A bump of cocaine will certainly lift your mood and snorting a line will undoubtedly get the party started. But, cocaine use – even occasional, casual use – can have a gripping effect on your body.
Chasing that next high with cocaine, and succumbing to a cocaine addition, can be downright sinister – affecting everything from your social interactions to your one and only liver.
Does Cocaine Cause Liver Damage?
If you’re someone who’s wondering “does cocaine affect your liver?”, the short answer is yes. Many people who use cocaine are well aware of the effects the drug can have on their heart and other parts of the body, but don’t always consider the damage they’re doing to their liver as well.
Long-term cocaine abuse has been shown to have a number of concerning effects on the overall functionality of your body. Specifically, excessive cocaine use has been connected to instances of liver damage due to the manner in which your body is flooded with toxins when you ingest high amounts of this substance.
When you introduce an abundance of harmful foreign chemicals into your system, you make it extremely difficult for your liver to filter them out. The result is that your liver is forced to work overtime and experience unnecessary fatigue and potential organ failure. (1)
Other Illegal Drugs that Cause Liver Damage
While cocaine has been shown to impact your liver negatively, many other substances can have just as bad of an effect. Since your liver functions as a filter within your body to remove pollutants and dangerous chemicals, heroin, alcohol, PCP and ketamine can all do serious harm to your liver with long-term use.
Cocaine and Liver Damage: Here’s How Cocaine Damages the Liver
While the damage that cocaine can cause to both your heart and lungs is well documented, the devastating effects the substance can have on your liver is less known, but just as concerning. Recent studies indicated that people who used cocaine occasionally to frequently displayed dangerous liver enzyme elevations. This can have a toxic effect on your liver and even result in serious medical complications.
Serious cocaine effects on liver include:
- Viral Hepatitis
- Arterial hypotension
- Renal failure
- Sever liver injury
These serious medical conditions have been connected to cocaine use due to the damaging effects that cocaine has on the body and the manner in which it overwhelms your system with toxic substances.
This flood of deadly chemicals forces your liver to work substantially harder to try and remove the dangerous elements within your body, creating a scenario where your liver malfunctions and possibly shuts down entirely.
This acute liver failure can be addressed with the appropriate medical interventions, but can result in a life-threatening situation if left untreated. (2)
Cocaine and Liver Disease: Facts and Statistics
Cocaine use by itself has been shown to negatively impact your liver, among many other organs, but the comorbidity of cocaine addiction and alcohol addiction is significant and dramatically increases your likelihood of developing a serious liver disease.
The following facts focus on the coexisting aspect of cocaine use and alcohol use, highlighting the dangers of addiction and the prevalence of liver disease associated with this combination of substance addiction:
- Among all cirrhosis deaths in 2015, 49.5 percent were alcohol related.
- The proportion of alcohol-related cirrhosis was highest (76.8 percent) among decedents ages 25 to 34.
- The number of liver deaths attributed to alcoholism and drug use in 2017 was 22,246.
- Cirrhosis deaths have increased by 65 percent, and alcohol use is a prominent cause of late-stage liver disease.
- Between 1999 to 2016, the number of deaths caused by cirrhosis has been on the rise in 49 out of 50 states.3
While some of these stats may seem daunting, the fact remains that addiction is a disease and can be treated with time and effort.
Admitting that a problem actually exists is the first step required to begin your journey toward recovery.
After that, finding a competent and qualified treatment facility to receive the proper care and treatment is essential. Above all, you must remember that there is help and there is hope for everyone who wants to overcome their addiction and achieve a happier, healthier state of being.
Finding the right people and treatment program to help you begin your new life is closer than you think. It simply requires you to reach out and ask for help.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
Understanding the symptomatology connected to habitual cocaine use, and the negative manner in
which cocaine impacts your body, is essential to breaking the cycle of addiction plaguing your life.
1) National Center for Biotechnology Information. LiverTox: Clinical and Research Information on Drug-Induced Liver Injury. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548454/.
2) Science Direct. Cocaine Abuse. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/cocaine-abuse.
3) National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Liver Cirrhosis Mortality in the United States. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/surveillance111/Cirr15.htm.