Cocaine is a potent substance that affects your brain and mental well-being and leaves significant and visible impacts on your physical appearance. Cocaine addiction can change your appearance, and you may face unfortunate but avoidable physical consequences. After many discussions with our specialists on treating cocaine addiction, we have come up with key information regarding how cocaine may affect your physical appearance and what causes it.

Craving for Cocaine: What it Does to Your Body

Short-term cocaine use can result in extreme happiness, heightened energy levels, increased mental alertness and hypersensitivity to sight, sound, and touch. On a physiological level, cocaine works by increasing levels of dopamine, a chemical messenger, in parts of the brain that control pleasure, which is why using it results in intense feelings of energy. However, cocaine is quite detrimental to the body and can cause several harmful effects, including headaches, nosebleeds, and even seizures.

In the cardiovascular system, cocaine use can result in chest pains from constricting blood vessels and increasing heart rate and blood pressure. This results in many people heading to the ER with cocaine-related cardiovascular problems. Also, over time, cocaine significantly alters how nerve cells communicate in the brain, making the substance highly addictive. This addiction can then damage various body organs and reduce blood flow in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to possible tears and ulcerations.

All of these can lead to visible physical changes in your appearance.

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The Perilous Connection: Cocaine and Your Appearance

Cocaine has a profound impact on appearance, including noticeable changes such as the following:

Skin Problems

Cocaine restricts blood vessels on the skin’s surface, which hampers blood and oxygen flow to the skin cells. This can result in the skin gradually losing its natural glow and developing a greyish or pale appearance. The drug can also cause “cocaine bugs,” the sensation of bugs crawling under your skin, leading the person to scratch incessantly and create open sores.

Weight Loss and Malnutrition

Cocaine is known to suppress appetite, which results in drastic weight loss and malnutrition in regular users. This weight loss can give a gaunt and unhealthy appearance, with sunken cheeks and dark circles under the eyes.

Dental Problems

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Cocaine use can also lead to severe dental issues. These problems are characterised by tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss, mainly due to the drug’s corrosive effects and teeth grinding during periods of intoxication.

Facial and Nasal Degradation

Snorting cocaine can cause significant damage to the nasal septum, a wall that separates the two nostrils. Repeated snorting can erode the lining of the septum, resulting in:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of the sense of smell
  • The collapse of the nose

The Providence Projects have been helping people with cocaine abuse problems for over 25 years. During this extensive active treatment work, we have discovered that prevention is the best solution to cocaine-induced conditions. And this is what we advise anyone who comes to us with questions regarding the dangers of occasional cocaine use or handling stress with this substance.

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Prevention: The Best Cure for Cocaine-Induced Physical Changes

Recognising the signs of cocaine use in the initial stages can help you prevent major health-related issues. Therefore, it’s essential to spot the subtle changes that go hand in hand with substance use. Here are some of the possible physical changes you can look out for:

  • Unexpected Weight Loss: Cocaine suppresses appetite, leading to significant weight loss. So, if you notice unexplained weight loss in someone, it might indicate cocaine addiction.
  • Changes in Skin Complexion: Due to the restricted blood vessels after cocaine use, your skin may lose its natural glow and vitality. Therefore, a greyish or pale skin complexion may be a symptom of cocaine addiction.
  • Skin Sores: Regular cocaine users often feel the sensation of bugs under their skin, which leads to constant scratching, thereby causing skin sores. If you notice repeated scratches or sores on your body, it could be a sign of cocaine addiction.

Seeking Help: A Step Towards a Better You

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While some of the changes you may have undergone because of your cocaine use will need more drastic assistance, we will help you heal through holistic therapies, nutritional assistance, physical exercise, additional tests and examinations by our medical staff, and more.

Ongoing Help from the Providence Projects

We understand that struggling with cocaine addiction can feel incredibly isolating, so our bespoke rehabilitation programme includes group therapy. Our aftercare will present you with multiple options for support group meetings. We will guide you towards a network of like-minded, supportive people who will help you go strong in your recovery journey.

Our compassionate team is here for you during our detox, primary care, and when you leave the facilities. Even though we will aid you, and you will return well-equipped with crucial knowledge and various therapies designed to help you overcome cocaine dependence, we understand the dangers of relapse. Hence, we promise to keep in touch and continue supporting you.

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