December 21, 2023

Cocaine Side Effects

A woman staring out her window as she considers the Negative effects of cocaine

Cocaine is a Schedule II controlled stimulant that is fiercely addictive. There are many dangers and side effects associated with the recreational abuse of cocaine. This page highlights the following issues:

  • What are the effects of cocaine?
  • What are the long-term side effects of cocaine use?
  • Are the negative effects of cocaine reversible?
  • What is the effect of cocaine on the brain?
  • How can you connect with cocaine detox and addiction treatment services?

Short-Term Side Effects of Cocaine

Upon initial use, cocaine triggers short-term side effects that some people may find appealing. These cocaine side effects, which contribute to its allure, include sensations of euphoria, heightened energy levels, increased alertness, diminished appetite, and sleep requirements, as well as an inclination toward chattiness.

Short-term physiological and psychological negative effects of cocaine may include:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased blood pressure, body temperature, and heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Volatile or violent behavior
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds, sights, and touch
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia

Even if cocaine is only used once, it can cause significant and potentially fatal medical complications, which may include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Changes to heart rhythm
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Seizure

The method of cocaine ingestion significantly influences the short-term effects of cocaine use experienced. Snorting, smoking, or intravenous injection of cocaine can impact the onset, duration, and likelihood of developing an addiction. Injecting cocaine delivers the most potent effects due to rapid bloodstream absorption, followed by smoking (crack cocaine) and snorting (powdered cocaine). That said, a more intense high also corresponds to an increased risk of addiction.

A woman on a hike thinking about Side effects of cocaine

Long-Term Side Effects of Cocaine

The long-term side effects of cocaine can have a broad range of detrimental consequences, affecting both physical and mental health. Prolonged cocaine use can lead to the development of dependence, where the body becomes reliant on the drug, resulting in withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped. These symptoms can include anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, increased appetite, irritability, paranoia, sleep issues, and intense cravings, which increase the risk of relapse.

Withdrawal symptoms and overdose risks are particularly high after a period of abstinence when tolerance is reduced. Chronic cocaine use can also lead to neurological problems, such as the potential development of Parkinson’s disease, as well as cognitive impairments including memory loss, poor decision-making, lack of focus, impaired impulse control, and motor dysfunction. Other potentially serious side effects of coke abuse include risk of strokes, seizures, brain aneurysms, or bleeding in the brain is also increased.

The effects of coke abuse can contribute to paranoia, hallucinations, depression, psychosis, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal issues, significant weight loss, and dental problems. The negative effects can vary depending on the method of use, with snorting cocaine leading to a loss of smell, frequent nosebleeds, difficulty swallowing, sinus inflammation, and nasal septum damage. Smoking cocaine can result in a chronic cough, asthma, breathing difficulties, lung infections, and lung damage. Injecting cocaine carries risks of vein scarring, collapsed veins, skin or soft tissue infections, blood clot formation, bloodstream infections reaching organs, and a higher likelihood of contracting bloodborne diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.

What are the side effects of cocaine addiction, then?

Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction can have profound effects on various aspects of an individual’s life beyond the immediate symptoms. The side effects of coke addiction can extend to relationships, job performance, and overall lifestyle.

  • Relationships: Cocaine addiction often strains relationships with family members, friends, and romantic partners. The unpredictable behavior, mood swings, and financial instability associated with addiction can lead to trust issues, communication breakdowns, and strained or severed connections with loved ones.
  • Professional performance: Sustaining employment can become challenging for individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. Frequent absenteeism, poor performance, and impaired judgment can jeopardize job security and advancement opportunities. The inability to meet professional responsibilities may lead to job loss and difficulties in finding new employment.
  • Financial consequences: The financial toll of cocaine addiction can be significant. The cost of acquiring drugs, legal fees resulting from drug-related offenses, and potential loss of income due to job instability can create financial instability and debt. This, in turn, can lead to further stress and strained relationships.
  • Legal issues: Cocaine addiction increases the risk of engaging in illegal activities to support the habit. Possession, distribution, or involvement in drug-related criminal activities can result in legal consequences, including arrests, convictions, and imprisonment. Such legal issues can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s record, reputation, and future opportunities.
  • Overall lifestyle: Cocaine addiction often becomes all-consuming, leading to a decline in physical and mental health, neglect of personal responsibilities, and a focus primarily on obtaining and using the drug. Hobbies, interests, and goals may take a backseat to the constant pursuit and preoccupation with cocaine, resulting in a diminished quality of life.

Addressing and overcoming cocaine addiction through comprehensive treatment can help individuals regain control over their lives, rebuild relationships, and reestablish a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

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Get Treatment for Cocaine Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

Cocaine addiction responds favorably to evidence-based treatment and we can help you with this at Gratitude Lodge in Long Beach and Newport Beach, California.

Begin your cocaine addiction treatment with supervised detoxification at one of our pet-friendly beachside treatment centers. With medications to streamline withdrawal and ongoing clinical care to mitigate complications, you can address the issue of cocaine dependence with a tapered reduction in dosage before moving into ongoing inpatient treatment.

All Gratitude Lodge programs offer personalized treatment that may include any of the following interventions:

Call 800-994-2184 for assistance in living Xanax-free.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox, facilitating the beginnings of a successful recovery at our rehab addiction centers in Orange County, CA.

Drug detox can vary according to the patient’s addiction factors, including the substance abused, how long the addiction has lasted, the patient’s medical condition, if any other disorders are present, and more. Our skilled and credentialed team at Gratitude Lodge work closely with every patient going through drug detox.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse. Alcohol detox may not take as long or produce severe withdrawal symptoms, but it is still an essential beginning to your recovery.

Many patients don’t realize the toxicity of prolonged alcohol abuse and how it affects the body. Alcohol detox at the luxurious rehab addiction centers at Gratitude Lodge leeches your body of these toxins in preparation for successful treatment for drugs and alcohol abuse.
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Holistic Therapy

Our holistic therapy treatments offer a full-scope approach to recovery, addressing your mind, body, and emotions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. This therapy is designed to help address underlying issues and integrate alternative therapies to promote overall health and well-being.
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An essential part of your treatment experience, we offer individual (CBT and DBT talk therapy) and group addiction treatment counseling to help you explore and address the emotional component of addiction, providing you with the tools, self-awareness, and empowerment you need to maintain recovery.
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Dual Diagnosis

Dual Diagnosis is a highly effective addiction treatment that addresses substance use and mental health disorders simultaneously. Often co-occurring, these disorders are best managed when treated together with specific and targeted therapy.
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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatment provides you with FDA-approved medications to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal while you’re in treatment. This makes the detox process easier and safer, as well as increasing the chances of a successful recovery.
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Sober Living

Sober living provides a supportive and substance-free living environment for your ongoing recovery. We partner with a number of upscale and carefully vetted sober living homes that are available to our clients after inpatient alcohol and drug addiction treatment.
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Outpatient Treatment

Once detox and inpatient are complete, we provide an easy transition to outpatient care through our hand-selected partners. This program offers a more flexible approach, allowing you to ease back in to daily life while still receiving frequent & effective care.
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Inpatient treatment provides an intensive and comprehensive addiction treatment program in a structured environment. You will receive 24/7 expert care, therapy, and support as you build your foundation for long-term recovery.
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Drug & Alcohol Detox

A crucial first step in the recovery process, our detox program provides a comfortable, medically supervised environment that addresses the physical aspect of addiction and eliminates substances from your body.

Use Our 24 Hour text line. You can ask questions about our program, the admissions process, and more.