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The Side Effects Of Cocaine Usage

Dec 6, 2007
Cocaine use is widespread in the United States and the drug is one of the most abused in the country. As a drug, cocaine is an extremely potent nervous system stimulant. Depending on the strength and how it's taken, the "high" associated with cocaine can last anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours. In short, cocaine is very potent, very addictive and very dangerous. To learn about some of the side effects associated with cocaine use, keep reading.

1. Heart Problems
Because the drug is so effective at stimulating the nervous system, what starts as general hyperactivity and increased blood pressure soon leads to a heightened heart rate. While these same effects cause the sense of euphoria that comes from using cocaine, they can also lead to heart attacks and future major heart problems.

Cocaine can be especially dangerous for users with a history of heart problems or high blood pressure. They are putting themselves at risk for heart failure. Heart problems often lead to death, which is part of the reason why using cocaine is so dangerous - whether you have a history or high risk for heart problems or not, cocaine use can cause serious heart problems for you.

2. Paranoia and Depression.
The euphoria caused by the initial rush that cocaine provides is often followed by discomfort or depression. These symptoms can be highlighted by an overwhelming sense of paranoia or twitching. Usually, these negative side effects increase with use. An overdose can often cause paranoid delusions, itching and sometimes hallucinations.

One effect of cocaine is that it raises the levels of serotonin and dopamine in a user's brain - giving them a "high." Unfortunately, when the "high" wears off, it is followed by a "crash," which if repeated can either lead to severe depression or magnify an existing mental problem.

3. Seizures or Strokes.
Because of the toxicity levels of most cocaine, combined with the increased heart rate, users are at a definite risk for seizures, respiratory failure, stroke or cerebral hemorrhaging.

4. Reduced Immune System.
Long term use of cocaine can break down your immune system and increase the risk of developing a number of auto-immune or connective tissue disorders such as vasculitis, lupus, Stevens-Johnsons syndromes and Goodpasture's disease. Use of cocaine can also lead to renal failure and kidney diseases.

5. Degraded nasal cartilage.
Long time use of cocaine will wear down at the cartilage inside your nose, eventually causing it to wear away completely, collapsing the nose or causing major respiratory problems.
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