It’s not uncommon for people to use hard drugs as a form of recreation. Interestingly, many people also choose to use cocaine despite the many inherent risks associated with it.
For those who are unaware of how it can affect your body, we’ve put together some of the most dangerous facts about cocaine. Let’s get started with what you need to know.
1. Users Are at an Increased Risk of a Stroke or Heart Attack
Unfortunately, even short-term use of cocaine can drastically increase the chance that you will experience a stroke or heart attack later on in life. This is strictly due to the fact that cocaine use has the potential to raise your blood pressure, thicken the walls of your heart, and harden your arteries.
Of course, this risk exponentially increases the more often that you use cocaine. Long-term users will have a significantly higher chance of encountering the above health issues compared to the average person.
Due to this, virtually no amount of cocaine is safe to use. Additionally, smoking or injecting cocaine increases this risk even further as opposed to snorting the substance.
2. Cocaine Is Highly Addictive
One of the primary reasons why so many people engage in long-term cocaine use is due to how addictive it can be. It is widely known that even a small amount of cocaine can cause a feeling of euphoria.
Users may also feel as if though they are invincible or as if nothing could go wrong in their lives.
This experience is often short-lived and the user will often begin to return to their normal mental state within minutes. However, gradually descending from a high of this intensity can cause the user to feel anxious, depressed, etc.
In order to escape this feeling, they may continue using cocaine to re-achieve the dopamine release. Depending on the setting, this type of behavior could continue for hours.
Generally, cocaine use starts as a recreational activity that takes place during social gatherings.
However, becoming addicted to the feeling of euphoria that it gives you could result in someone becoming a habitual cocaine user and abnormal settings. For example, people may begin to regularly use cocaine before going to work, attending a public event, or even before leaving the house.
In extreme cases, someone may choose to use cocaine instead of handling other obligations, such as picking up their children from school.
3. It’s Possible to Overdose
When most people think of the term ‘overdose,’ they often think of drugs that you ingest (such as pills) or drugs that you inject (such as heroin). Due to the fact that snorting cocaine is the most common way to administer it, many people tend to neglect the possibility of overdosing.
However, using large amounts of the substance within a short period of time carries significant risk. Most prominently, a cocaine overdose involves heart failure, a cerebral hemorrhage, stroke, or seizure.
This risk increases further if cocaine use is combined with other types of drugs.
As previously mentioned, the chances of experiencing adverse consequences from cocaine use are considerably higher if you choose to smoke or inject the substance. This is due to the fact that it can be more difficult to gauge the amount of cocaine that you are using as well as how easy it is to take too much at once.
4. Cocaine Withdrawal Is Serious
The longer that you use cocaine on a regular basis, the more likely you are to experience withdrawal symptoms. For this drug, in particular, withdrawal is a serious condition to deal with.
Primary symptoms include an inability to concentrate, overwhelming depression, suicidal thoughts, and muscle aches.
In severe cases, withdrawal symptoms could put your life at risk. Additionally, those who relapse after attempting to kick their cocaine habit typically binge on this drug.
This creates a situation where their tolerance is lower than it used to be due to having briefly discontinued using the drug. However, the user may attempt to consume an amount of cocaine they were previously accustomed to using.
This can easily lead to an overdose or severe health complications. In many circumstances, dealing with cocaine withdrawal requires professional assistance.
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5. Long-Term Use Can Physically Alter Your Brain
Many people are unaware of the fact that long-term cocaine use has the potential to physically modify your brain. One of the most prominent effects includes the deterioration of grey matter, which is partly responsible for processing information within the brain.
So, a loss of gray matter will significantly impair cognitive function.
Frequent cocaine use also affects the way your body releases dopamine. The dopamine spike associated with using this drug could alter the way in which your brain handles this chemical, and you might even find that activities you previously enjoyed are no longer satisfying.
In rare cases, a long-term cocaine user may not be able to achieve a feeling of euphoria or joy without using the drug.
It’s Essential to Remember These Facts About Cocaine
Doing so can help prevent a number of health consequences in the future. So, keep these facts about cocaine in mind to ensure that you avoid this type of behavior and understand how to recognize when somebody else needs help.
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