Picture: Universal Pictures
Picture: Universal Pictures

The annual 2016 European Drug Report estimated that 3.6 million adults consumed cocaine in Europe last year.

The UK was one of three countries, alongside Spain and the Netherlands, that reported prevalence of cocaine among young adults of three per cent or more.

So what are the effects of cocaine, other than the intended?

Short term, you'll see a loss of appetite, increased heart rate and blood pressure, headaches, nausea, hyper-stimulation and faster breathing.

Long term, you'll do damage to blood vessels in your heart and kidneys and you'll have high blood pressure, with a range of possible consequences.

You can also destroy tissues in your nose and experience sexual health issues affecting fertility.

You can also suffer a range of mental health issues as a result, including hallucinations, psychosis and clinical depression.

Cocaine also affects the reward pathways in the brain, use over a long period of time diminishes the sensory reward of other experiences.

For example, sex. If you repeatedly use cocaine as a supplement to sex, you will start to enjoy sex less.

Repeated cocaine use can also affect stress hormones, elevating them, often meaning that people seek out more cocaine to alleviate their stress.

It's also worth noting that a lot of the time cocaine isn't only cocaine.

The emergence of a two-tier market has occured, with average purity levels rising in the UK and elsewhere in Europe over the last five years, but despite this, most of the gram you buy isn't cocaine, and it really isn't harmless.

HT Refinery29

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