Cocaine Addiction Health Risk Factors

Cocaine addiction can lead to many health risks. Those struggling with addiction must get the support needed to recover. 

Cocaine Addiction Health Risk Factors

Table of Contents

What Are the Risk Factors for Cocaine Abuse and Addiction?

Cocaine abuse can lead to many health risks and dangers. If someone is struggling with cocaine addiction, they must receive the proper help and support they need to recover. 


One of the risk factors of cocaine use is developing a tolerance. When someone takes cocaine for a long period, they will develop a tolerance to the drug where they will need to take higher doses to get the same effects. Frequent cocaine consumption at high doses can lead to many negative consequences. 


Frequent cocaine consumption can lead to developing both a physical and psychological dependence on the drug. When someone develops a dependence, they will feel like they cannot function normally without using the drug. Dependence can lead to many of the risk factors of cocaine addiction. 


Since someone can develop a tolerance, those with a history of cocaine use will likely be taking frequent high doses of the drug. It can lead to a cocaine overdose occurring which is one of the most serious risk factors of cocaine addiction.

Common signs of a cocaine overdose may include:

  • Extreme agitation or anxiety
  • Hallucinations/delusions
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Sweating or high body temperature
  • Trouble breathing

If someone is experiencing any of these signs of overdose, they require medical attention. If you think someone overdosed on cocaine, you should call 911 right away. When paramedics arrive, be honest and tell them a cocaine overdose may have occurred so they can provide the right medical treatment.

A cocaine overdose can also result in severe consequences like a heart attack, stroke, or seizures. Cocaine overdose can also be fatal. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2019, 15,883 people died from a cocaine overdose.2 These major cocaine risk factors show why proper treatment and support for cocaine addiction are necessary to get those struggling the help that is needed to recover. 


Common cocaine withdrawal symptoms may include:3

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Lack of pleasure
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Strong cravings for cocaine
  • Trouble sleeping 

What are the Short-Term Health Risks of Using Cocaine?

When someone takes cocaine, many short-term health risks can occur. 

Constricted Blood Vessels

Since cocaine is often snorted, one of the risk factors of cocaine use is constricted blood vessels in the nostrils. In the short term, this issue can lead to nose bleeds and problems with the sense of smell. It can also lead to more long-term health consequences if cocaine abuse is continued. 

High Body Temperature

When cocaine is used, it creates a high body temperature that can lead to sweating, discomfort, and other health risk factors. 

High Heart Rate

One of the risk factors of cocaine use is an increased heart rate. A high heart rate can lead to feelings of agitation and can also be a sign of a cocaine overdose. When someone has a high heart rate due to overdose, it can lead to a heart attack and other health negative consequences. 

High Blood Pressure

Increased blood pressure is another one of the risk factors of cocaine use. High blood pressure is a sign that someone may have overdosed on cocaine, and it can lead to health consequences like a heart attack. 

Muscle Spasms

When someone takes a high dose of cocaine, they may experience muscle spasms that range from uncomfortable to severe. When muscle spasms are severe, they can lead to several negative health risks. 


When someone uses cocaine, the drug affects the central nervous system which can cause tremors to occur. Tremors can cause someone to feel jittery, shaky, or paranoid when they take the drug. 

What are the Long-Term Health Risks of Using Cocaine?

Long-term cocaine use can also lead to many health risks. 


Cocaine addiction can affect the mind in many ways. One of the risk factors of cocaine use over a long time is developing hallucinations or delusions. Hallucinations can lead to someone feeling paranoid or taking irrational actions as a result of cocaine use or withdrawals. 


Cocaine abuse can lead to recurring irritability or mood swings, which can lead to irrational behavior or lead someone to take actions they otherwise wouldn’t have done. 

Panic Attacks

Long-term cocaine use can increase levels of anxiety or create panic disorders like panic attacks. Panic attacks resulting from cocaine use or withdrawals can be serious and lead to many negative consequences. 


With increased levels of anxiety, those who struggle with this drug addiction may experience paranoia which can create delusional thoughts or actions. 


Cocaine psychosis is one of the long-term risk factors of this type of addiction. Those who experience cocaine psychosis will have symptoms that are similar to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. 


