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Cocaine Effects

Cocaine is capable of producing many effects on a user, including both positive and negative feelings.  The main effect is the sense of euphoria that is felt soon after taking the drug.  There is a sense of overall confidence and alertness, coupled with increased happiness and a carefree attitude.  This is the main reason why so many take cocaine to begin with.  They are looking for this effect. It is also this effect that shadows the other, less pleasurable effects.

Short Term Cocaine Effects

When using cocaine, the route of administration affects how the drug reacts with the body.  Smoking, injecting and snorting all result in almost immediate effects because they send the drug directly to the brain in a short amount of time. As soon as cocaine hits the brain, there is a rush of energy.  Users may talk faster than normal and appear jittery.  Pupils dilate and there is a sense of excitement all around the user.  However, in some people, these positive effects are also accompanied by irritability and anxiety.  Cocaine can even cause paranoia.

How Cocaine Effects the Body

cocaine-withdrawWell, when cocaine is ingested, the heart rate and blood pressure increase, while the arteries are constricting throughout the body.  Because the arteries deliver blood to the heart, there is a risk of heart attack while taking cocaine, regardless of age or overall health.  This can also lead to abnormal heart rhythm, which is a potentially fatal occurrence. Cocaine use also constricts blood vessels, which has led to strokes and seizures in some users.

Over time, regular snorting of cocaine can lead to nose and sinus irritation.  After prolonged use, the internal structure of the nose may be destroyed altogether, possibly resulting in a deviated septum.

Regardless of the route of administration, over time cocaine’s arterial constriction can lead to oxygen starvation.  In the digestive tract, this lack of oxygen results in ulcers and gangrene in severe cases.

Rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle fibers are broken down rapidly and enter the bloodstream, can lead to kidney failure and death.  This condition has been shown to occur more frequently in cocaine users.

How Cocaine Effects Your Motor Skills

fustrated-driverWhile many users believe that the increased alertness caused by cocaine makes them better drivers, the studies prove otherwise.  Reports show that drivers under the influence of cocaine have higher occurrences of speeding, loss of control, inattentiveness and cutting off other drivers. In addition, as cocaine begins to fade in the system, the user feels sluggish and overly tired, which can be potentially dangerous if they are driving.

The dangers are multiplied when cocaine is mixed with alcohol, as it often is. One study in Barcelona showed that the mix of alcohol with cocaine may reduce one’s ability to perceive drunkenness, which may lead someone to drive when they are not capable of driving safely.

How Cocaine Effects Your Emotions

Cocaine use has been linked to depression, slow mental functioning over time, loss of motivation, and lack of satisfaction in one’s life when not under the influence of the drug. Some users have increased aggression and hostility hen not on the drug, after prolonged exposure. These emotions are amplified when dealing with cocaine withdraw.

When cocaine addiction occurs, the user may take the drug in order to feel “normal.”  Suddenly, life without cocaine feels like so abnormal that users cannot stand it.  They stay on a track of addiction and abuse that will eventually lead to much greater problems, including potential death.

Read more on how long cocaine stays in your system.