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4 Risks of Using Cocaine

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Severe Risks of Cocaine Use

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and a powerful stimulant that originates from coca leaves. It has various uses and can be snorted, smoked, or injected. No matter its use, the health risks of cocaine usage are severe.

1. Heart Attack

Cocaine may stimulate a person's central nervous system, but it also causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, disrupting the heart's electrical signals. As your heart begins to beat faster, the drug narrows your body's capillaries and blood vessels, putting added stress on your vascular system. The effects of cocaine are immediate and can cause a person to experience a heart attack with their first dose.

Cocaine use can also cause hardened arteries and inflammation of the heart muscle, leading to long-term heart disease or even heart failure.

2. Stroke

The use of cocaine can increase a person's risk for an ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes are one of three types of stroke and are caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. The blockage reduces blood flow and oxygen to the brain, leading to severe brain damage or even death.

Because cocaine is such a fast-acting drug, the risk of having a stroke is often highest in the first few hours after cocaine usage.

3. Overdose

An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of a drug to produce life-threatening symptoms or death. Ingesting large amounts of cocaine or mixing it with other substances such as alcohol or heroin can lead to overdose. The other common way an overdose can occur is when the user uses more of it incrementally as the high begins to wear off and loses track of how much they have had.

Symptoms of cocaine overdose may be more difficult to detect because of the euphoria the drug creates. If you believe you are witnessing or experiencing an overdose, seek medical attention immediately by calling 911.

4. Addiction

Similar to other drugs, cocaine is highly addictive. Cocaine causes a rise in dopamine levels but prevents the brain from absorbing the dopamine, creating an excess of the body's pleasure chemical. Once the drug wears off and the dopamine level falls, the user may experience intense feelings of anxiety and depression. The user then begins to realize they feel worse when they aren't taking the drug and continue to ingest it to avoid those negative emotions.

Know Your Treatment Options. Call Tennessee Wellness Center

If you suspect your loved one is struggling with a cocaine addiction, the team at Tennessee Wellness Center can help. We believe in providing a whole-person, family-oriented approach to drug addiction treatment. If you would like to learn more about our cocaine addiction treatments, we encourage you to get in touch with a member of the Tennessee Wellness Center family. Call us at (865) 205-2770 or contact us online today.