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How Cocaine Affects Your Weight

by Demarco Moore

August 16, 2023
a skinny man holds his jeans that are too big after realizing cocaine is making him lose weight

Does Cocaine Make You Lose Weight?

Yes, cocaine can make you lose weight. Research finds that this popular street drug can affect your appetite like similar stimulants, such as methamphetamine. It stimulates the body and can make users feel alert and excited. Cocaine use can also block the brain signals that make you hungry, leading to skipped meals and poor nutrition.

Misusing cocaine can also cause weight loss for regular users who need more of the drug to experience the powerful but brief “high” cocaine produces. However, studies have challenged this assumption, revealing surprising insights this blog will explore.

Table of Contents:

The Science Behind Cocaine and Appetite

Understanding Cocaine’s Effects on the Body

Cocaine is more than a recreational drug; it’s a stimulant with complex effects on the body, including the brain’s reward pathways. People use cocaine in various ways, including:

  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Injecting

This leads to excitement but can disturb the body’s natural rhythms, impacting overall health, eating behaviors, and metabolism. 

Cocaine’s Connection to Appetite and Endurance

Historically, South American tribes used cocaine to suppress appetite and boost endurance. Cocaine stimulates the central nervous system, similar to caffeine, but how it does this was always a mystery to researchers. A study published in Appetite Journal revealed that cocaine interacts with certain brain receptors, affecting hunger signals and food-seeking behavior.

The Dangerous Illusion of Weight Loss with Cocaine

Cocaine might suppress hunger, but it’s more than a simple appetite suppressant. It can lead to malnourishment and a lack of essential nutrients, appearing as a weight loss shortcut but harboring severe health risks.

The Risks of Cocaine-Induced Weight Loss

The weight loss associated with cocaine use comes with significant risks, including:

  • Malnutrition: Skipping meals and ignoring hunger can lead to nutrient deficiencies and long-term health problems.
  • Cardiovascular Issues: Cocaine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, putting additional strain on the heart.
  • Addiction: Regular use can lead to addiction, bringing about additional health and social problems.

What Research Says

Research helps shed light on cocaine’s effects on weight. The Appetite study found that cocaine users ate more unhealthy foods but had less body fat, not because they ate less but because cocaine changed how their bodies handled fat.

Cocaine and the “Hunger Hormone”

Further discoveries link cocaine’s weight loss effects to its interaction with ghrelin, also known as the “hunger hormone.” Cocaine use can block ghrelin signals, leading to skipped meals and complicated weight loss, reflecting a complex relationship between cocaine, hormones, and brain signals.

The Bigger Picture: Cocaine’s Impact on Health

Cocaine might make you lose weight, but it’s part of a more significant and dangerous picture. Understanding the real effects of cocaine on the body can be crucial if you or a loved one are dealing with addiction. At Landmark Recovery, we understand addiction and are here to help.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine misuse, don’t wait. Call our confidential admissions line at 888-448-0302 anytime—day or night.

Myths and Realities of Cocaine and Weight Loss

Common Misconceptions

Some believe cocaine can be a means to weight loss, viewing it as a quick fix to shed pounds. This misconception overlooks the severe health risks tied to cocaine usage. 

Physical and Mental Impacts

Cocaine might temporarily suppress your appetite, but it can also cause harmful side effects, including:

  • Heart problems
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Fatigue

Contradicting Findings on Cocaine and Weight Gain

Research on cocaine and weight loss is complex. While some studies point to appetite suppression and weight loss as side effects, others show that the long-term impact can be weight gain. These contradictions highlight the complexity of cocaine’s effects on the body and the dangers of repeatedly using it, especially for weight loss.

In-Depth Analysis

A specific study worth considering focuses on the impact of chronic cocaine use on body weight. It found that cocaine alters metabolism, leading to weight gain once the drug is no longer used. The research contradicts the myth that cocaine use leads to sustainable weight loss, showing the dangerous and long-lasting effects on the body.

What to Do if Cocaine Makes You Lose Weight

Cocaine’s connection to weight loss is a hazardous misconception. It might lead to temporary weight loss, but the long-term effects can be detrimental. Over five million Americans aged 12 and older abuse cocaine. Therefore, professional help can support those struggling with addiction.

Drug Treatment Programs for Cocaine Addiction

For those who use cocaine regularly, attempting to quit can lead to serious withdrawals and deadly effects like a drug overdose. Recovery might present challenges, but Landmark Recovery supports you every step. With a wide range of drug treatment programs offered under one roof, Landmark provides the comprehensive care needed to overcome cocaine addiction:

  • Medical Detox: Safely managing withdrawal symptoms with medical supervision.
  • Residential Treatment: Providing a supportive environment for recovery with around-the-clock care.
  • Outpatient Rehab: Tailored programs that allow patients to continue their everyday lives while receiving treatment.
  • Aftercare Programs: Continuing support like Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs) help ensure long-term recovery success.

Whether you’re facing the challenges of cocaine addiction or seeking help for a loved one, don’t hesitate to call our Patient Navigators, available day or night, at 888-448-0302 to discuss the best treatment options.

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About the Author

Demarco Moore

Demarco Moore

A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Demarco Moore currently writes blogs about drug addiction treatment and recovery to help save lives at treatment provider Landmark Recovery. Before that, he cut his teeth as a sports writer at the Manchester Times, where his coverage and stories won Tennessee Press Association awards in 2016 and 2017.

He’s always had a knack for storytelling. Moore’s written content for junior golf tournaments and helped to amplify the “People Not Profits” message of credit unions. When he’s not writing, Moore loves to travel, laugh and put his mental health into the hands of the Tennessee Titans during football season.