Cocaine is one of the most popular addictive substances among drug users. It is derived from the leaves of coca plant, a native to South America. Cocaine is available as a fine, white powder in streets.
Most people inhale the powder through their nose, rub it on gums, or inject the substance after dissolving it in water. Drug abusers often binge on cocaine, the higher consumption leading to a number of negative health effects.
Common effects include both short term and long term health problems. Here, we review how cocaine affects the human brain.
The Effects of Cocaine On Your Brain
The substance increases dopamine production, a neurotransmitter which helps regulate brain’s pleasure center. This is how it leads to addiction.
Normally, dopamine recycles back into the secreting cells. However, cocaine prevents this from happening, resulting in dopamine buildup. This disrupts brain communication, resulting in the drug’s ‘high’.
These effects appear almost immediately, and may disappear within an hour of usage. Most common effects include extreme happiness, high energy, mental alertness, hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch, and irritability. Paranoia, the extreme distrust of others, increases as well.
Additionally, cocaine use may also lead to dilated pupils, constricted blood vessels, nausea, high body temperature, high blood pressure, tremors, restlessness, muscle twitches and faster heartbeat.
However, these effects vary from person to person. Some people may find cocaine helpful in performing physical and mental tasks in a quick manner, while others may experience opposite effects. Excess consumption of cocaine may also lead to unpredictable and violent side effects.
The duration and intensity of these effects may vary as well. It mostly depends on the method of drug intake. For instance, smoking or injecting cocaine produces quicker and stronger effects which are short-lasting.
A number of serious long-term effects may develop depending on the method of use.
Snorting can cause loss of sense of smell, frequent runny nose, nosebleeds and swallowing problems. Consumption by mouth can increase bowel decay because of reduced blood flow.
Needle injection increases the risk of acquiring harmful, and often fatal, infectious diseases such as Hepatitis and AIDS.
Other blood borne diseases may also be transmitted. Furthermore, cocaine use can impair a person’s judgment, leading to risky sexual behavior.
Other long-term effects include serious malnourishment, movement disorders, excessive paranoia and auditory hallucinations.
If you or a loved one is addicted to cocaine, it’s time to give it up. Call us at 866-227-1437 or get in touch with us through this online form for details about our drug addiction treatment program. We strive to help you throughout the addiction recovery process.