and short-term effects of cocaine addiction on your heart, your brain, and your emotions.
The Many Names of Cocaine
Cocaine is also known on the street as “coke,” “crack,” or “rock” and those are just a few of the more common names. The powdered form is what is normally known as “coke.” This powder is generally dissolved in water by the user and is then snorted through the nasal cavity or is injected intravenously into veins. The freebase form is known as crack cocaine and is still in rock form. This form of the drug is smoked through what is commonly known as a crack pipe. Regardless of how a user ingests this drug of abuse, its effects on the body are almost instantaneous, which means damage to the body is almost immediate upon use of the drug.
As soon as it enters your bloodstream, cocaine immediately begins to block the chemicals in your bloodstream that your body needs in order to run smoothly. By blocking these chemicals from being used appropriately within your body, you begin to have a buildup of chemicals, which is what causes you to feel high after using the drug.
Physical Feelings of Use
This feeling of being high may include the following physical feelings:
- Increased energy
- Elevated mood
- A feeling of paranoia
- Anxiety attacks
Physically, you may also notice that someone who is high on the drug has dilated pupils and overly-exuberant speech.
While the user of cocaine may enjoy the feeling of being high, the fact is that using the drug has extremely negative consequences. As soon as it enters the blood stream, the person’s heart rate immediately increases. This means that blood pressure increases and the arteries that supply blood to one’s heart are constricted. This reaction to the drug within the heart can actually cause an immediate heart attack and even if a heart attack does not occur, damage to the heart is rapidly occurring which means that heart disease is rampant in those that choose to use the drug. If the thought of a heart attack isn’t enough to scare people away from using cocaine, then perhaps the thought of having an immediate stroke will. The blood vessels of the brain also constrict with use of the drug which can cause strokes. The long-term effects of the drug within the brain can also cause extremely violent behaviors within users.
Harmful Effects of Cocaine Use
Other harmful effects of cocaine are permanent lung damage in the user who snorts the drug. Snorting will also damage the lining of the nose and sinuses which means you can become prone to constant nosebleeds and actually develop ulcers within your sinus passages which can be extremely painful. Ulcers may also develop in your stomach due to an interruption of blood flow to your digestive track. Kidney failure may occur due to the high blood pressure that is a result of using the drug, and regular usage may also cause sexual dysfunction in male users.
While the high that is associated with the use of cocaine may sound appealing at first, the devastating and potentially deadly side effects are definitely not worth it. Before using the drug, please consider the crack cocaine statistics and cocaine facts for the damage that it will have on your health.