What Are the Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

The long term effects of cocaine use can be devastating. Here’s what you need to know if you use cocaine.

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug that’s highly addictive. It’s derived from coca leaves, and it’s been used by human for thousands of years. But using cocaine can lead to a range of physical and mental health problems. Additionally, the long term effects of cocaine use include addiction, dependence, and a high risk of overdose.

What Happens When You Do Coke?

Cocaine acts on the reward center of the brain. Effects of cocaine abuse on the brain include increasing the production of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine, which produces a keen sense of euphoria. Cocaine increases mental alertness and makes you talkative due to its stimulant effects. The “high” of cocaine is short-lived, lasting as little as ten minutes if it’s injected and as little as a half hour if it’s snorted. What happens when you do coke is increase your risk of serious health complications both in the moment and down the road.

Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use on Your Health

Cocaine affects your body in many ways. It increases your body temperature, raises your blood pressure and heart rate, and it causes your blood vessels to constrict. The most serious long term health effects of cocaine use include heart attack and stroke. Chronic cocaine abuse can also cause mental problems like anxiety, irritability, paranoia, and hallucinations. When it’s snorted, cocaine can cause you to lose your sense of smell as well as causing chronic nosebleeds and problems swallowing.

Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use: Addiction and Dependence:

Using cocaine regularly increases your risk of developing an addiction or dependence on cocaine. While addiction and dependence are not the same thing, they most often occur together. Addiction and dependence are long term effects of cocaine use that can be devastating for your physical and mental health, relationships, finances, and legal status.


Addiction is characterized by being unable to stop using cocaine even though it’s causing problems in your life. Addiction occurs due to the effects of cocaine abuse on the brain. The memory center of your brain records a memory of the pleasure cocaine produces each time you use it. The learning center develops a strong connection between using cocaine and that pleasure.

Over time, this connection becomes stronger, and eventually, your brain may begin to produce cravings for cocaine. These cravings are driven by the same mechanisms that lead us to eat food and procreate in order to stay alive. They will lead you to use cocaine even as your life falls apart around you.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse stresses that once an addiction develops, it almost always requires professional help to overcome.


Dependence is different from addiction. When you use cocaine, your brain changes the way it functions chemically in order to compensate for the presence of the drug, for example, by reducing its production of dopamine. This leads to tolerance, which means that you need increasingly larger doses of cocaine to get the desired effects. Over time, your brain function may shift so that it operates more comfortably when cocaine is present than when it’s not.

Then, when you try to stop using cocaine, normal brain function rebounds. This causes the onset of withdrawal symptoms, which can be excruciating. Medical detox through WhiteSands Treatment can help you detox safely and comfortably from cocaine.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Long Term Effects of Cocaine Use

The best way to reduce your risk of long term problems related to cocaine use is to stop using cocaine. If you’re addicted to or dependent on cocaine, WhiteSands Treatment can help you overcome your addiction for good. Our high quality, holistic treatment program utilizes both traditional and complementary therapies to help you end your cocaine use for good and find purpose and meaning in life without cocaine.

If you’re ready to restore your health, relationships, finances, and happiness, contact WhiteSands Treatment today at (877) 855-3470 and get on the road to recovery from cocaine abuse, addiction, or dependence once and for all.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.