Rohnert Park, CA (PressExposure) August 15, 2009 -- Cocaine addiction or dependence is one of the many and widely known addiction today, along with heroin and morphine addiction. However, cocaine addiction usually develops both physical and psychological dependence, in contrast to heroin which only develops physical dependence. Also, addiction is not the only side effect of chronic use of cocaine. Some of its adverse effects involves physiological damage, psychosis, schizophrenia, lethargy, depression, or a potentially fatal overdose.
Adverse effects of cocaine addiction
According to california drug rehab therapists, chronic use of cocaine may lead to insatiable hunger, aches, insomnia/oversleeping, lethargy, and persistent runny nose. Although these side effects don't really cause too much damage to a person, experiencing it can bring discomfort. Depression with suicidal ideation may also develop, particularly with heavy users. Finally, a loss of vesicular monoamine transporters, neurofilament proteins, and other morphological changes appear to indicate a long term damage of dopamine neurons. All these effects contribute a rise in tolerance thus requiring a larger dosage to achieve the same effect.
The lack of normal amounts of serotonin and dopamine in the brain is the cause of the dysphoria and depression felt after the initial high. Physical withdrawal is not dangerous, and is in fact restorative. The diagnostic criteria for cocaine withdrawal are characterized by a dysphoric mood, fatigue, unpleasant dreams, insomnia or hypersomnia, erectile dysfunction, increased appetite, psychomotor retardation or agitation, and anxiety.
Physical side effects from chronic smoking of cocaine include:
Hemoptysis - expectoration (coughing up) of blood. Bronchospasm - sudden constriction of the muscles. Pruritus - or itching. Fever Diffuse alveolar infiltrates without effusions Pulmonary and systemic eosinophilia Chest pain Lung trauma Sore throat Asthma Hoarse voice dyspnea - shortness of breath. Aching flu-like syndrome
A common but untrue belief is that the smoking of cocaine chemically breaks down tooth enamel and causes tooth decay. However, cocaine does often cause involuntary tooth grinding, known as bruxism, which can deteriorate tooth enamel and lead to gingivitis.
Chronic intranasal usage, or snorting, can degrade the cartilage separating the nostrils (the septum nasi), leading eventually to its complete disappearance. Due to the absorption of the cocaine from cocaine hydrochloride, the remaining hydrochloride forms a dilute hydrochloric acid.
Cocaine may also greatly increase this risk of developing rare autoimmune or connective tissue diseases such as lupus, Goodpasture's disease, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome and other diseases. It can also cause a wide array of kidney diseases and renal failure. While these conditions are normally found in chronic users, they can also be caused by short term exposure in susceptible individuals.