Long term effects of cocaine on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

Cocaine use impacts all body systems, interrupting normal functions. What happens in the long term? EXPLORE THIS INFOGRAPHIC for more on the long term effects of cocaine on the body.

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Long term use of cocaine can trigger chronic disease, lowered immunity, or can affect specific organs. In fact, cocaine use impacts all body systems, interrupting normal functions.

More on how smoking, snorting, or injecting cocaine affects the body here. Then, we invite your questions and comments at the end.

Long term effects of cocaine on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Cocaine effects to mental health

  • addiction
  • aggression
  • anxiety
  • cerebral gray matter atrophy
  • dysphoria
  • intense drug craving
  • irritability
  • lose touch with reality
  • nervousness
  • paranoia
  • problems sleeping
  • psychotic episodes
  • severe depression
  • violence

Cocaine effects on the ear, nose, and throat

  • chronic rhinitis
  • chronically runny nose
  • damaged nasal lining
  • damaged nasal septum
  • hoarseness
  • hypersensitivity to sound
  • nosebleeds
  • perforation of the nasal septum
  • problems swallowing
  • sinus problems

Cocaine effects on the cardiovascular system

  • abnormalities of ventricular structure and function
  • blood poisoning
  • cardiovascular disease
  • chronic hypertension
  • intra-cardiac conduction abnormalities
  • vasoconstriction of blood vessels

Cocaine effects on the heart

  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • damaged aorta
  • fibrillation
  • heart attack
  • myocardial infarction
  • ventricular tachycardia

Cocaine effects on the mouth

  • constricted capillaries in the mouth

Cocaine effects on the liver

  • generates cocaethylene when taken with alcohol
  • liver damage
  • liver failure

Cocaine effects on the kidney

  • acute renal failure
  • atherosclerosis in renal vessels
  • chronic kidney disease
  • kidney infection
  • renal infraction

Cocaine effects on the lungs

  • constricted blood vessels in lungs
  • cough
  • decreased pulmonary diffusion capacity
  • direct damage to the alveolar-capillaries
  • increased alveolar permeability
  • internal bleeding in the lungs
  • lung trauma
  • prevents oxygen and blood circulation
  • respiratory failure
  • respiratory problems
  • severe chest pains
  • shortness of breath

Cocaine effects on the skin

  • puncture marks
  • severe tissue damage
  • skin rash








About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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