How Cocaine Changes The Brain And Body

What Is Cocaine?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cocaine is “a powerfully addictive stimulant drug”. It is derived from the South American coca leaf. It has been around for hundreds of years in various forms.

Stimulants are substances that increase the activity of the central nervous system. This can lead to a feels of excitement or pleasure. Some legal stimulants include caffeine and alcohol.

Cocaine causes a short and intense high in the body, which can feel good for a time. But after a while of misuse, it can lead people to want more and more. That is an addiction.

Cocaine comes in a crystallized form and a powdered form. The crystallized form is often heated on a spoon and breathed in. The powdered form can be snorted, injected, or placed under the tongue.

How Does Cocaine Affect You?

People who are addicted to cocaine often don’t sleep or eat enough. This leads to a ragged appearance and a malnourished body. This is a side effect of stimulants in general. Though cocaine abuse obviously takes it to the extreme.

People who take cocaine often can have high heart rates and increased paranoia. They might be angry or irritable even when not high.

Cocaine use can actually change neuropathways in the brain. It can alter receptors and change levels of proteins released. It can also change how the brain reacts to stress.

Stress is a huge reason for cocaine relapse. That’s because the cocaine changed the brain to respond that way. Hit with stress, the brain craves the drug in response. Cocaine can then elevate the stress, which leads the brain to want more.

There are also many effects on the body due to cocaine use. There are short term effects that can last during use and a while after. There are also serious long term effects that can linger forever. Cocaine use can damage the body and the brain extensively. Here are some of the side effects.

Short Term Side Effects Of Cocaine Use:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Hallucinations
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Drug craving
  • Seizures

 

Long Term Side Effects Of Cocaine Use:

  • Liver Damage
  • Kidney Damage
  • Lung Damage
  • Destruction of nose tissue
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe Depression
  • Tooth Decay
  • Malnutrition
  • Abscesses

 

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