Cocaine and the Brain

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

Cocaine addiction is one of the deadliest substance use disorders in the U.S. today. Every year, there are 5,000 deaths and almost half a million hospitalizations due to the illegal drug. This powerful stimulant can easily result in a substance use disorder, along with various other physical and mental side effects. Using cocaine means that the user will build up a tolerance to it, requiring a higher and higher dose to feel the effects and develop a physical dependency. A cocaine detox and an addiction treatment program can help break the cycle caused by this dangerous substance. 

Effects of Cocaine on the Brain 

The ventral tegmental area of the brain is first affected by cocaine use. Nerve fibers in this area of the brain are flooded with high levels of dopamine. Protein transporters that usually recycle dopamine are put out of commission during a cocaine high, allowing dopamine to flood the synapses unhindered.

What results is a state of euphoria that, unfortunately, only lasts as long as the substance does. The comedown causes feelings of depression and the only solution is to use again, building up a tolerance to the drug. A coke comedown, scientifically, occurs when the dopamine lingering in your brain needs to be reabsorbed and recycled, which leaves a brain with no dopamine. This causes exhaustion, depression, mood swings, and other withdrawal symptoms.

The brain also develops neurotransmitters that inhibit effects of the drug, leading to a physical addiction. A qualified detox then addiction treatment is the only way to combat this vicious cycle. 

Dangers of Regular Cocaine Use 

Regular drug use can cause a multitude of unwanted physical and mental side effects. Damage to the linings of veins and arteries cause a higher risk of blood clots. Higher risk of blood clots also means a higher risk of stroke—a person is seven times more likely to have a stroke in the immediate 24 hours after using.

Bingeing on the cocaine can result in seizures and even a chronic seizure disorder. Long-term mental health effects also include psychosis, paranoia, auditory hallucinations, and persistent restlessness. Studies have also shown that the regular use of the drug can literally kill brain cells. Many areas of the brain show reduced levels of glucose metabolism due to regular use. This suggests that the neurons are beginning to underperform or even die.

Withdrawal symptoms include depression and fatigue, as well as a multitude of mental and emotional issues that require intensive treatment.

If you or a loved one are addicted to cocaine, it is important to get help immediately. The longer a person waits, the more addicted they become and the more dangerous the effects will be.

Call a Licensed Detox Technician

The first step is finding a licensed, qualified detox. Please call SoCal Detox, located in Orange County, California) today for a free consultation with an addiction specialist.

Call now: 888-590-0777.

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