Author: Gary Jackson

Acute and Chronic Effects of Cocaine on Cardiovascular Health PMC

Withdrawal can be difficult, so it may be best to do it with the help of a medical professional. Since it’s an illegal drug, you can never be sure about the quality of cocaine. To make more money, dealers may “cut” the drug with other substances, like flour, baking soda, cornstarch, or talcum powder. They can also add other drugs like amphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, or procaine.

Consequently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is aggressively pursuing the identification and testing of new cocaine treatment medications. Several emerging compounds are being investigated to assess their safety and efficacy. Two medicines currently marketed for other conditions, topiramate and modafinil, have shown promise. Additionally, baclofen, a GABA-B agonist, has shown promise in a subgroup of cocaine addicts with heavy use patterns. Antidepressant drugs are of some benefit with regard to mood changes experienced during the early stages of cocaine abuse.

1. Acute Effects of Cocaine

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.

  • The patient accepted to cooperate with the proposed treatments, and he was admitted to the psychiatry ward.
  • At first, he felt gratified for having been “chosen” for this role, but then he began to feel overwhelmed by the flow of information, seeking medical help to break the connections described.
  • Histamine released from mast cells increases endothelial permeability, which leads to leukocyte migration [67].
  • Overexpression of CART has been reported to decrease food intake and change lipid metabolism related to fat storage [111,112].

The changes in these networks’ communication could also serve as useful imaging biomarkers for cocaine addiction. Mr. Z reported a small but constant use of cocaine over time, from the age of 18, which he increased during the last year and then suspended about two months before his admission at our emergency room. The neurological examination, routine blood tests, and toxicological urine test (cocaine, opiates, cannabinoids, amphetamines, and ecstasy) were normal and confirmed no recent substance use.

Risk of Infectious Disease Transmission Via Cocaine Use

Ingested cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene, due to reduced blood flow. Persons who inject cocaine have puncture marks and “tracks,” most commonly in their forearms. Intravenous cocaine users may also experience allergic reactions, either to the drug or to some additive in street cocaine, which in severe cases can result in death. Because cocaine has a tendency to decrease food intake, many chronic cocaine users lose their appetite and can experience significant weight loss and malnourishment. In summary, cocaine use affects eating behavior and suppresses appetite, leading to malnutrition and anorexia through disruption of the metabolic process and neuroendocrine regulation. Also, cocaine uptake in the body can lead to mesenteric vasoconstriction and focal tissue ischemia, and alter lipid as well as glucose profiles, presumably resulting in increased risk for metabolic and cardiovascular problems in cocaine users.

which issue is related to long term cocaine use

Increased dopaminergic neurotransmission suppresses overall food intake whereas it increases fat-rich food intake [106]. In addition, cocaine blocks the reuptake of serotonin by interacting with the serotonin transporter, inducing leptin-dependent anorexic effect [107,108]. Prior studies demonstrated that cocaine also upregulated neuromodulators such as cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART), which plays an important role in regulating food intake, maintaining body weight, and in endocrine and cardiovascular functions [109,110]. Overexpression of CART has been reported to decrease food intake and change lipid metabolism related to fat storage [111,112].

Other Harmful Effects of Cocaine

He was discharged with the indication to continue pharmacological treatment under psychiatric control. Cocaine is categorized as a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs or substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse, which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Approximately 40% of all emergency department visits related to drug misuse and abuse were attributed to cocaine [8]. Many behavioral treatments have been found effective for stimulant abuse, including in both residential and outpatient situations. Behavioral therapies are often the only available effective treatment for many drug use problems, including cocaine use.

  • At the same time, the patient was recommended to be admitted to the psychiatric ward for a therapeutic re-evaluation (sixteen days after discharge).
  • Because the study populations and data sources varied across the studies, the findings of these studies should be interpreted carefully in the context of each individual study.
  • Withdrawal can be difficult, so it may be best to do it with the help of a medical professional.
  • Ingested cocaine can cause severe bowel gangrene, due to reduced blood flow.
  • Large amounts of the stimulant (several hundred milligrams or more) intensify the user’s high, but may also lead to bizarre, erratic, or violent behavior.

Cocaine use dropped dramatically and remained at minimal levels for nearly half a century. Cocaine abuse in the United States peaked in the 1970s and 1980s, but remains a significant problem today. The stimulant directly affects brain function, and long-term addiction leads to extensive physiological and psychological problems. Cocaine, especially crack cocaine, is strongly addictive for several reasons. For one thing, the high feels very pleasurable, especially when you first try it.