Can cocaine kill you? In fact, this question is more than a scare tactic from anti-drug campaigns. It’s grounded in the real dangers associated with cocaine use. Every year, thousands of people die from cocaine overdoses. Thousands more suffer from numerous physical and psychological complications stemming from cocaine use or abuse. So to answer the question, “Can cocaine be deadly?” is a straightforward yes. Without question, cocaine is potentially deadly.
What is Cocaine?
Cocaine is a type of stimulant drug. It is incredibly powerful and as a result is also highly addictive. Cocaine was originally derived from coca leaves in South America. Locals would chew the leaves to produce a stimulating effect, not unlike a caffeine hit. The purified chemical was later isolated and produced synthetically. Medical professionals even used it regularly as a painkiller during surgery and other procedures in the mid-20th century.
Today’s deadly cocaine has very little in common with its origins in coca leaves. The vast majority of cocaine use is illegal and dangerous. It remains in limited use as a local anesthesia for select types of surgery. Typically, people deal and use cocaine in its powder form. Dealers often cut it with other substances. Something that increases the risk surrounding cocaine use is just how often they cut it with other drugs, such as heroin. Combining addictive substances like cocaine and heroin can have deadly consequences.
Can Cocaine Kill You?
Any cocaine usage is risky. Cocaine is a deadly substance and there’s no avoiding that. Still, using cocaine is not an instant death sentence and the majority of users don’t end up dead. Beyond the rightful concern about deadly cocaine are the myriad other health consequences of using the drug. Here are some of the biggest risks of cocaine abuse:
People who abuse cocaine or suffer from a cocaine addiction contract infectious diseases at higher rates. HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are all more common among people who abuse cocaine compared to the general population.
Mental Health Disorders
Repetitive cocaine use is liable to lead to mental health disorders. As many as 40% of people who abuse cocaine also struggle with a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. Sometimes, cocaine use exacerbates an underlying mental health disorder. It is just as likely to cause the onset of a mental health disorder that wasn’t present before.
Long-Term Health Problems
The long-term health consequences stemming from cocaine addiction are quite the laundry list. Cocaine use goes hand-in-hand with an increased risk for heart attack, hypertension, organ failure, stroke, and seizures. Thus, cocaine can be deadly for the way it impacts the body’s systems, even when someone never approaches an overdose. Sleep issues, unhealthy weight loss, and respiratory trouble are also potential complications from cocaine abuse.
Over time, cocaine use impacts brain functioning in devastating ways. Memory, reaction time, and attention all suffer in people who are addicted to cocaine. Those brain functions may be permanently damaged from prolonged cocaine use.
Overcoming Deadly Cocaine Addiction
Overcoming a cocaine addiction isn’t easy. Yet your life may depend on it as cocaine is deadly. Don’t put off getting treatment for a cocaine addiction. Doing so results in a number of long-term, irreversible health issues. Avoiding getting help for a cocaine addiction is essentially gambling with your life. In other words, cocaine can kill you.
San Antonio Recovery Center takes a whole-body approach to treating cocaine addiction. You can take advantage of the following services when getting treated for a substance abuse disorder at San Antonio Recovery Center:
- Men’s and women’s detox programs
- Residential addiction treatment
- Alumni programming
- Behavioral therapies
- Support groups
Don’t let cocaine have control of life. Instead, reach out to 866.957.7885 to begin your recovery from cocaine addiction.