Cocaine Effects on Women

Close up of woman with hand over face

Almost 15% of Americans have tried cocaine, with a shocking 17% of adults over the age of 26 having used the drug.[1]  Although dangerous for anyone who uses it, the effects of Cocaine on women differ slightly then on men.

With such a high rate of cocaine use in the United States, perhaps those that fall victim to it the most, are women. Oftentimes, the desire for women to use cocaine comes from a combination of social, familial, environmental and genetic influences. Especially for those women who have a lower self-esteem and compare themselves to society’s idea of beauty, the effects of cocaine (such as the sense of euphoria felt when it is initially snorted and its appetite-suppressing abilities) can make cocaine use seem very attractive. Women’s brain chemistry may also leave them more susceptible to cocaine addiction.[2]

Cocaine affects men and women differently. Cocaine’s effects on women and men are powerful, rewiring reward and pleasure centers within the brain.[3] A study done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse shows that women are more susceptible to developing an addiction to cocaine, because they are psychologically more dependent. Regardless of the reason, cocaine effects on women prove to have debilitating short-term and long-term effects.

The effects of cocaine use on women include:

  • Abandonment of activities once enjoyed
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Anxiety
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Erratic or bizarre behavior
  • Fearfulness
  • Hallucinations
  • Increase in body temperature, blood pressure, or heart rate
  • Intense paranoia
  • Malnutrition
  • Menstrual problems
  • Muscle twitches
  • Nasal perforation
  • Psychosis
  • Reckless or risky behaviors
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Stealing money
  • Violence or violent mood swings


The more intense the cocaine addiction, the worse these symptoms. Cocaine’s effects on women can be incredibly dangerous, so it’s important for women to work on getting sober in South Florida. At Awakenings for Women, our facility for women’s sober living in Florida, we can help.

Treating Women’s Cocaine Addiction

An addiction to cocaine requires the appropriate substance abuse treatment, in order to better the chances of success for long-term sobriety; however, women and men both benefit from treatment that is tailored specifically to each gender. Because motivating factors for cocaine use differ between men and women, the ways of approaching substance abuse treatment should differ as well. While men may be better suited for established cocaine treatment techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy, women using cocaine may have a higher rate of success with treatments based on the fundamentals of stress reduction and therapy.

At Awakenings for Women, we understand the dangers of cocaine use among women, and we are here to help women find their sobriety. Contact our center for women’s sober living in Boca Raton, FL today to get started on sobriety.



  1. NIH, National Survey of Drug Use and Health
  2. Science Daily, Sweets or Cocaine?
  3. NCBI, Dopamine signaling in reward-related behaviors
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