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The Effects of Cocaine on the Brain

transparent illustration of human head in profile with the brain pictured and various areas highlighted in red to show the effects of cocaine on the brain

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that originates from the South American coca plant. It is often used recreationally for its intense euphoric effects, typically by snorting, smoking, or injecting it into the bloodstream. However, cocaine’s short-lived high often leads to repeated use and addiction. Moreover, the relationship between cocaine and the brain and the resulting cocaine side effects can be devastating for individuals and their loved ones.

Over a million Americans struggle with cocaine use disorder each year, affecting not only themselves but also their families, co-workers, and communities. Insight Recovery Center understands substance use disorders and the co-occurring mental health conditions that often accompany addiction and dependency. Our cocaine rehab in Asheville, NC, offers a chance to break the cycle of addiction and obtain a life of recovery.

Call 828.826.1376 today to learn more about our programs and services, verify insurance, or get started with treatment for you or a loved one.

Cocaine and the Brain

Cocaine affects the brain’s reward pathway, leading to a surge in dopamine — a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This results in the intense euphoria associated with cocaine use. However, prolonged and repeated use can disrupt the brain’s natural dopamine production. This leads to both physical and psychological dependence on cocaine to experience pleasure, ultimately leading to addiction.

Moreover, cocaine also affects other areas of the brain responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and emotional regulation. This can result in impulsive behavior, poor judgment, and mood changes. Over time, cocaine use can cause structural and functional changes in the brain, potentially leading to long-term cognitive impairment.

Cocaine Side Effects

Aside from the potential for addiction, cocaine use also has various short-term and long-term side effects on the body. These side effects can be physical, mental, or behavioral—all resulting from the interaction of cocaine and the brain.

Physical Effects

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Restlessness and tremors
  • Seizures and stroke

Mental Effects

  • Euphoria followed by depression
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory loss

Behavioral Effects

  • Increased energy and talkativeness
  • Decreased need for sleep and food
  • Risky behavior and poor judgment
  • Social isolation and neglect of responsibilities
  • Obsession with obtaining and using cocaine

These cocaine side effects obviously bring about difficulties and disruption to everyday activities. They can lead to broken relationships, loss of employment or income, legal troubles, hospitalization, or even death.

The Importance of Professional Treatment

Professional addiction treatment is critical for individuals struggling with cocaine addiction. It provides a safe environment to address the underlying issues related to addiction, receive treatment, and develop sustainable support systems for a life of recovery.

Insight Recovery Center in Asheville, NC, offers comprehensive addiction treatment programs tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Their caring and experienced team is committed to helping individuals overcome addiction and rebuild their lives. Our comprehensive outpatient treatment services offer a complete continuum of care, including the following:

  • Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
  • Men’s rehab program
  • Women’s rehab program
  • Aftercare program

Our addiction treatment specialists use evidence-based therapies and holistic approaches to develop tailored treatment plans that meet specific needs and recovery goals.

Reach Out to Insight Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, don’t wait. Reach out to Insight Recovery Center today. With their empathetic and professional care, recovery is not just possible — it’s within reach.

Call 828.826.1376 or reach out online to learn more about our addiction treatment services. We accept most major insurance providers and can answer any questions. Your journey towards a healthier, happier life begins here.