Cocaine and Your Brain
The brain of a cocaine addict goes through a change which is not always reversible. Over the past 20 years, scientists have researched to finding out what occurs with the brain’s neurons because of long-term drug use as well as how it affects the brain in its entirety. The results are both alarming and horrifying.
Cocaine is a stimulant and has strong addictive properties because it increases a large quantity of dopamine into the reward center. In return, the neurons become overloaded to the point where the user must increase the dose to achieve their high. This puts the user at risk of overdosing.
Usually, dopamine recycles back into the cell that released it, discontinuing the signals between the cells. Cocaine use prevents dopamine from being recycled, causing a large amount of dopamine to build up in between the two nerve cells, stopping healthy communication. This flood of dopamine in the brain's reward circuit strongly reinforces drug-taking behaviors. Some withdrawals can occur if use is discontinued, and lack of dopamine can result in depression and fatigue.
Cocaine changes the way you think, emotionally, physically, and alters your decision-making abilities ultimately creating a false need for the drug. Some addicts will starve for that next hit or steal from someone close to them to obtain cocaine.
The downside is drug-seeking at the expense of depriving yourself of other basic needs and this includes food and shelter. I know in my years of cocaine use there were many days, if not weeks, I deprived myself of food or proper health-care, so I could continue using. I often put myself in dangerous situations and didn’t care about the consequences that might occur.
Cocaine can have a soul-sucking effect, causing negative aftermath on one’s life. A cocaine addict can quickly find themselves without their job, a place to live, family who care about them or even food to eat. Time and time again, the physical and mental harm from cocaine use has been proven. Yet cocaine addiction destroys lives every day. Any problem can be solved in the long run… without destroying lives. Get the help you deserve.