How Cocaine Abuse Affects the Brain

Cocaine is a stimulant that works by making changes to the central nervous system. The brain is the command center of the central nervous system, and cocaine abuse affects the brain directly and dramatically.

How Cocaine Addiction Starts

Every addictive substance will cause tolerance and dependence. Because of cocaine’s potency the time it takes to reach these stages in the addiction process is typically much less than that of other drugs. Tolerance is when you need more cocaine to produce the desired effects, as the body adjusts to the presence of certain levels of the drug. Dependence is when withdrawal symptoms make you feel you have to keep using cocaine to stay comfortable and free from pain.

If tolerance and dependence take hold, cocaine has already dramatically changed the way your brain operates. As a safety mechanism your brain will adapt to the presence of cocaine chemicals. The receptors in your brain are disappearing in some places or reappearing in others. These receptors interpret the signals your brain is giving to your body and the messages your body is sending your brain. Receptors influence messaging pathways. These pathways control any and all of the following:

  • Motivation
  • Pleasure
  • Euphoria
  • Mood
  • Memory
  • Compulsion
  • Preservation
  • Sleep
  • Cognition

As cocaine influences the receptors that influence these important functions, it is easy to see the enormous effect addiction can have on the brain.

Psychological Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Psychological cocaine addiction will take much longer to overcome that physical addiction. With the help of rehab treatment psychological addiction can be dealt with and you can relearn healthy habits and behaviors. Brain pathways can be restored, and many of the changes made by cocaine can be undone. However cocaine addiction is considered a chronic disease, and there is no one cure or permanent solution for recovery. This shouldn’t discourage you from getting psychological cocaine addiction help, just know that the recovery process will take time, effort and support. You can overcome the effects of cocaine on the brain, and you can find a healthy and happy drug-free life.

The Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Abuse

Side effects of cocaine abuse include an increased risk for strokes and heart attacks, increases in body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. Users may also be at greater risk for seizures and respiratory failure after long-term use. Cocaine abuse comes with side effects that can be at best difficult to overcome and at worst permanent. Side effects of cocaine abuse include the following:

  • Increased risk for stroke
  • Increased risk for heart attack
  • Increases in body temperature
  • Increases in blood pressure
  • Increases in heart rate
  • Elevated risk of seizure
  • Elevated risk of respiratory failure

In rehab there are medical professionals who will deal quickly and appropriately with the changes cocaine has made to your body and mind. Recovery may be a lengthy process, but healing is worth it.

End the Effects of Cocaine Abuse Now

Don’t let yourself and loved ones suffer through the effects of cocaine abuse or addiction any longer. Call our toll-free helpline and get the help you need. We are here 24 hours a day, and we can talk to you about any questions or concerns and provide information about quality cocaine abuse and addiction treatment. You are not alone in recovery. End the effects of cocaine abuse; call now.

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