Yes, substance abuse from illegal drugs—such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and other recreational drugs—has been proven to cause hair shedding and temporary baldness.
Cocaine is a stimulant drug that has been known to produce long-term effects such as mental health disorders, increased risk of heart attack, and other physical health issues.
One of the lesser spoken-about physical side effects of cocaine abuse is hair loss, as the hair growth cycle can be inhibited due to the imbalance of hormones caused by cocaine use.
Why Cocaine Causes Hair Loss
Hair loss is typically induced by temporary stimuli such as increased stress levels or malnutrition, but new clinical studies suggest a connection between baldness and coke use.
Due to life choices, disturbances in sleep schedule, such as staying up late in the evening to use cocaine without interruption, can result in a lack of melatonin.
This mounting melatonin deficiency has been proven—albeit tentatively—to contribute to the loss of hair. This is in part because the body grows hair, nail beds, and resurfaces fresh skin cells during sleep.
Additionally, the stimulating and focusing side effects of snorting, smoking, or injecting cocaine can lead to insomnia.
One of the causes of hair loss from cocaine drug abuse is malnutrition, as the stimulant nature of cocaine suppresses the appetite, causing people who use it to eat and drink less.
This lack of nutrients can prevent the hair follicles from producing the oils and other natural products necessary to grow healthy hair, the absence of which contributes to hair loss.
Physical and behavioral stress is a major factor when it comes to discovering the correlation between cocaine use and hair loss.
People who ingest cocaine in any form are susceptible to stress-induced hair loss, also known as telogen effluvium, which is a temporary disorder that can make your hair fall out.
Why Crack Cocaine May Cause More Hair Loss
Crack cocaine use can cause the same type of hair loss as pure or freebase cocaine.
This form of cocaine can also cause short-term weight loss, higher addiction rates, severe withdrawal symptoms, and other health issues which can interrupt proper bodily functions.
The highly addictive nature of cocaine — especially crack, as it is usually cheaper, more available, and laced with other solvents — can cause people to become addicted faster.
This method of shocking the body with a new variant of substance use can cause further stress to the body as it struggles to regulate stress chemicals and hormones.
Additionally, coke-induced stress and nutritional deficiencies can contribute to poor sleep, with the body being unable to repair itself due to consistently interrupted resting phases.
Is Cocaine-Related Hair Loss Reversible?
Fortunately, cocaine-related hair loss is reversible.
Usually, many of the hair loss-related side effects of cocaine use are temporary, as the body is in a state of shock from trying to regulate hormones and repair itself.
Better nutrition, regular sleeping schedules, and better life choices, such as ceasing recreational drug use, can help to promote hair regrowth.
Treatments For Hair Loss Caused By Cocaine Addiction
It is recommended to cease cocaine use in a drug rehab center, as managing the withdrawal symptoms on your own can be dangerous.
Enrolling in a treatment center can help you facilitate regular sleeping and eating habits, make better lifestyle choices, and remain sober.
Additionally, there are hair growth medications that many accredited rehab centers can either provide or source for clients suffering from drug-related hair loss problems.
These benefits, taken alongside sobriety from opioids, alcohol, or cocaine, can help to remediate the temporary hair loss caused by cocaine drug use.
Treatment Programs For Cocaine Abuse
There are a number of drug treatment options available to assist persons seeking treatment services to recover from addiction and enter a life of sobriety.
Some of these cocaine addiction treatment services include:
- inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
- telehealth meetings
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- residential treatment programs
- educational and vocational activities
- medically supervised drug detox
- other detoxification services
Find Treatment Services For Cocaine Addiction
If you or a loved one have a cocaine addiction, now is not the time to wait, but to act — you could save a life.
Give our helpline a call today to discuss treatment at our inpatient treatment center in Canton, Massachusetts.
At Bedrock Recovery Center, we offer a myriad of treatment options for cocaine and other types of drug abuse, and we are ready and willing to help you begin your recovery today.
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.