In order to demystify the complexities of cocaine addiction, it is important to understand the neurological effects of cocaine abuse. The same brain functions that motivate pleasurable activities such as eating and sex also drive this addiction. The neurological effects of cocaine abuse however, changes the dynamic of these feel good functions in distinct ways that lead to the obsessive and compulsive condition known as addiction.
Ironically, cocaine’s initial introduction and use in American society was as a brain tonic. This miraculous elixir, promised to relieve everything from headaches, alcoholism, morphine addiction, abdominal pain and menstrual cramps. This cure all drink was aptly named Coca-Cola and quickly became the most popular drink in the country. These Coca-Cola drinkers were, in essence, the first to engage in cocaine abuse. The adverse effects that this unintentional cocaine abuse manifested however, led the Coca-Cola Company to shift to de-cocainized coco leaves in producing this drink.
Statistically, cocaine ranks as one of the most abused drug in America today. Emergency room records also show that cocaine abuse land more people in the emergency room nationwide than any other drug of abuse. No doubt, the impact of cocaine on the pleasure centers of the brain has more to do with its prevalent use than any other reason.
The initial effect of cocaine on the brain according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is short-term euphoria, heightened energy, and talkativeness. When this powerful stimulant is abused, it interferes with the neural system located deep within the brain. Scientific research reveal that when this region of the brain is stimulated by over consumption of cocaine, the feel good chemical also known as dopamine is prevented from its reuptake process. This result in an overload of these chemicals in the brain which drives the desire for more cocaine. As the brain consistently register these high levels of dopamine it naturally produce the desire for more which promote repeated use of cocaine and a buildup of tolerance for higher and higher doses of the drugs.
Ultimately, consistent use of cocaine impact and change the normal functions of the brain that lead to the chronic relapsing condition known as addiction. Unless cocaine addiction is halted through detoxification and other therapeutic treatment, long-term changes in the brain’s reward system as well as other neurological functions are inevitable. The extent of brain damage suffered by cocaine addicts is determined by the duration and volume of use. People that have experienced cocaine addiction, even after long periods of abstinence, are always at risk of experiencing a relapse event. As such, it is advisable to seek early treatment, preferably before the use of cocaine becomes deeply entrenched or habituated.
If you or a loved one has a cocaine abuse problem call Drug Treatment Centers Springfield today at (217) 801-9201. Our evidence-based treatment programs can help you to stop overcome cocaine addiction and put you back in control of your day to day life.