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What is Coke Bloat?

Cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug. It is used medicinally as an anesthetic, however, this is pretty uncommon these days. That being said, the cocaine you abuse is created in illegal drug labs, making it dangerous to consume.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 27,788,000 people in the United States have abused cocaine at some point in their lives.

Cocaine can cause a wide range of adverse effects. For example, you might experience frequent nosebleeds, mental health symptoms like anxiety and paranoia, or even life-threatening overdoses when misusing cocaine.

If you have ever noticed that your face or stomach appears more puffy than usual, you could be experiencing “coke bloat.” While coke bloat is not life-threatening, it can be indicative of a more serious issue, like a substance use disorder. The only way to resolve coke bloat permanently is to attend a drug rehab center and maintain your sobriety.

Does Cocaine Cause Bloating?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that is derived from the coca plant found in South America. If you are buying cocaine off of the street, it usually comes as a white and powdery substance. It might also include additives like cornstarch or other drugs, as this allows drug dealers to increase their profits.

When you abuse cocaine, you might notice that your face or belly seems a bit more swollen than usual. This is known as “coke bloat,” a term used to describe bloating that occurs after abusing cocaine. As bloating is one of the effects of cocaine abuse, experiencing it often might be indicative of a substance use disorder.

Why Does Coke Bloat Occur?

There are a few reasons that bloating occurs when you abuse cocaine. While the media portrays cocaine users as having sunken cheeks, this drug sometimes causes the opposite effects.

Bloating or puffiness after cocaine use might be caused by fluid retention in the face. Oftentimes, this is a result of an increase in lymphatic fluid. It could also be caused by a hormonal imbalance caused by cocaine abuse.

Another reason coke bloat occurs is due to the additives often included in street cocaine. To explain, it is common for drug dealers to mix cocaine with a substance called levamisole. This substance is a deworming medication for animals.

When you consume levamisole, you can experience a wide range of side effects. For example, you might experience necrosis, seizures, or abdominal and joint pain. Levamisole can also lead to swollen glands, which may explain the bloating that occurs when you snort cocaine.

Lastly, you are likely snorting cocaine when you are misusing it. As a result of snorting the powder, you could experience nasal irritation and constricted blood vessels. When your nasal passages are irritated, you might experience swelling, which could account for facial bloating.

Should You See a Doctor for Coke Bloat?

Coke bloat might not be indicative of a serious problem on its own. If you experience it frequently, you might want to see a doctor for a few different reasons. First, frequent bloating from cocaine use might mean you have a substance abuse problem.

On the other hand, if coke bloat is accompanied by other symptoms, you might be dealing with a serious health condition caused by cocaine abuse. You should see a doctor if you experience these additional side effects:

  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever or fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Consistent coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Significant weight loss

These symptoms might mean that you are developing health conditions related to long-term cocaine use. A doctor could help you identify what health condition you are suffering from, help you obtain treatment, and recommend a cocaine addiction treatment program.

How Can You Get Rid of Bloating Caused by Cocaine?

The best way to get rid of coke bloat is to attend an addiction treatment program. If you stop abusing cocaine, you will not experience the bloating anymore.

While you should always seek professional treatment, there are ways to temporarily relieve coke bloat while you are waiting to attend rehab. To reduce the symptoms of bloating, consider the following tactics:

  • Apply a cooling mask to your face
  • Massage your face in circular motions for 10 minutes each day
  • Try cold compresses or take a cold shower
  • Use hydrocortisone cream to reduce inflammation
  • Use a derma roller on the affected areas of your skin
  • Reduce your cocaine abuse
  • Increase your water intake and eat healthier foods

Cocaine addiction treatment centers can help you learn how to maintain long-term sobriety. With a combination of medical detox, behavioral therapies, and developing healthy coping mechanisms, you can overcome an addiction to cocaine.

Find Help for Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

If you or a loved one abuse cocaine, it’s time to consider professional help. Coke bloat is the least of your worries, as cocaine can lead to serious health complications like cardiovascular conditions and overdoses. Thankfully, drug rehab programs can help you overcome cocaine addiction before it’s too late.

At Mandala Healing Center, we believe in taking a compassionate and evidence-based approach to substance abuse recovery. Contact us today for more information on our cocaine addiction treatment center.