HomeHealthUnderstanding The Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine Addiction

Understanding The Long-Term Effects of Crack Cocaine Addiction

The immediate and long-term effects of crack cocaine can be devastating to the mind, body, and spirit. Much of the harm done by crack cocaine use is irreversible, which is why it is essential to seek help with recovery as soon as possible. 

The brutal effects of crack cocaine

Crack cocaine impacts almost every aspect of your health long-term, including mental health, heart health, lung health, and kidney health. Some of these effects are permanent and each of these risks increase with prolonged drug use.

Stopping use will dramatically reduce the risk of permanent damage to your body and is the most crucial step you can take to protect your health.

Effects on the nervous system

Crack affects the body’s nervous system and can cause numbness, muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, confusion, and much more. With prolonged use, crack cocaine can cause profound damage to the central nervous system and result in seizures. 

Seizures are of particular concern because they can cause permanent injury or death. Seizures are especially dangerous to those who are alone because they may choke and die. Additionally, having one episode increases your risk of having another, and those with recurring seizures are not allowed to drive. 

Effects on the body

Crack cocaine use can result in loss of appetite, cracked lips, heart damage, and more. Some of the most common long-term effects on the body include heart attacks and permanent organ damage.

Crack cocaine can deteriorate your kidney and liver with very little usage. Your kidney and liver are responsible for detoxifying your body and removing anything harmful from your blood. The detrimental effects caused by drug use can lead to severe health problems as you get older.

The kidneys are a concern for cocaine users, as nearly one-third of those admitted to the ER for cocaine-related issues develop acute kidney failure. 

Substance abuse can seriously damage both these organs, making them worse at their jobs, and compounding the risk of other health effects. Additionally, kidney damage can add extra strain to the liver and vice versa. 

Effects of freebasing crack cocaine

Freebasing crack cocaine has been shown to cause acute respiratory symptoms. These symptoms include coughing, chest pain, and black sputum (coughing up black phlegm). 

Freebasing crack cocaine can also alter the diffusing capacity of the lungs. In simpler terms, freebasing can affect the body’s ability to get oxygen from the air in the lungs, decreasing oxygen levels in the bloodstream.

Effects on mental health

Crack cocaine can cause higher levels of anxiety. Long-term crack cocaine use is also associated with depression, psychosis, and paranoia.

Cocaine dependency is also often linked to PTSD, depressive disorders (long-term depression), and personality disorders. 


Recovering from drug addiction is never easy, but it can be done. Finding treatment can decrease many of the health risks discussed here. Different recovery methods work well with different people, so finding the best plan for you may take time.

Some treatments have been proven to help with addiction. Many of these treatments involve therapy and medical assistance, and you should never attempt to detox without a professional’s help. 


Most Popular