Investigating the Side Effects of Cocaine

Many people are already familiar with the side effects that often accompany a cocaine addiction. They know how to look for the physical symptoms or withdrawal and the mental health disorders that can sometimes accompany drug use. However, there are also several lesser-known side effects of cocaine that you should be on the lookout for: namely, does cocaine cause hair loss?

Pathfinders Recovery Center is determined to help you combat drug addiction. If you or a loved one is experiencing some of the symptoms associated with illegal drugs, we can customize a treatment plan specifically for you.

Cocaine and Hair Loss: What’s the Connection?

The truth is that you might experience hair fallout from extended cocaine use. Drug abuse can impact the body in unexpected ways, and this is often one of them. Cocaine can halt hair growth in a number of different ways as well as contribute to hair that falls out before it is truly ready.

Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect from the hair growth cycle when you use substances like cocaine. These lesser-known side effects can take a real toll on your body and here’s how they work.

Lack of Nutrition Leads to Hair Loss

Lack of Nutrition Leads to Hair Loss

In order to understand hair loss with cocaine addiction, it is important to note some of the other symptoms you will experience. The physical repercussions of drug abuse are serious. Perhaps one of the easiest symptoms to spot is a lack of appetite or rapid weight loss. When you stop consuming a well-balanced diet, you are depriving your body of needed nutrients.

Of course, there are other issues that stem from cocaine use as well. For example, your body is unable to absorb the nutrients that you do take in, however minimal these may be. Combined, these nutritional deficiencies make it less likely that your body will be able to generate healthy hair growth.

The body will prioritize its most important functions when nutrition is ignored. That means that it goes toward repairing the body, keeping organs functioning, and more. The last place that these precious nutrients will go is your hair growth. It simply is not a necessary function, and your recreational drug use is to blame for the hair loss you experience.

Stress-Induced Hair Loss with Substance Abuse

While lack of nutrition makes hair growth a challenge, hair loss is just as common due to the stress of cocaine use. Hair loss is common following a radical change to the body’s system, such as that caused by cocaine usage. Any time you use crack cocaine or other recreational drugs, you start to induce stress-related hair loss.

Combine this stress to the bodily systems with your poor nutrition and you have a recipe for disaster when it comes to your hair.

Unfortunately, you might struggle with even more hair loss when you decide to give up your crack cocaine usage. Getting the drug out of your system is equally stressful, both mentally and physically. As a result, you might find that your hair loss gets a little bit worse before it starts to improve.

If you notice that your hair is thinning or you have difficulty with hair regrowth, it could be a sign that your cocaine use is taking a toll on your body. It moves from invisible to visible fairly quickly, especially as far as your temporary hair loss is concerned. Reach out for help if you want to get through the early days of sobriety and start to get your hair healthy again.

Prioritizing Important Body Systems Means Hair Growth Takes a Backseat

One of the hallmarks of cocaine addiction is an interruption to normal and healthy sleep patterns. You may spend very little time asleep, and even the quality of that sleep is minimal. You need certain stages of sleep to keep the body functioning at its best.

During the rapid eye movement (REM) stage of your sleep, your body is primed to repair itself. Disrupted REM sleep means that you body has less time to focus on making the necessary repairs to important body systems. In turn, it will focus on the most important systems first.

This often means that your body will relegate hair growth or hair loss to the bottom of the list. Hair, while it may be beautiful, is not the most important thing for your body to focus on repairing when REM sleep is at a premium.

As a result, the less sleep you get, the more likely it is that you will experience substantial hair loss and have difficulty when it comes time to regrow hair.

Lack of Proper Hair Care Leads to Hair Loss

Taking hair care

One of the issues with cocaine addiction is that you tend to neglect some of the daily care activities that your body needs to be fully functioning and healthy. Personal appearance and hygiene tend to be the first things to go when you are coping with a substance use issue. To this end, you will find that your haircare routine is likely lacking.

When you stop taking care of your hair, it is only normal to find that you have hair loss or issues with regrowth of the hair follicles.

Perhaps the easiest way to minimize hair loss from taking illegal drugs is to reprioritize the daily care of your hair. Purchase quality shampoo and conditioner, making every effort to wash and care for it on a regular basis.

Will You Suffer Permanent Hair Loss Due to Cocaine Use?

If you are concerned about the connection between cocaine and hair loss, you might be wondering if anything can be done about it. Maybe you are ready to conquer your addiction once and for all but are concerned that your hair may never recover. Fortunately, most of the hair loss is only temporary.

It will take some time for your body to catch up and move toward healthy hair growth once more. You will need to maintain good nutrition, healthy sleep habits, and decrease the overall stress in your life. Taking care of your hair will also help to restore hair follicles and make it more likely that you can regrow hair that you have lost.

Cocaine use allows the body to transition into a constant state of shock where hair is the least of the body’s priorities. You can help it reestablish equilibrium by stopping your substance use and seeking treatment with a qualified rehab center.

What Does Cocaine Addiction Treatment Do for Hair Loss?

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

Through treatment for cocaine use, we will help you establish healthy habits once more including both eating balanced meals and sleeping. Both of these can have a dramatic impact on stress-induced hair loss and make it more likely that you hair will regrow. Residential treatment also keeps you sober and away from substance abuse, guiding you along the path toward healing.

In some instances, a doctor may even be able to prescribe a medication aimed at helping hair regrow. Be sure to ask your doctor if you would qualify for one of these treatments if your hair loss is particularly significant.

Getting Help for Hair Loss and Cocaine Use

Many people find that the health of their hair suffers when exposed to illegal drugs. The good news is that you can combat this lesser-known side effect with treatment at Pathfinders Recovery Center. We will start with a medical detox, allowing you to rid the body of leftover cocaine and helping you to step into your recovery.

Addressing the root cause of your hair loss is essential. Allow our team of experienced medical professionals to create a customized treatment plan that will have you looking and feeling your very best. Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center today to learn more about our treatment programs!


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