Cocaine’s Effects on the Digestive System - Banyan Treatment Center

Cocaine’s Effects on the Digestive System

Many users take cocaine for the initial rush of euphoria it provides, but cocaine is a toxic substance that can cause serious damage to the body. The long-term effects of cocaine especially can lead to problematic and lasting issues that may not always be reversible. Of these problems, there are several effects of cocaine on the stomach and digestive system you want to avoid.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Digestive System?

While cocaine can excite the brain, it can also impact the digestive system. While these cocaine side effects on the stomach and digestive system become more severe with long-term use, there are also some short-term effects that can be unpleasant for users.

Some common short-term effects of cocaine on the digestive system include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea1,2

Cocaine stomach pain and nausea may not seem so bad, so many addicts choose to ignore these problems instead of going to a doctor or going to a drug rehab center to quit. Unfortunately, when this behavior becomes routine, these uncomfortable symptoms can develop into signs of much more serious health issues.

In the long-term, cocaine’s effects on the digestive system may include:

  • Decreased appetite leading to malnourishment and drastic weight loss
  • Changes to metabolism
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Abdominal bleeding
  • Reduced blood flow to the gastrointestinal system
  • Perforation of the intestines
  • Perforation of the small blood vessel in the abdomen
  • Bowel tissue decay or rupturing 2,3,4

The risk of these severe damages is even more common in cases of cocaine body packers where the packages have ruptured.2 If you are starting to notice these issues or experience stomach issues that may or may not be related to cocaine use, see a doctor and get cocaine addiction treatment immediately. Ignoring these problems will make them worse and could lead to other serious health issues.

Treating the Side Effects of Cocaine on the Stomach & Digestive System

Fortunately, some of cocaine’s effects on the digestive system can be reversed when drug abuse stops, and our Gilman cocaine detox center could help you with this process.

Unfortunately, not everything may be reversible by just quitting. For some problems, over-the-counter medications or supplements may be all that is necessary to help them subside. More serious conditions, like perforation of the intestines, may require the attention of specialists who will then be able to develop a proper treatment plan. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary.

Substance abuse of any kind is no joke. While it may provide temporary and short-term rewards, the long-term consequences are not worth it. When you or someone you care about can’t seem to stop, it is time to ask for help. At Banyan Heartland, we help people through every step of the recovery process. To begin your journey or to get help for a loved one in need, call us today at 888-280-4763.


  1. NIH – Effects of Cocaine on Brains and Bodies
  2. NCBI – Gastric Perforation in a Cocaine User
  3. NIH – Health Consequences of Drug Misuse – Gastrointestinal Effects
  4. NCBI – Gastrointestinal manifestations of cocaine addiction
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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