What Does Cocaine Do To A User?

Edited by Paul Alexander

Last updated December 5, 2018

Cocaine has multiple ways it can be used which include smoking it, injecting it and snorting it. Snorting cocaine, which is to inhale a powder form of the drug in through the nose, is one of the more popular ways of use, which brings with it some unique effects on the body.

Compared to other forms of use, inhaling/snorting it can directly damage parts of the body due to direct contact. With repeated use of its powdered form, the nasal cavity and throat are damaged from contact. Over time, this can lead to the loss of ability to smell and nosebleeds. This damage is not always reversible, either. Snorting the drug also has the effect of boosting tolerance to it that leads to requiring a higher dosage for the user for each successive use than by other methods of use.

Considering the tolerance boost that snorting cocaine gives the user, other more serious problems increase as the tolerance change leads to higher amounts of use to achieve the user’s desired effect. Higher use can include more frequent use which will speed up the side effects mentioned concerning nosebleeds but can also mean higher dosages per use in which case the unwanted and dangerous side effects of the drug become more of a risk. These effects include raised blood pressure and increased heart rate which can cause strokes and heart attacks. Often times, a user’s desire for the euphoric feeling of cocaine will ignore these risks in favor of the high of usage, leading to a situation where overdoses become more and more probable, where an overdose situation is one in which the user must get immediate medical attention.

With regards to the kinds of positive, user-desired effects of increased energy, a feeling of confidence, increased focus and concentration, risking the possibility of heart attack and stroke seems like an unnecessary tradeoff. Part of cocaine’s danger is the addictive qualities which cause the regular user to make irrational decisions about its use and more importantly how much is used. The combination of such qualities makes the total sum of the effects of cocaine a dangerous mixture for users. Northbound’s staff of experts on addiction, including cocaine addiction, can help you or someone you know who may have a problem with cocaine use become sober.

Call us at (866) 311-0003 to make an appointment to speak with a counselor. Our rehab center in St. Louis specializes in helping patients reduce and eliminate dangerous substance abuse out of their lives to regain control and self agency again.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.