Cocaine is one of the most powerful stimulant drugs in the world. It is derived from the leaves of coca plants, which are native to South America. This drug produces euphoria and an increased amount of energy in the individual using cocaine. Unfortunately, there are some potentially dangerous side effects to cocaine addiction. It can increase your blood pressure and your heart rate.
Cocaine is used in two ways, i.e., snorting and injecting. The length of time and how long the high lasts depends on which method the cocaine was used. When injected, the drug is delivered into the individual’s bloodstream and brain, which gives the individual a stronger, but short duration high. When an individual snorts cocaine, the span of being high lasts longer.
Cocaine and the Brain
Because cocaine is a strong stimulant that increases dopamine in the brain circuits, which triggers the pleasure effect, it goes without saying that cocaine has a powerful hold on the brain.
Recent studies have shown that the blood flow to the brain becomes impaired when cocaine is introduced into the body. Cocaine actually causes a constriction in the blood vessels. Even when an addict thinks about cocaine, cerebral blood flow becomes altered. When an individual uses cocaine excessively, they may experience paranoia and hallucinations. Other effects may include:
- Learning disabilities
- Attention deficit issues
- Memory loss
Whenever an individual uses cocaine, they begin to suffer some type of brain damage. When used excessively, dopamine neurons become altered and the body builds up a tolerance to the cocaine use. The user then has to increase the amount of cocaine being used in order to achieve the desired effect. This paves the way for even more brain damage to occur.
There are many physical side effects of cocaine that an individual can expect to experience as they go deeper into their cocaine addiction. If the user snorts their cocaine, they can expect to cause irreversible damage to their nasal passage (“cocaine nose”). Snorting cocaine deteriorates the cartilage in the nose, eventually burning a hole to the outside of the nose. Individuals can expect to suffer some tooth decay as well.
There is help available for individuals who suffer from substance abuse addiction. Centers that offer drug addiction help are trained to help individuals through cocaine addiction detox. Cocaine addiction detox is something that requires medical assistance, as the withdrawal and detox effects can be very uncomfortable.
When it comes to cocaine addiction, brain damage is the most alarming complication. It can be an irreversible, life-changing, and extremely devastating effect of drug use. This can alter how users interact with people in their lives, and it can sabotage their chance at living a healthy, full, and productive life.
If you, or someone you know, is suffering memory issues due to long-term cocaine usage, seek out help from a drug addiction help center. They are fully equipped to help individuals through cocaine addiction detox, and assist in your loved one’s journey to recovery.