Get To Know The Effects of Cocaine on the Brain at Skyward Treatment Center


Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine may cause lasting brain damage and death even after short-term usage. Cocaine abuse disorder can easily result in addiction because it affects the brain’s dopamine systems and pleasure circuits. Its misuse may result in a variety of long-term effects. Cocaine is a strong stimulant with a significant addiction potential. Because it immediately affects the brain’s neurochemistry, some persons may become dependent after only one dosage.

The brain’s capacity to manufacture more dopamine is compromised as soon as the effects of cocaine wear off and dopamine is re-absorbed into the brain. This results in withdrawal symptoms, including mood swings, depression, and exhaustion. To counteract these unpleasant feelings, reinforcement must be employed by taking additional cocaine right afterward.

The Brain’s Response to Mood Changes

Both powdered cocaine and freebase (more commonly known as crack) cocaine can potentially harm one’s mental health irreversibly. The most evident symptoms of this are emotional disturbances and mood swings.

Because cocaine directly affects the amount of dopamine reabsorbed by brain neurons, the experiencing of chronic depression is among the most obvious signs of a cocaine withdrawal.

If the brain doesn’t quite return to normal after a prolonged cocaine use period, it is feasible for the individual to have chronic depression. The long-term consequences of cocaine abuse include auditory hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, and restlessness. For people who have a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia or psychosis, abusing cocaine in the form of powder or freebase enhances the likelihood of developing these illnesses.

When using cocaine, the brain’s increased production of stress hormones like cortisol is amplified. As a result, blood pressure steadily increases. As a consequence, one develops cardiovascular diseases.

Even if the user does not experience psychosis, cocaine addiction can lead to various mental health issues.

Cocaine and Brain Aging

As a person matures, gray matter starts to wear off from the brain. In a healthy brain, this process takes several years to complete and doesn’t manifest until in old age. Gray matter atrophy, cognitive impairments, impaired memory, and even dementia are all related.

The University of Cambridge recently performed a study on the aging of the brain in coke users and non-addicts. According to the research, those who now use cocaine or who have abused the substance in the past lose an average of 3.08 milliliters of gray matter year, which is double the typical loss.  Another study also suggests that cocaine abuse can cause brain cells to self-destruct. The process of neurons destroying themselves from within, or neuronal autophagy, as documented in this research was being induced by cocaine in mice. Cannibalism of internal cell structures occurred since the cells wasted crucial resources during metabolism, which triggered a stress response. This behavior was also observed in mice whose moms had received cocaine when pregnant but did not themselves have a cocaine addiction.

Receive The Best Therapy for Your Addiction at Skyward Treatment Center

If you or somebody you care about is worried about their health, has concerns about how cocaine has affected their brain, or needs help quitting cocaine, call Skyward Treatment Center in Dallas right now. We also offer intervention services for those in need if you are worried about a friend or relative who is displaying signs of cocaine abuse but is defiant. Reach out to Skyward Center today for more information.

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