It started with a burst of confidence that you didn’t know you could have. Then the energy made you feel like you could take on the world. Abusing cocaine wasn’t the plan. It was just an easy way to help you feel more confident and keep the party going.
Unfortunately, cocaine use comes with a price. The more you use it, the higher the danger it poses to your health. And while it might not be the first negative effect that comes to mind, the effects of cocaine on the brain pose a serious threat to your well-being
What does cocaine do to your brain? In this post, we’re going to give you the answer along with helpful information on how you can stop using the drug.
What Does Cocaine Do to Your Brain?
Hook the Brain on Unnatural Dopamine Levels
Cocaine acts as a stimulant, affecting your central nervous system by giving it a boost. This is why the drug can make you feel like you have endless amounts of energy. But the impact doesn’t stop there.
Dopamine is a naturally occurring chemical that’s triggered in your brain to help you feel pleasure and satisfaction. For example, working out or eating a delicious dessert triggers a release of dopamine. Cocaine works in a similar fashion to give you that “high” that you feel. The key difference is cocaine floods your brain with unnatural levels of dopamine to make you experience the intense levels of pleasure you feel when taking the drug.
This might sound like a good thing at first, but your brain isn’t designed to handle overwhelming amounts of dopamine. With how addictive cocaine is, your brain quickly becomes accustomed to these increased neurotransmitter levels and can no longer function on natural, healthy levels of dopamine.
Age the Brain Earlier than Normal
Gray matter is directly linked to the brain’s memory and cognitive abilities. While you age, gray matter naturally degenerates and fades away. In someone who isn’t addicted to cocaine, this process takes decades and doesn’t necessarily lead to memory problems.
However, this isn’t always the case for those struggling with cocaine abuse because the drug causes the brain to lose gray matter faster than it should. According to a recent study, people who abuse cocaine lose gray matter twice as fast as people who don’t. Losing gray matter at that speed can cause a variety of memory issues, including dementia.
Change the Physical Structure of the Brain
Besides potential memory issues, cocaine can also cause physical damage to the brain. Oftentimes, cocaine abuse damages the veins and arteries in your brain, which leads to less blood flow throughout the brain. This can trigger ongoing headaches and migraines, and even cause a seizure disorder. Seizures require long-term medical support, can have a major impact on your quality of life and even be life-threatening.
Harm Your Mental Health
Remember the chemical in your brain called dopamine that we mentioned earlier? Besides making you feel good, it helps your brain monitor and manage your mood. But when cocaine floods your brain with increased amounts of dopamine, your brain struggles to return to a balanced state. Your brain goes from an extreme sense of pleasure to an extreme low once the high is finished, resulting in depression.
Cocaine also causes your brain to produce more stress hormones that normal. That puts you at a higher risk of developing anxiety disorders, psychosis and even hallucinations.
Achieve Relief from Cocaine Addiction at Fountain Hills Recovery
Cocaine is one of the most habit-forming substances. And at Fountain Hills Recovery, we know how challenging battling a cocaine addiction can be. As Arizona’s premier cocaine addiction treatment center, we can help you build a life free of cocaine abuse.
Our luxury treatment center offers you a serene and peaceful environment to heal. And our expert addiction staff can help identify and treat your personal needs. At Fountain Hills Recovery, our priority is getting you the help you need. You aren’t just another client; we take the time to learn your story and get to know you as a person, so we can provide the highest quality care possible.