Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

cocaine long term effects

After pleasurable effects that appear immediately and last only a few minutes to an hour, long-term effects of using cocaine lead to physical dependence and psychological disorders. Researches show that users have intense memories of the drug – memory cues can trigger craving for cocaine – even after long period of abstinence the risk for relapse occurs.

Cocaine makes the users feel super euphoric and energetic. They are talkative and usually don’t feel the need for food and sleep. The sensation of sight, sound and touch are more intense than usual, but all of these effects appearing almost immediately wear off within a couple of hours at most. These effects are accompanied by physiological effects such as increased heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. By increasing the dose users feel depressed and can have serious psychological and physiological problems: anxiety, panic, paranoia, insomnia, nausea, headaches, seizures...

The duration of cocaine’s effects depends on the way of administration (snorting, injecting or smoking). Either inhaled through the nose or injected into the bloodstream, the powdered form of cocaine starts to affect after few minutes and may last 15 to 30 minutes. Crack is a form of cocaine that can be smoked and the high intensity may last 5 to 10 minutes.

Faster administration - more intense high - shorter duration

Taken in small amounts cocaine creates pleasure and relaxation, feeling of euphoria, increases energy levels and self-confidence, while large amounts of this strong addictive stimulant make the user have bizarre and violent behavior.

Cocaine is a strong addictive stimulant that affects the brain by increasing levels of the dopamine. This neurotransmitter fills the body with good vibrations. The brain influenced by frequent use of cocaine starts to adapt to the drug. Users develop tolerance – they need a higher dose to reach the same initial level of pleasure. Repeated use of cocaine makes users lose their sense of smell and appetite. They experience weight loss, nosebleeds, hoarseness… At the same time they lose touch with reality and become more sensitive to adverse effects: restlessness, panic, paranoia, hallucinations.