Long-term Physical Side Effects of Cocaine, And Treatment Options
The use of cocaine can evoke a number of both seriously and not-so-serious side effects for the user. Long-term physical side effects may impact the user’s overall ability to function and operate comfortably. Seizures, heart problems and damage to the organs are common for long term cocaine users.
What are the Long Term Effects of this Drug?
The long-term side effects associated with cocaine abuse are often much more dangerous, more persistent, and more difficult to treat. These can include:
- Heart disease
- Lung damage and breathing problems
- Damage to the nasal septum, nosebleeds, hoarseness of the throat, problems swallowing (when snorting)
- Track marks, allergic reactions (when injecting)
- Bowel gangrene (when ingesting)
- Sexual dysfunction
- Reproductive damage and infertility
- Severe weight loss and malnourishment
Is there Treatment?
Many of these issues can be treated with medical attention and time. For instance, many addiction treatment centers provide nutritional classes to patients so they can learn how to better care for themselves in the future and to gain weight to reverse malnourishment.
Sometimes, a person may overdose on cocaine and require immediate treatment to avoid stroke, heart attack, respiratory depression, and death. Cocaine overdose is often treated with submerging the patient in cold water, benzodiazepines for seizures or tachycardia, ventilation (when necessary), and defibrillators, if the individual’s heart stops.
Unfortunately, though, some of the long-term physical side effects of cocaine abuse cannot be treated or otherwise cannot be reversed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Regularly snorting cocaine… can lead to loss of sense of smell,” and this cannot usually be rectified with treatment. However, most of the physical side effects experienced by cocaine users are treatable if medical care is administered in time, and most of these will take less time for the individual to overcome, unlike the often prolonged, psychological side effects of cocaine abuse.
It’s best to have a support system in place to assist you in your recovery efforts. Without help, you could relapse, find yourself permanent suffering from side effects that may have been treatable, or you may never make the decision to get sober—and stay sober. Get help by calling today.