Effects of Cocaine on the Body

It is estimated that 10,000 people die each year from cocaine overdose. Available in multiple forms, users can abuse the substance in multiple ways. Some recreational users become addicted to the substance. Long-term use of the powerful substance can affect the body in a variety of ways.

How long does cocaine stay in the body?

Once a person has abused the substance, it remains in the system for a while. How long it stays in the system depends on the person’s usage patterns. Those who occasionally use cocaine can have it present in the system for up to four days after it is used. Those who have used it for some time will have traces of the substance in the system present for up to 12 days at a time. If injected, it may be present in the system for up to two days. Some concentrations of cocaine can remain in the system for as much as a week at a time. If used in exceptionally high quantities, it can be present in the system for up to three weeks at a time.

How long does it take for cocaine to hit your system?

Depending on the method used, it can take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes to affect the system. Cocaine that is snorted takes 30 minutes to peak in the system. Cocaine taken orally can reach peak levels in an hour. Cocaine that is smoked reaches its peak in the system at 45 minutes. Cocaine that is injected enters the system in just five minutes. Cocaine can take up to an hour before it starts to gradually decrease in the body.

What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?

There are several long-term effects for prolonged use of cocaine. The person can grow increasingly dependent on it. One may become extremely irritable and restless, frequently experiencing panic attacks and exhibiting symptoms of paranoia. Snorting the substance can cause nosebleeds and damage the vocal cords while ingestion can cause gangrene in the bowels. Weight loss and loss of appetite are commonly reported among chronic users.

What are the short-term effects of cocaine use?

Short-term effects of cocaine use can lead to changes in heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Bizarre episodes of erratic and sometimes violent behavior are common among cocaine users. Users exhibit other symptoms like twitching and may experience restlessness or irritability from time to time.

People who struggle with cocaine addiction can overdose and die from stroke or cardiac arrest. People who are battling addiction usually started off using the substance recreationally before developing a full-blown addiction.

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