What are the consequences of cocaine use?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Cocaine is a common illegal drug used by addicted and recreational users. Because of its sense-heightening qualities, availability, and powerful addictive qualities, it is popular across the economic spectrum. Some view it as an intermediary drug between marijuana and heroin.

Cocaine causes an increase in temperature, heart-rate, and blood pressure; it decreases fatigue and appetite, and gives the brain a sense of hyper-awareness (baysidemaric.crchealth.com). Addiction is possible from the first usage, and in many people, a tolerance builds up that requires more and more cocaine to bring the same "high." Continued use can affect the heart enough to cause cardiac arrest or stress-related aneurysm; many people who snort powdered cocaine experience eventual wear on their nasal and sinus passages, with severe inflammation common and tissue abrasion possible. Arguably the most destructive consequence of cocaine use is the post-high depression, which strikes most users; this can lead to lax standards of work and hygiene, mood swings, and even suicide.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team