You probably already know that cocaine has some pretty nasty side effects, including depression, anxiety, insomnia and irritability. But now a new, even more dangerous side effect has emerged and it should be enough to keep you from ever touching the stuff.
Cocaine users are more likely to catch an STI, according to a new study published in Psychopharmacology. Even people who try cocaine only once increase their risk of catching an infection.
The reasoning behind the new statistics actually makes sense if you think about it. According to researchers, cocaine use makes people more impulsive and more likely to participate in risky activities, like having unprotected sex with a random person at a party.
“Our study affirms and may help explain why people who regularly use cocaine are more willing to partake in risky sex,” says study author Dr. Matthew Johnson of Johns Hopkins University. “The bottom line is that cocaine appears to increase sexual desire… They become more impatient when it comes to waiting for sex. If a condom isn’t available, cocaine makes people less willing to postpone sex to get a condom.”
In the study, a group of participants were given a placebo, a 125 mg pill of cocaine, or a 250 mg pill of the drug—cocaine is more potent and long-lasting in pill form. The results showed that the drug directly increased sexual desire, which peaked roughly 45 minutes after participants ingested the pill, and found that participants who took a greater dosage of the drug experienced even great sexual desire. Researchers also noticed that the users given cocaine pills became admittedly more likely to engage in unprotected sex, especially if they had to wait a prolonged period of time to get a condom.
Ultimately, they discovered that the group of cocaine users had a 40 percent chance of using protection, while the placebo group had a 70 percent chance.