The long term effects of drug use on the Human body

 

American Addiction centers writes

Drug abuse has devastating effects on the mind, behavior, and relationships, but the permanent effects of drugs on the body can slowly destroy vital systems and functions, culminating in permanent disability or even death. Even legal drugs, taken to excess, can cause significant problems that cannot be easily undone; and for some illegal drugs, excessive consumption might not even be necessary for lifelong damage to occur.

Cocaine Use and the Body

girl cocaine As one of the most dangerous drugs in the world, what cocaine does to both the body and mind has been well documented. However, there are many factors that can influence the precise nature of the long-term physical effects that cocaine has on a user. Some of these factors include:

  • Timespan (the duration of the cocaine use)
  • Frequency of consumption
  • What type of cocaine (cocaine hydrochloride versus the freebase “crack” form of the drug)
  • How the drug was taken (whether it was snorted, smoked, or injected into a vein, as smoking cocaine makes the drug reach the brain more quickly than snorting, giving users the immediate effect)
  • The average amount of cocaine consumed per dose
  • Individual biology, psychology and physiology, which can include current mental health status, family history, age, gender, diet, the presence of other drugs, etc.

Among the long-term (and possibly permanent) effects of cocaine are a decrease in bone density and muscle mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. Cocaine suppresses appetite, so much so that it can be a cause of, and a consequence of, eating disorders. The drug significantly changes the body’s metabolism, rendering fatty foods meaningless and giving addicts much less body fat than people who don’t use cocaine.

Top of Page

‘Profound Metabolic Alteration’

On its own, cocaine can also cause lasting damage to food and liquid intake, resulting in permanent changes to body weight (or a “profound metabolic alteration,” in the words of the Appetite journal) regardless of diet.


cocaine respiratory effects

Cocaine abuse can also induce a persistent cough in users due to the widespread damage that the substance does to the respiratory system; specifically, complications in the upper respiratory and pulmonary systems often result breathing troubles, which lead to an inadequate supply of blood to the heart muscles (a condition known as ischemia). Repeated exposure to cocaine through snorting and smoking can also cause infections and tissue death of the nasal linings and sinuses. Users can experience chronic cough, chest pain, and fatigue due to lung damage (pulmonary edema), as well as pulmonary hemorrhage (bleeding from the lungs) and a number of other conditions, such as pulmonary barotrauma, foreign body granulomas, a cocaine-related pulmonary infection, obliterative bronchiolitis, and asthma, to name some listed by the Recent Developments in Alcoholism journal. Long-term cocaine users are often easily fatigued, have trouble breathing, and regularly experience chest pains.


Much research has been conducted into what cocaine abuse does to the heart and cardiovascular systems in the long-term. The American Heart Association noted that…

Read more!

If you enjoyed this post, or found it informative, please consider sharing it!

Comments are closed.