When a person abuses a drug, their mind and body can react in several concerning ways. A person’s physical appearance can be one of the biggest indicators of a potential substance abuse problem. For instance, a person who abuses a drug like cocaine may experience severe weight loss and may appear to be jittery, along with another striking symptom of their addiction. Our Stuart, Florida, Banyan Treatment Center explains coke bloat and what causes it.
What Is Coke Bloat?
Bloating or puffiness of the face due to chronic cocaine abuse is known as coke bloat. The bloating in question usually happens under the chin and around the cheeks of the cocaine user.
These coke bloat symptoms are especially strange, particularly when considering the common stereotypes of cocaine users. These individuals are often portrayed as malnourished, wiry, and even wasting away. This is due in part to the common cocaine side effect of appetite suppression. This weight loss makes facial bloating even more prominent.
Why Does Cocaine Make You Bloated?
While this answer can differ depending on the physical factors of the cocaine user, there are several explanations as to why people suffer from bloating after using coke.
These reasons include:
- Impure cocaine: Dealers commonly cut cocaine with other substances to optimize their profit. While some dealers opt for adulterants like flour and talcum powder, the most popular additive used is a veterinary deworming drug known as Levamisole.1 When taken by humans, Levamisole can produce swelling in the parotid glands (salivary glands) found just in front of the ears.
- Imbalance of hormones: An abused substance is very likely to cause some kind of hormone imbalance due to the chemicals it holds. These changes can also affect the body's overall functions and lead to the swelling in question.
- Fluid retention: The blood vessels of chronic cocaine users are known to contract the longer the abuse persists. This, in turn, causes lymphatic fluid to collect in these smaller vessels, leading to noticeable swelling, most commonly in the face.
While numerous online remedies claim to help relieve the bloating, these are not backed by science and are merely upheld by hearsay. Luckily, as the cocaine begins to leave the system, the physical symptoms should eventually subside.
Get Florida Addiction Treatment Before It Is Too Late
It is important to understand that someone using cocaine in any capacity should evaluate what they are doing. Cocaine can lead to the development of tolerance, dependency, addiction, and even overdose. A person must address these issues before they escalate into something much worse. Luckily, Banyan Stuart offers addiction treatment options to help patients heal from the negative side effects of their cocaine use.
- Translational Psychiatry - Cognitive and neuroanatomical impairments associated with chronic exposure to levamisole-contaminated cocaine