Author: Alex Thompson

Short & Long-Term Health Risks & Effects of Cocaine

which issue is related to long term cocaine use

That means it takes less of it to cause negative effects like anxiety and convulsions. Your chances of getting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are higher if you use cocaine. Some research has suggested that cocaine damages the way immune cells work in your body, which could make HIV worse.

Cardiac complications resulting from cocaine use have been extensively studied because of the complicated pathophysiological mechanisms. This study aims to review the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of acute and chronic effects of cocaine on the cardiovascular system with a specific focus on human studies. Studies have consistently reported the acute effects of cocaine on the heart (e.g., electrocardiographic abnormalities, acute hypertension, arrhythmia, and acute myocardial infarction) through multifactorial mechanisms. However, variable results have been reported for the chronic effects of cocaine. Some studies found no association of cocaine use with coronary artery disease (CAD), while others reported its association with subclinical coronary atherosclerosis. These inconsistent findings might be due to the heterogeneity of study subjects with regard to cardiac risk.

Cardiovascular complications in this long-term followed-up cohort were less frequent than expected, despite the extensive scientific literature on CUD and acute coronary syndrome (Lippi et al., 2010; Carrillo et al., 2011). However, the results are consistent with those reported in other cohorts with low frequency of coronary ischemic complications (Qureshi et al., 2014). Cox regression model for predictors of hospitalization and death in a cohort of 175 patients admitted for treatment of CUD in metropolitan Barcelona, Spain. In terms of ED admissions, 19% were related to trauma/injuries (i.e., fractures, contusions, wounds), 19% to non-specific/unclassified symptoms, 10% to substance use, and 8.5% to mental disorder. ED admissions or hospitalizations by (A) sex and (B) HIV infection status in a cohort of 175 patients admitted for treatment of CUD in metropolitan Barcelona, Spain.

Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Cocaine on Cardiovascular Health

This study defined regular cocaine use as using cocaine at least monthly during the year prior to when the study was conducted. The study findings showed that cocaine users had higher systolic blood pressure (134 ± 11 vs. 126 ± 11 mm Hg), increased aortic stiffness, and greater LV mass (124 ± 25 vs. 105 ± 16 g) compared with cocaine non-users. Cocaine-induced cardiotoxicity can result in deleterious effects on the heart and vessels through multifactorial pathophysiological mechanisms, as described above.

Cocaine affects appetite and body weight through multifactorial mechanisms. As mentioned previously, cocaine inhibits the reuptake of dopamine by interacting with the dopamine transporter, resulting in increased levels of dopamine in the central nervous system. Subsequently, changes in dopamine levels affect eating behavior and body weight [103,104,105].

  1. There is a lengthy list of negative effects that cocaine can have on the respiratory system, and many of these risks arise as a result of inhaling it.
  2. Behavioral therapies are often the only available effective treatment for many drug use problems, including cocaine use.
  3. At high doses, cocaine-induced local anesthesia results in decreased left ventricular (LV) contractibility and prolongation of QRS and QT intervals in electrocardiograms by blocking sodium transport and norepinephrine uptake in the myocardium [4].
  4. Maceira et al. [45] found that cocaine abusers had increased LV end-systolic volume, LV mass index, and right ventricular (RV) end-systolic volume, with decreased LV ejection fraction and RV ejection fraction.

National Library of Medicine, addicts who use injections are at risk for hepatitis and HIV/AIDS from sharing needles or practicing unsafe sex, especially when cocaine is mixed with other drugs or alcohol. Injecting cocaine for a long period can also leave scars from the sites of the injection, potentially fatal allergic reactions, and vascular complications. Researchers employed a rat model to mimic human addiction patterns, allowing the models to self-dose by nose poke. Paired with advanced neuroimaging techniques, the behavioral approach enables a deeper understanding of the brain’s adaptation to prolonged drug use and highlights how addictive substances can alter the functioning of critical brain networks. A behavioral therapy component that may be particularly useful for helping patients achieve initial abstinence from cocaine is contingency management. Some contingency management programs use a voucher-based system to give positive rewards for staying in treatment and remaining cocaine-free.

Even if you stop using it for a long time, you could still have cravings for the drug. If you use cocaine regularly or to excess, you may have long-lasting and serious problems with your physical and mental health. It can affect your heart, brain, lungs, gut, and kidneys as well as your emotional health and daily life — especially if you become addicted.

Medical treatments are also being developed to deal with acute emergencies resulting from excessive cocaine abuse. If a person uses cocaine, it can have both short- and long-term effects on their brain. Some effects of cocaine are almost instantaneous and typically last from a few minutes to 1 hour. ED admissions for accidents/injuries and non-specific symptoms were the most frequent during follow-up, suggesting that they could be related to continued substance use or complications derived from such use.

What Are the Long Term Effects of Cocaine Addiction?

Many issues play a role, including other mental health disorders,  your background, and your environment. If you snort it, you might have nosebleeds, loss of smell, hoarseness, nasal irritation, runny nose, or trouble swallowing. If you inject it, you could develop tracks (puncture marks on your arms) and infections, such as HIV or hepatitis C.

which issue is related to long term cocaine use

The recent 2019 version includes albumin, blood cell count, and BMI (Tate et al., 2019), which may improve the prognostic value of VACS. Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that can have both short- and long-term effects on the brain, including irritability, paranoia, and impaired cognitive functions. But it carries many risks, including overdose and serious physical and mental side effects as well as addiction.

Cocaine’s Impact on Sexual Health and the Reproductive System

The drug disulfiram, which is used to treat alcoholism, has shown some promise for cocaine addiction. Use of cocaine is less common in the U.S. than misuse of prescription painkillers (reported by 2.4 million people in the 2021 survey), or use of hallucinogenic drugs (2.2 million). In a 2021 national survey, about 4.8 million people in the U.S. ages 12 or older said they had used cocaine in the past year. The rate was highest in the age group (1.2 million people or 3.5%), followed by those over age 26 (3.6 million or 1.6%).

Short-term effects on the brain

Counseling and other types of therapy are the most common treatments for cocaine use disorder. Sessions with a trained therapist can help you make changes to your behaviors and thought processes. You may need to stay in a rehabilitation center (also known as rehab) for intensive therapy and support. If you do attend rehab, continuing treatment afterward (aftercare) is important to help you avoid relapse.

Data Availability Statement

Cocaine induces vasospasm through stimulation of adrenergic receptors on coronary arteries [69]. In addition, long-term use of cocaine induces endothelial injury, vascular fibrosis [73,74], and subsequent vessel wall weakening [75], resulting in apoptosis of vascular smooth muscle cells and cystic medial necrosis [76,77]. According to previous reports, cocaine sometimes induces coronary and carotid aortic dissections [78,79,80]. Thus, cocaine causes coronary artery diseases through multifactorial mechanisms including vasoconstriction, intracoronary thrombosis, and accelerated atherosclerosis. Different routes of cocaine administration can produce different adverse effects. Regularly snorting cocaine, for example, can lead to the loss of the sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems swallowing, hoarseness, and an overall irritation of the nasal septum, which can result in a chronically inflamed, runny nose.