Does Cocaine Make You Lose Weight?

Some people use cocaine for its posited weight loss benefits. However, the correlation between cocaine use and actual weight loss is negligible. Cocaine abuse also comes with a number of side effects and risks, including addiction.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.


Cocaine, given its nature as a stimulant drug, can lead to weight loss, but not in a healthy way.

The effects of cocaine as they inhibit weight gain do not correlate to weight loss in the way that avoiding fatty foods or carbohydrates might.

How Cocaine Use And Weight Loss Are Connected

People who use cocaine experience a relative level of alertness, focus, appetite suppression, as well as pain inhibition, leading some people to eat less due to a lack of ‘feeling hungry.’

Instead of replacing unhealthy food with organic or low-calorie alternatives, the person simply does not eat due to a lack of appetite as the stimulant swamps the nervous system.

Cocaine Use And Eating Habits

The use of cocaine to lose weight has led to a number of health issues in cocaine-dependent men and women because of its perceived benefits.

Many overlook the side effects of cocaine use — ultimately addiction — which include mental health disorders and detrimental physical side effects.

New research studies suggest a tie between cocaine use and the development of eating disorders to both extremes, namely anorexia and bulimia.

People who have become accustomed to cocaine drug abuse for weight loss purposes may develop anorexia as a result of cocaine numbing the ‘hungry feeling’ the body produces.

Others may have the inverse reaction, where stopping cocaine use results in cravings and the opposite intended effect — a recourse to binge eating and an increase in body weight.

The Effect Of Cocaine Use On Metabolism

While many of the short-term effects of cocaine on the metabolism remain elusive, evidence suggests a correlation between compensatory metabolic and behavioral actions and the cessation of cocaine use.

What does this mean? As cocaine works through the body and the neuroreceptors, it doubles as an appetite suppressant due to its stimulant nature, which causes irregularity in eating habits.

This irregularity leads to changes in how the body processes and stores fat, thus destabilizing the metabolism’s proper function.

Cocaine Abuse And Fat Storage

Healthy amounts of nutrients and fat intake are severely affected by cocaine abuse, specifically when a cocaine-dependent person enters rehab.

The imbalances in eating habits and methods of fat storage as a result of cocaine abuse inhibit the body’s ability to properly process nutrients and regulate eating habits.

This leads to increased chances of obesity from compensatory overeating as well as other health problems which stem from substance use disorders.

Addiction Treatment Programs For Cocaine Addiction

There are a number of treatment centers that provide drug addiction recovery services for people looking to shed their drug use habits.

Some cocaine treatment programs include:

  • inpatient rehab programs
  • educational services
  • partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • medically supervised detox
  • medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
  • outpatient treatment services
  • therapy and counseling
  • Find out more about cocaine rehab programs.

Find Treatment For A Cocaine Use Disorder At Bedrock

Here at Bedrock Recovery Center, we understand the hardships that come with both active addiction and afterward in recovery, including weight loss or weight gain.

Our comprehensive addiction treatment programs offer a full spectrum of services, including a nutritional plan to help restore nutrient and other deficiencies.

If you or a loved one are looking for treatment for an ongoing cocaine addiction, give our free helpline a call today to discuss enrollment at Bedrock.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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