Since cocaine speeds up activity in the nervous system it can lead to restlessness, agitated behavior, and trouble sleeping. Increased restlessness can lead to anxiety along with irrational thoughts or actions. 

What are the Risks of Teen Cocaine Use?

Teens and cocaine use can lead to significantly dangerous health and social risks. Cocaine peer pressure can cause teens to start using this drug at a young age to fit in. Using the substance at an early age can have several additional health risks. 

Statistics of Teen Cocaine Use

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 5% of kids between the ages of twelve to seventeen reported using cocaine within the last year. Approximately 1.6% of 12th grade students reported using crack cocaine at least once within the past year.4 This number shows that many teens start abusing cocaine from a young age which can lead to many negative health risks. 

Health Risks

Common health risks associated with teen cocaine use include:5

  • Delayed puberty
  • Lower bone mineral density
  • High levels of enzymes that can cause liver damage
  • Shorter limbs and reduced growth potential

All of these health risks can be detrimental for teens and can lead to numerous problems later in life. 

Social or Professional Risks

Teens who abuse cocaine also have social or professional risks that may occur. Social or professional factors affected by teen cocaine use include:

  • Assaults
  • Car accidents
  • Criminal records
  • Delayed or losing career opportunities
  • Losing out on academic opportunities
  • Poor relationships with friends and family
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unplanned pregnancies 

What are the Risk Factors for Cocaine-Related Health Complications?

Several health-related complications may occur due to long-term cocaine abuse. Common health complications that result from cocaine abuse include:

  • Brain damage
  • Poor cardiovascular health
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Infectious diseases
  • Mental health issues
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Respiratory damage
  • Stroke 

What to do When Cocaine Affects Your Health?

If you are struggling with cocaine addiction that is affecting your health, there are many resources available that can help.

Seek Professional Help

If cocaine addiction is affecting your health, you must seek professional help. Talking to a doctor or going to a treatment center can be a good first step towards getting your health back on track.

Integrated Treatment

Those who struggle with co-occurring disorders like cocaine addiction and mental health issues may benefit from integrated treatment. Integrated treatment aims to treat both the addiction and co-occurring disorders simultaneously to receive the best possible results from the treatment program.

Post-Treatment Counseling

After treatment is completed, attending post-treatment counseling can be a good idea to keep yourself on the right track. Post-treatment counseling will help you continue learning how to deal with everyday life stresses so you can maintain sobriety long-term.

Support Groups

Support groups, such as the 12-Steps program, can be beneficial to keep you on track and provide a support system while you work on recovery. Regularly attending support groups meetings can be a great form of aftercare once you have completed treatment so you can stay on the right track.

Lifestyle Modifications

Creating positive habits in your everyday life will help you maintain sobriety and improve your health. Things like diet and exercise are often a good place to start to create healthier habits in your everyday life.

Prevent Relapse

To start improving your health after cocaine addiction, put a system in place to prevent a relapse from occurring. Having a plan for recovery and a solid support system is a good idea to prevent relapse and maintain long-term sobriety. 

Cocaine Addiction Treatment at The PAC Program

If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine addiction, The PAC Program can help you through every step of the recovery process. The The PAC Program staff are experts in their field that specialize in addiction treatment to get you the best possible results.  


When receiving treatment for cocaine addiction, medication-assisted treatment may be used to help ease withdrawal symptoms and prevent a relapse from occurring. 


Detox is an important part of the treatment process. When you stop using cocaine and enter the detox period, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. Treatment with The PAC Program can help you through this process to make it as easy and comfortable as possible. 


Therapy is an essential part of addiction treatment. In therapy, you will learn how to cope with the everyday stresses of life without the use of drugs or alcohol. In addition, therapy can help you with any underlying conditions that may be causing the addiction to occur. 

Inpatient Care

Inpatient treatment is available for cocaine addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment allows you to stay at the treatment center for a duration of time while you detox and work on recovery. Inpatient treatment provides you with around-the-clock support to make this process as easy as possible. 

Outpatient Care

Outpatient care is also available for those who want to continue living at home while they receive treatment. Outpatient treatment involves going to the treatment center at designated times to work on your recovery plan. This is a good option for those who have work or family responsibilities they don’t want to leave behind while receiving treatment.


If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
623-523-4748 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.

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