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NIDA Res Monogr. 1984 Mar;49:247-54.

Adverse effects of cocaine abuse.


Specific consequences of cocaine abuse on health and psycho-social functioning were assessed in 55 cocaine-abusing subjects who called a telephone "helpline." REsults showed a high incidence and wide range of adverse consequences including: impairment of job functioning, interpersonal relationships, and financial status; disturbances of mood and cognitive functioning; psychiatric symptoms of depression, paranoia, and increased suicidal/violent tendencies; and physical symptoms of exhaustion, weight loss, sleep problems, and seizures. Cocaine-related automobile accidents, suicide attempts, and violent acts, including a cocaine-related homicide, were also reported. Intranasal users reported no fewer and no less severe adverse consequences than free-base smokers or intravenous users. Our findings challenge popular notions that cocaine is a benign "recreational" drug and that the intranasal route of administration guarantees protection against addictive patterns of use and adverse effects.

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