What are the risks associated with cocaine use? Short term effects include loss of appetite, faster breathing and increased body temperature and heart rate. Users may behave bizarrely, erratically and sometimes violently. Excessive doses of cocaine may lead to convulsions, seizures, stroke, cerebral hemorrhage or heart failure. Long term users of cocaine risk a number of health problems, some of them depending on how they take the drug. Shifting cocaine severely damages nose tissue; smoking can cause respiratory problems; whilst injection can cause abscesses and infectious diseases. Other risks, regardless of how the drug is taken, include strong phycological dependence, malnutrition, weight loss, disorientation, apathy and a state similar to paranoid psychosis.