Three Dangerous Complications of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine is a highly addictive illicit drug that is classified as stimulant. The term “stimulant” refers to substances that have the ability to temporarily improve mental and physical functions. Cocaine is addictive due to the way it affects the body’s reward system. Abusing cocaine leads to feelings of pleasure which eventually lead to drug cravings and compulsive drug use. Cocaine abuse rewires the brain and alters a person’s ability to make decisions, thus making it more likely that he or she will continue to use cocaine, even when facing negative consequences.

Cocaine use is dangerous and often leads to mental and physical health complications, as well as addiction. In fact, cocaine is significantly more dangerous than all amphetamines. Listed below are three dangerous complications that can result from cocaine abuse:

  • Heart attack and stroke. Cocaine use has a profound impact on the cardiovascular system. The effects of cocaine use include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and the constriction of the veins that supply blood flow to the heart. These effects can result in heart attack, even in young, healthy users who are not otherwise at risk for heart problems. Cocaine use also constricts the vessels that supply blood to the brain, which can result in a stroke.
  • Suicidal thoughts. There is no safe dose of cocaine. Any amount of cocaine use can lead to an addiction. Once a person is addicted to cocaine, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms in between instances of use. Cocaine withdrawal symptoms tend to be more psychological than physical and may include suicidal thoughts. Other symptoms of cocaine withdrawal include depression, anxiety, inability to concentrate, and an inability to experience pleasure.
  • Kidney failure. Cocaine abuse puts the user at risk for kidney failure. A process known as rhabdomyoyolsis, which is a breakdown of muscle tissue, can quickly lead to overwhelming kidney failure in cocaine users. Kidney failure inhibits the body’s ability to filter out waste products. The results of kidney failure can be deadly.

These and other risks of cocaine abuse can be prevented if the user seeks addiction treatment as soon as possible. High quality addiction treatment utilizes multiple methods to help users overcome physical and psychological addiction. Addiction treatment methods typically include medical detoxification, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and holistic therapy.

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