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Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction

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A friend of yours offered you cocaine several years ago as a way to ease your symptoms of anxiety and depression. While at first it worked and allowed you to escape temporarily, it was never permanent, and now your moods are getting worse. 

Even so, something about cocaine keeps you coming back to it. At this point, you’re managing your old depression and anxiety alongside the guilt and self-loathing that’s coming from your use. And it seems like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t stay away from it. Will this cycle last forever? Will you ever feel healthy or happy again?

In 2019, around 3,800 people received treatment for a cocaine use disorder in California. In other words, you’re not alone. The good news is that recovery is possible, and with help, you can break free from the chains of addiction. Pacific Sands Recovery Center is a small facility with a 6-client maximum and private rooms, which allows us to focus on your unique needs. Today, we are going to discuss cocaine addiction side effects. 

Cocaine Use Disorder Side Effects

When you take cocaine, it often comes with several side effects. You might view some of the side effects of cocaine use as positives. These effects often motivate you to keep taking cocaine because they make you feel good. However, there are also side effects of cocaine that are dangerous or uncomfortable.

The Method of Using Cocaine Impacts Side Effects

How you decide to ingest cocaine can dictate what side effects you may experience as a result of your cocaine use. For example, someone who snorts cocaine may be more likely to have nosebleeds or nose damage than someone who injects cocaine. People who inject cocaine might be more likely to get HIV or Hepatitis C.

Cocaine Side Effects Timeline

When someone is taking cocaine, they experience two stages: a high and a crash. Both of these stages come with side effects. How long the high lasts depends on your method of taking cocaine. Typically, snorting or swallowing cocaine may result in you feeling the effects of a high within a few minutes; however, smoking or injecting it can result in these effects starting within a few seconds. These effects are typically felt for 10-60 minutes, depending on circumstances such as how much cocaine you are using, the use of other substances, and the method by which you are using cocaine. However, there can also be side effects that continue in the long-term.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Short-term effects of cocaine use can happen at any time you take cocaine. It doesn’t matter if it is the 1st time you are taking cocaine or the 100th time you have taken cocaine. Some of the short-term effects of cocaine use that you may experience include:

  • Euphoria
  • Energy
  • Mental alertness
  • Decreased need for food or sleep
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Overdose

Long-Term Health Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Long-term effects of cocaine use occur after repeated use of cocaine. Repeated use of cocaine can make you more likely to develop a cocaine addiction, and these effects can result in a decline in relationships or appetite as you become more interested in cocaine. You may also build up a tolerance requiring you to take more cocaine to feel the same short-term effects. You may also regularly engage in binges to feel the effects for longer. However, these might result in feelings of irritability, paranoia, and panic attacks. You are also at an increased risk for strokes, seizures, and impaired cognitive functions with long-term use.

How you take cocaine can also determine what types of long-term effects you might experience. For example, if your method of choice is to snort cocaine, you are more likely to have long-term effects such as loss of sense of smell, irritation of the nasal septum, and frequent nose bleeds. Smoking cocaine can result in damage to the lungs, or if you have asthma, it may make your asthma worse. Injecting cocaine can result in contracting diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV. 

physical and mental effects of cocaine use

Cocaine’s Effects on the Body and Mind

Cocaine can harm both the mind and the body. These effects impact the overall state of your health. In some cases, receiving treatment for cocaine use may be able to prevent further damage. 

Physiological Side Effects of Cocaine Misuse

Cocaine can cause several psychiatric concerns, such as mood disorders, hallucinations, and anxiety. People might also have a difficult time with sleep and appetite. Paranoia is also a common possibility when people use cocaine over some time. Some people might also have thoughts of suicide due to depression caused by frequent use of cocaine. People will also experience symptoms of withdrawal once cocaine use has stopped. During this time, serotonin drops, and symptoms such as anxiety, hostility, and depression may occur. 

Physical Effects of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine overdose is one of the possible physical side effects of taking cocaine. It can happen if someone takes cocaine only one time or if they take it multiple times. However, it is most likely to occur if someone engages in binges or has gone without cocaine for a while and returns to use. An overdose is a medical emergency and requires the calling of 911. 

Cocaine can also damage parts of the body. For example, many people lose significant weight or experience malnourishment due to cocaine decreasing their appetite. It can also cause harm to the heart and cardiovascular system because it can reduce blood flow and put people at risk of developing heart attacks or strokes. 

health impacts cocaine addiction side effects

Get Help With Cocaine Addiction Treatment in Santa Ana, CA

The “high” produced by cocaine can make people want to continue using it. However, the adverse side effects may make people decide they need to let cocaine go, which can feel troublesome. You might feel like no matter how hard you try, you can’t shake the draw cocaine has in your life. Help is available. By seeking cocaine detox, you will experience exposure to a valuable experience that will support you throughout your recovery progress.

We treat our Pacific Sands Recovery Center clients like people, not numbers. Our luxurious facility in Santa Ana, CA, is solution-focused. We explore what has worked for clients in the past. If you are ready to start today or have questions or concerns, call us at 949-426-7962.


  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


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