Cocaine and Its Effects
If you do cocaine on a regular basis, even socially, it may be a good idea for you to know that you may have stiffer arteries, high blood pressure, and thicker heart wall muscle than people who do not use cocaine. Just recently, research was presented at the American Heart Association’s “Scientific Sessions 2012”. Australian researchers got this information from using MRI and they measured the effects of cocaine in 20 adults who chronically use the drug. They then compared the results with 20 non-users and this is what they found on the users:
- 30 percent to 35 percent increase in aortic stiffening;
- 8 mm Hg higher systolic blood pressure;
- 18 percent greater thickness of the heart’s left ventricle wall.
The lead researcher, Gemma Figtree, MBBS, said, “It is so sad. We are repeatedly seeing young, otherwise fit individuals suffering massive heart attacks related to cocaine use. Despite being well-educated professionals, they have no knowledge of the health consequences of regularly using cocaine. It is the perfect heart attack drug. The combined effects of greater blood clotting, increased heart stress, and more blood vessel constriction put users at high risk of a spontaneous heart attack.” This may lead to hospitalization and/or long term drug rehab.
The way this information was measured was by recruiting recreational cocaine users (17 men and 3 women) with an average age 37. These people reported using cocaine at least once a month for the last year. They filled out questionnaires about their drug use as well as other information. At least 48 hours after their last cocaine use, volunteers had their blood pressure taken, then they did MRIs to look at the heart mass and levels of heart functioning. The researcher looked at a direct comparison with similar aged non-users, and that is how they came up with the information above. So now they can prove scientifically how this social use of the drug can affect you.
Let’s look at how it can affect you in many other ways. A person can get addicted to cocaine and that changes everything in his life. Now this drug is controlling him. Let’s not even take into account the harmful effects it is doing to his body, but let’s look at how their behavior in life changes. They will do what it takes to get their fix (I know this report is talking about social users. Those are the ones that turn into addicts). If you notice a friend or a family member who is headed in that direction, please get them some help. Cocaine is one powerful drug and it causes you to do irrational things. One example is a friend of mine went totally nuts when he could not get his fix. He was stealing from his family bank account because this drug is very expensive. One evening when he could not get his fix he hurt his wife in a quarrel. That is just one example and I know there are many more incidents across this country. The moral of this story is: don’t start using this drug—even socially.