Can Cocaine Affect My Memory?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical associated with pleasure. Cocaine prevents dopamine from being absorbed in the brain, leaving excesses in the brain, causing a sense of euphoria. Like all drugs, cocaine often carries physical and emotional side effects. Side effects of using cocaine include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Decreased appetite (can lead to malnutrition)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Auditory hallucinations

Taking two or more substances together is common among those who abuse drugs. Often times, cocaine and alcohol are consumed together, which intensifies cocaine’s euphoric effect on the body. However, this combination can lead to a greater side effects and greater risk of sudden death than from using cocaine alone.

Cocaine and Memory Loss

While taking cocaine may seem to increase alertness and a sense of euphoria, it can cause dangerous injury to the brain. Harvard University reported on a study that showed that consuming cocaine constricts the blood vessels in the brain. This restriction leads to stroke and to memory and learning problems. These problems can lead to difficulty in a variety of mental tasks, such as getting through job interviews and participating in difficult or complex social situations. The study showed that the blood vessels constricted even if only very low dosages of cocaine were ingested, indicating the powerful nature of this drug.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

Over time, a person can develop an addiction to cocaine, even without realizing it. The drug may impair a person’s thinking, causing him to dismiss even the largest warning signs of addiction. Common signs of cocaine addiction include the following:

  • Poor school or work performance
  • Anxiety and/or agitation
  • Defensiveness over cocaine use
  • Distancing self from family or friends
  • Stealing from loved ones
  • Sudden or recurring lack of money despite financial resources
  • Selling personal property
  • Lying to cover up cocaine use
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Constant sniffling or a runny nose
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Violence

If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you love, seek help immediately. The longer a person is addicted to cocaine, the greater the withdrawal symptoms and the more difficult rehab will be.

Getting Help for Your Cocaine Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with a cocaine addiction, we can help. You can call our toll free number any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk to an addiction recovery specialist who will discuss your symptoms and help you find the best treatment options for your unique situation. Your memory is too important to lose to a cocaine addiction. Call us today.

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