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How Cocaine Affects The Body &Ndash; Short and Long Term

Cocaine is a drug produced from the leaves of a coca plant. The coca plant in its natural form has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes including as a topical anesthetic.

Cocaine is a drug produced from the leaves of a coca plant. The coca plant in its natural form has   been used for centuries for medicinal purposes including as a topical anesthetic. Cocaine was originally developed in the 1800s as an ingredient that could be ingested to help relieve ailments. Yet, it was soon discovered that cocaine was highly addictive and could cause health problems, including death. Cocaine was soon banned in the U.S. as a publicly available drug. Only medical grade cocaine was allowed for use by physicians for medical care. But cocaine had become known for its short term effects in stimulating the body and producing feelings of euphoria. Thus, it has become one of the most popular illicit drugs on the street today.

The short term effects of cocaine or “the high” is why one generally uses cocaine. Users generally sniff/snort, inject, or smoke the drug to achieve a high. As the drug enters the blood stream, it stimulates the central nervous system creating a feeling of euphoria, which can last up to 30 minutes.  During this time the blood vessels become constricted; heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature increase; and pupils become dilated. This makes most users feel mentally alert, euphoric, and energized although some users experience irritability, anxiety, and restlessness. Users who go on repeat binge use of cocaine will typically begin to feel more restless, irritable, and anxious than euphoric. Some may even experience paranoia and hallucinations.

The long term effects of cocaine are not glamorous or euphoric by any means. Those who chose to snort are at risk for regular nose bleeds, deterioration of the septum, loss of smell, problems swallowing, and gangrene of the bowels. Those who smoke the drug risk lung damage and lung disease including difficulty breathing, chest pain, and similar damage as one who smokes tobacco. Injecting the drug increases the risk of HIV, hepatitis, and other blood born or diseases related to needle sharing. Regardless of how the drug is consumed, chronic cocaine use can lead to seizures, abdominal pain, headaches, nausea, heart attack, stroke, respiratory failure, and ultimately death.

Advanced cocaine addiction treatment centers are now available with state of the art technology to address cocaine addiction and its effects on the body as a whole. Modern brain scan technology and integrative programs of care can address the emotional, physical, psychological, and neurological root of cocaine addiction. These treatment centers can provide a successful and sustainable recovery from cocaine addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with a cocaine addiction, seek help today.

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