Immediate physical cocaine side effects include raised breathing rate, raised blood pressure and body temperature, and dilated pupils. There are many dangerous cocaine side effects one may suffer when using this drug. Cocaine has been known to cause heart attacks or convulsions within a hour after use. It does this by causing the coronary arteries to constrict, blood pressure rises and the blood supply to the heart diminishes.
In 1992, there were approximately 119,843 emergency room episodes related to cocaine use. Of these: 3.2% were between the ages of 6-17 24.8% were between the ages of 18-25 39.5% were between the ages of 26-34 26.7 1% were 35 and older. Among these emergency, cocaine-related incidents: 13.55% of the patients were white 56.25% of the patients were black 28.04% of the patients were Hispanic. Cocaine in combination with other drugs was directly related to 3,464 deaths. Among these cocaine-related deaths: 49.61% were male 35.48% were female.
In 2001, crack addiction statistics showed 2% of college students and 4.7% of young adults (ages 19–28) reported using crack cocaine at least once during their lifetimes. 0.9% of college students and 1.3% of young adults reported past year crack use, while 0.1% of college students and 0.4% of young adults reported using crack in the past month. Crack addiction statistics show that the term “cocaine addiction” is searched online over 115,000 times each year, “crack cocaine” is typed an incredible 491,569 times in search engines.
In addicts, cocaine craving can override family instincts of protection and affection, leading to child abuse and neglect. Cocaine constricts blood vessels, decreasing the blood flow to the brain. Computerized PET scans reveal that decreased blood flow persists 10 days after cocaine use is stopped. Tests show cocaine use also accelerates the heart beat, raises blood pressure and has resulted in heart attacks or stroke after only one small dose.
In its powder form, cocaine is sniffed (or "snorted"), where it is absorbed through the mucous membranes. This "quick and convenient" method of using produces a cascade of pleasurable feelings that can last between 15-30 minutes.
In some cases, sudden death (from heart attack) can occur on the first use of cocaine. Researchers have not identified what makes some otherwise-healthy individuals susceptible to this or other heart conditions.
In the beginning, cocaine symptoms may go unnoticed because they are subtle and hard to identify. As cocaine use escalates, the user's symptoms become more apparent and easier to detect. For occasional users, symptoms of cocaine use start as a nosebleed or increased heart rate. However, with continual use one may experience cardiac arrest or other severe health problems. Severe cocaine abuse and addiction can lead to hospitalization and death.