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Cocaine and Cancer

Cocaine and Cancer

Due to the steady increase in cocaine use in the United States, numerous studies have been conducted to better understand the connection between cocaine and cancer.

“Can cocaine cause cancer?” has been an ongoing question for the past several decades. Not only is cocaine dangerous on its own, but it can create an even deadlier effect when it’s mixed with other drugs, like synthetic opioids. The cocaine powder typically sold by drug dealers is usually “cut” or mixed with other substances that can make up to 80% of the actual product.1 Cancer may not necessarily result from the use of cocaine in its purest form, but from the additional substances it’s often laced with. Individuals who develop an addiction to cocaine should seek cocaine addiction treatment.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a powerful and extremely addictive stimulant. It derives from coca leaves that are most common in South America. At one point, cocaine was an ingredient in the early formulas of Coca-Cola, and was even used by doctors to treat pain.2 However, after further research was conducted on its effects, cocaine was found to be an addictive substance that can disrupt brain structure and function when used repeatedly.

Substances Used to Cut Cocaine

Because cocaine is usually purchased illegally, its actual contents may be unknown. The correlation between cocaine and cancer is dependent on the substances cocaine is often laced with. From opioids to cleaning products, cocaine is cut with additional substances so sellers can make more profit without having to produce as much product.Certain substances may cause cancer in individuals who abuse cocaine.

Some of these substances include:

  • Laundry detergent
  • Talc
  • Phenacetin
  • Laxatives
  • Caffeine
  • Boric acid
  • Creatine
  • Amphetamines

The negative side effects of these substances can result from cocaine use. At our rehab facility, we have a 12-step program where individuals who are struggling with substance abuse can understand their addiction and learn how to overcome it.

Does Cocaine Cause Cancer?

Some of the substances commonly used to cut cocaine that cause cancer are talc, phenacetin, creatine, amphetamines. Talc and Phenacetin have been tied to cancer in the male reproductive system and in the ureter, where urine passes through from the kidney.3 Creatine has been known to cause testicular cancer. The frequent use of amphetamines is known to weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing cancer. A study conducted from 1984 to 2002 concluded that men who used amphetamine frequently were nearly five times more likely to develop lymphoma than men who did not use amphetamine as often.4

Addiction to cocaine can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. At Banyan Chicago, we know that recovering from addiction without treatment can be difficult, but we’re here to help. We provide those suffering from cocaine abuse the help they need in our rehab facility in Chicago. patients can get the right treatment in a safe and comfortable environment.

If you or a loved one needs help overcoming addiction, call us at 888-280-4763 to get help now.

Sources & References:

  1. SD- Cocaine Adulteration
  2. NIH- What is Cocaine?
  3. NCBI- Phenacetin
  4. NCBI- Recreational amphetamine use and risk of HIV-related non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Cocaine and Cancer
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