Cocaine is one of the most famous addictive stimulant drugs used in the US. It is a crystal powder that is commonly sold illegally in the streets. People who use this substance want the feeling of getting and maintaining their high.
If you or anyone you know is actively using cocaine, you might want to acquire more knowledge about it and how cocaine affects the brain. Here is everything you need to know about its effects and ways to treat the aftermath.
What Effect Does Cocaine Have On Your Brain?
Cocaine is a stimulant drug; it has a significant effect on the central nervous system. Like other stimulants, it gives you a blast of energy. As a result, your alertness becomes heightened, and you experience a “high” from the substance.
So, what does cocaine do to your brain?
Other common short-term effects of cocaine include a feeling of profound happiness or enjoyment that lasts only for a short period, a sense of restlessness or “jitters,” uncertainty, frustration, and reduced appetite.
Cocaine can have long-term side effects, mainly if often used and for a long time. Here are some of the long-term effects of cocaine on the brain:
- Weight loss
- Loss of smell
- Mood swings
- Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders
- Erratic heartbeat, and
- Death due to overdose
The majority of cocaine’s short-term side effects go away after a day or two. Long-term side effects, on the other hand, might be irreversible.
Long-term cocaine side effects may also be a symptom of brain damage.
Why Is Cocaine Affecting The Brain Specifically?
Cocaine affects brain function because it increases the amount of a chemical in your brain called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that exists naturally in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that passes through your brain cells to signal joy or satisfaction. Dopamine floods your brain cells when you use cocaine, giving it nowhere else to go after that. Because of the excess dopamine, your brain cells are unable to communicate.
Cocaine reduces the sensitivity of the brain to dopamine over time. That means a higher dose of cocaine is needed to achieve the same effects as a dopamine high. Flooding the brain with dopamine over time can cause damage to the brain’s structure. As a consequence, heavy cocaine use can lead to seizures and other neurological problems.
The question stands, does cocaine kill brain cells? Using cocaine can also delay glucose metabolism in the brain. Which can cause your brain’s neurons to function more slowly or even die off.
Cocaine also harms the brain in several ways. Your heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your brain because cocaine causes your blood vessels to narrow. This process puts a strain on the heart and circulatory system. Your heart rate can become out of sync as a result. It may also deprive the brain of the blood it needs, causing brain cells to die.
When you grow older, the effects of cocaine on your brain cells become much more pronounced.
Can The Brain Heal From Cocaine Effects?
The effects of cocaine use on your brain can be reversible.
The amount of normal cognition you recover depends on various factors such as the amount of time you have been using the substance and how much cocaine you consume each occasion.
There is currently no prescription available to treat cocaine addiction, but doctors may prescribe off-label medications to treat it. One of these drugs is disulfiram (Antabuse).
How Do Doctors Diagnose Cocaine Addiction?
When you consult a doctor about your cocaine use, they will ask about your lifestyle, behavior, consumption, and dosage. It’s essential to be open and truthful to receive the best treatment.
When a medical incident such as a seizure or stroke happens, your doctor may discuss the possibility of cocaine addiction if you also exhibit other symptoms.
A comprehensive examination is required to diagnose drug addiction or substance use disorder, which also involves assessing a doctor, a psychologist, or certified alcohol and drug counselor. A doctor can establish drug usage by blood, urine, or other lab tests, although they are not a screening tool for addiction. These measures, on the other hand, may be used to monitor support and treatment.
Your doctor can use a drug screening to verify cocaine usage. A urine drug test for cocaine will only be positive for around four days after the last use. However, the more cocaine you use, the more it accumulates in your body and takes longer to metabolize or wear off your system entirely.
If you go to the doctor because of a health problem, they’ll suggest medication plans and help you manage your withdrawal until you’re back on your feet. Withdrawal from cocaine should constantly be monitored by a medical professional. If you or your loved one wants to fight off a cocaine addiction, Haven House Recovery is a recovery center around Murfreesboro. We provide treatment for several addiction and abuse cases. Visit our website to know more about our treatments or contact us now to book an appointment.