Though cocaine is almost always associated with short-term effects that result in feelings of euphoria and extreme pleasure, the drug actually produces a large number of long-term side effects that can last well after the successful treatment of an addiction through the use of rehabilitation centers, counseling programs, social work services, and other avenues out of long-term addiction.
For those who have suffered from cocaine addiction in the past, it’s worth being aware of these side effects even if an addiction has been under control and in remission for a long period of time. Understanding potential long-term impacts of cocaine use and addiction can be extremely important when communicating with a doctor about health problems both now and in the future.
Heart Problems: Cocaine Places Individuals at Risk of High Blood Pressure and More
It should come as no surprise to those who know how cocaine works that the drug does place people more at risk of heart problems. One of the primary side effects of the drug comes from its “thrilling” nature. As the mind begins to feel more euphoric and at ease, the stimulative nature of cocaine causes the heart to race. This can overwork the heart very easily, placing it at risk of major problems in the future even after a cocaine addiction is well under control.
Typically, those individuals with an extensive cocaine usage history will find themselves with a tendency to have higher blood pressure than their non-addicted peers would experience as they age. High blood pressure can also be indicative of damage done to arteries during the addiction period. As most people should know, high blood pressure is unhealthy on its own, but it also places the patient at an elevated risk of heart attacks, strokes, and sudden death.
Mood Problems and Risky Behavior
One of the things most people don’t realize about cocaine is that it actually alters the way the body handles certain chemicals. It also changes the way the brain produces or breaks down essential chemicals related to everything from a person’s libido to their tendency to engage in risky behaviors for a “cheap thrill.”
A few long-lasting cocaine side effects are directly related to these changes in chemical composition. Many people with a prior addiction will experience sexual side effects, including erectile dysfunction. Those with a long-term addiction will also be more likely to suffer from mood disorders like depression or bipolar disease, and they’ll be far more likely to engage in risky behaviors both with other substances and their own actions. Many people with a long-term cocaine problem become increasingly irritable over tine, alienating the people around them if they are unable to control their mood swings.
Serious Side Effects, But Plenty of Hope for Those with an Addiction
Addictions can be tough to beat, but they’re certainly not impossible. At Safe Haven, we’re familiar with both the short-term and long-term side effects that result from cocaine usage and we’re prepared to help our patients overcome each of them. With personalized treatment and a caring ally in the fight against an addiction, we produce real, lifelong results for our patients that allow them to triumph over addiction once and for all.