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What Are the Effects of Cocaine on the Brain?

a concerned man raises his clasped hands to his face while thinking about the effects of cocaine on the brain

Cocaine abuse affects people from all walks of life. The popular South American coca plant white powder is smoked, ingested, injected, or snorted for an immediate high. Cocaine works by speeding up messages from the body to the brain, which can have adverse health problems and even lead to death. Cocaine addiction treatment is the safest, most effective way to stop using cocaine and prevent the long-term effects of cocaine on the brain.

If you or someone in your life is struggling with cocaine, our addiction treatment programs can help. With daytime and evening holistic outpatient programs, we’re here to help you recover. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the side effects of cocaine on the brain and how cocaine addiction treatment can help.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that speeds up the brain’s processing speed. This causes each of the body’s systems to speed up. While high on cocaine, someone can:

  • Become more talkative
  • Lose their appetite
  • Lose weight
  • Have increased focus
  • Suffer anxiety and panic attacks
  • Sweat
  • Carry out tasks quickly
  • Struggle to sleep
  • Experience mania

Because cocaine speeds up the body’s processing, it increases heart rate and blood pressure and overtaxes vital organs. Long-term cocaine use can be detrimental to the heart, lungs, and brain. Cocaine overdose will cause heart attack, seizures, and stroke, which can also lead to death.

Knowing the Signs of Cocaine Abuse

Cocaine abuse happens when the drug interferes with someone’s life. This can range from relying on cocaine to finish work tasks, getting high to socialize, and hiding cocaine use from family and friends. Common signs of cocaine abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Weight loss
  • Paranoia
  • Panic Attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Mania
  • Nightmares
  • Neglecting relationships
  • Mood swings
  • Changes in personal hygiene
  • Trouble focusing

Anxiety, depression, and unprocessed trauma can make these symptoms worse. It can also increase the risk and rate of developing a cocaine addiction.

Understanding the Side Effects of Cocaine on the Brain

Like any addictive substance, cocaine affects the brain. Like other drugs, cocaine changes the production and balance of certain chemicals in the brain responsible for mood and daily function. When someone uses cocaine, they experience a high dose of dopamine, also known as the pleasure-causing chemical. It can lead to a dopamine reward effect. This happens when someone craves dopamine more than they crave the substance. This craving is common, especially for those with co-occurring disorders and low dopamine levels.

Studies show that cocaine damages the part of the brain that helps people make decisions. This can make it hard to get through daily life and maintain decent mental health. Studies show that cocaine can trigger brain cells to eat themselves, lowering the overall number of brain cells. These effects can happen whether someone takes cocaine occasionally or uses it frequently. While trying cocaine once or twice may not profoundly affect the brain, the more someone takes cocaine, the more likely they are to experience side effects of cocaine on the brain.

Learn More About Cocaine and the Brain in New Hampshire Today

The side effects of cocaine on the brain can be scary and detrimental. If you or someone you love is struggling with cocaine use, don’t quit cold turkey. The team at A Better State can help you or someone you love safely stops cocaine use. Our holistic outpatient cocaine addiction treatment program includes:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy

With additional programs for anxiety, depression, and PTSD, our dual diagnosis treatment focuses on the whole client, not just their addiction. At A Better State, we believe long-term recovery starts with uncovering and healing the root cause of addiction. Our comprehensive treatment programs provide partial hospitalization program (PHP) and intensive outpatient program (IOP) options to help you and your loved ones recover without compromising your schedule.

Start Cocaine Addiction Treatment at A Better State Today

Don’t let worries about cocaine and the brain take over your life. If you need help, contact us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our cocaine addiction treatment program.