What Happens To Your Body When You Use Cocaine?
What Happens To Your Body When You're On Cocaine

What Happens To Your Body When You Use Cocaine?

As with all stimulant drugs, the effects of cocaine vary depending on the potency, purity, and quantity of the drug you ingest, as well as your health, body mass, and chemistry.

It is hard to predict the exact effect of any drug, which is why taking drugs is never risk-free.

Cocaine is a stimulant drug – or ‘upper’ – which means it speeds up the messages between your brain and body, causing feelings of euphoria and heightened confidence.

How does Cocaine work?

Cocaine blocks the dopamine transporters in the brain, causing an overproduction of this naturally occurring chemical. Dopamine regulates the pleasure centre of the brain and the amount of dopamine you naturally produce determines our sex drive, appetite, and general feelings of happiness. As the brain goes into overproduction, you will experience extreme versions of perfectly normal feelings and desires.

When you are high on cocaine you may experience

  • Euphoria
  • Out-of-character levels of confidence
  • Feelings of invincibility
  • Increased libido
  • Loss of appetite
  • Illusions of grandeur, extreme strength, and mental clarity
  • Seemingly limitless energy levels

However, the overstimulation of your receptors and the overproduction of dopamine also has immediate negative effects, including

  • Anxiety, agitation, and panic
  • Paranoia
  • Dry mouth
  • Hyperventilation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature

Cocaine can also cause you to feel indifferent to physical pain, which means you are more likely to engage in dangerous activities, damage yourself and then aggravate injuries by ignoring them.

Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Yes, you can absolutely overdose on cocaine. If you misjudge the strength or quantity of any drug, you are likely to take more than your body can handle and there is no way of knowing for sure how much that might be.

If you take too much cocaine, cocaine that is too strong or cocaine that is ‘cut’ with a different harmful substance, you might experience

  • High anxiety
  • Chest pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Brain haemorrhage
  • Stroke

What are the Risks of taking Cocaine?

In the worst-case scenario, a cocaine overdose will leave you comatose or dead. However, even if that doesn’t happen, there are many risks involved in cocaine use. If you use cocaine regularly or overdose, you may develop:

  • Depression
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Insomnia and other sleeping disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Heart conditions
  • Cerebral atrophy (brain wastage leading to permanently impaired cognitive functioning)
  • Eating disorders
  • Hallucinations

Depending on how you ingest cocaine, you may also develop

  • A perforated septum (from snorting cocaine)
  • Breathing difficulties, chronic bronchitis, chronic respiratory disease (from smoking cocaine)
  • Tissue damage, collapsed veins, blood-borne viruses (from injecting cocaine)

Cocaine has the potential to wreak absolute havoc with your physical and mental health, even in its purest forms. The added risk of unknown substances being used to ‘cut’ any given batch of the drug means that you are also putting yourself in danger of side effects usually not associated with cocaine, such as abscesses and liver failure.

Learn more about cocaine addiction treatment here.

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