One of the common misconceptions about cocaine is that using it isn’t harmful as long as you’re not addicted. However, a recent study has shown that isn’t necessarily the case. Even casual users of the drug and even the person who’s only using it for their first time might be placing themselves at considerable risk in both the short and long term.
Long-Term Effects of Cocaine
When cocaine is used, it causes the arteries of the user to stiffen. This in turn causes the blood pressure to rise and the heart walls to thicken. All these factors make it more likely for the user to suffer a heart attack.
When many people think about such deadly consequences of taking cocaine, they assume only those who are addicted to the drug face these risks. Many people who take the drug are completely oblivious to the damage they’re causing to their bodies. These are the sort of people who see cocaine as a party drug. They are usually people who are doing relatively well in life and use cocaine so they can have more fun during their downtime. These aren’t the sort of people you’ll find wandering the streets, desperately looking for their next hit.
This recent study has however shown that even a person who only uses cocaine on a few occasions will be more likely to suffer a heart attack compared to a person who never uses the drug at all. It’s not difficult to understand why cocaine appeals to so many people as a ‘party drug’. When the user ingests, smokes, injects or snorts the white powder, they are rewarded by a euphoric feeling due to the accumulation of dopamine in their brains. However, the user will have to contend with the opposite effect when the drug wears off. Many users actually binge on the drug to stave off the ‘low’ that comes ones the drug wears off.
Even when used on its own, cocaine is dangerous and the user, whether addicted or a first-time user, can suffer a sudden death. However, people who use cocaine as a party drug are quite likely to mix it with other substances especially alcohol. Experts are still trying to figure out exactly what happens when cocaine is used with other substances but in most cases, the result is a combination that is more dangerous than the individual drugs.
It’s a Time Bomb
Many casual cocaine users will downplay the danger that they put themselves in when they use cocaine. However, many of these users are unaware of the magnitude of the risks they’re facing in exchange for a short period of pleasure. For many people who are now addicted to cocaine, it’s recreational use of the drug that started them down this path and many didn’t think to stop until they could no longer help themselves. It’s important for everyone to be aware about the real dangers of using cocaine even if the use is recreational.