The greatest risks of cocaine addiction relate to health, and while it does have an impact upon lifestyle and relationships as well, it’s hard not to acknowledge risks that can shorten life expectancy.
With cocaine addiction health effects, there is the potential for an addict’s life expectancy to be only 5 years from the time they begin their heavy addiction. There are other health symptoms that surface as well that might not be fatal as well. Some of them can be reversible when drug use is stopped, but others are permanent with lasting, life-long affects.
Drug addicts don’t always think about the consequences of their actions when they use a drug for the first time. They think they’re just using it casually to let loose. But with cocaine 75% of users develop an addiction, even after just one time and an addiction leads to serious cocaine addiction health effects.
The health effects of cocaine can begin immediately with use, and these short-term effects are those that do. Many of these symptoms may disappear when drug use is stopped, but there’s also the potential for the damage to be lasting and that’s a serious risk even just from short-term use.
Cocaine addicts risk the following short-term health effects with their drug use:
- Frequent nosebleeds when cocaine is snorted.
- Problems with swallowing, hoarseness of the throat, or throat pain
- Infections at the site of injection
- High blood pressure and body temperatures which can be the most serious of the short-term effects.
The short-term health risks outlined above may be warning signs evident to others. Addicts may not be willing to acknowledge the risks they’re posing to themselves, but friends and family may be able to intervene.
Most of the short-term effects of cocaine are merely temporary, but the long-term health effects are even greater risks and they can be long-lasting. 15,000 Americans die annually due to cocaine use, and some of these deaths can be attributed to the long-term risks of cocaine use.
- Heart problems – cocaine use causes blood pressure to rise and body temperature to increase. As these things occur, the heart needs to pump faster to keep up with the hyperactive state of the body. This can place far too much stress upon the heart and cardiac system. There is the potential that these symptoms may cause cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest is a serious risk, and symptoms may surface suddenly without warning, giving no opportunity for addicts to seek medical help.
- Stroke –the cause of stroke in cocaine addicts is similar to cardiac arrest. It can also surface without warning and lead to sudden death in some circumstances.
- HIV/Aids – while HIV is not a direct risk of cocaine use, it can be contracted by individuals that share needles. Long-term drug users can get careless with their habits so this is always a risk.
- Gangrene in the bowels – gangrene in the bowels or other digestive issues can appear due to injecting cocaine. Drug treatment centers for such an issue can be as severe as bowel resection.
- Loss of sense of smell – loss of a sense like smell may not put a cocaine addict’s life at risk, but once sense of smell is lost, it can be permanent.
In addition to the health risks that are most prevalent, there are a number of different lifestyle risks of cocaine. Cocaine has been linked to crime and poor choices. It can disrupt daily life and compromise work and education. Relationships are typically at risk as well when addicts begin to distance themselves from people in their lives who disapprove or that aren’t part of the drug use lifestyle.
Cocaine addicts risk their lives in many different ways when they are using, and treatment is the only option to help them turn their lives around.