Cocaine is an extremely powerful and illegal stimulant drug. It originates from South America from the coca leaf. For hundreds of years, people in this country chewed and ingested the leaves for their stimulant effects. Cocaine itself was purified and isolated from the plant over 100 years ago. In the 1900s in America, cocaine was added to many tonics and elixirs to treat many illnesses. It was even an active ingredient in Coca-Cola for a long time. Many surgeons also used cocaine as an analgesic to help block pain during surgery. It is clear that, nowadays, cocaine is an illegal and very addictive substance that can alter your brain’s structure and function when used repeatedly.
How Does Cocaine Affect Your Brain
To truly start to grasp how dangerous cocaine can be to you and its effects, it is important to recognize what cocaine can do to your brain. Just like many other addictive substances, cocaine affects your brain’s reward system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a huge role in the way you feel pleasure. This is how dependence and addiction develop because the body now desires to seek out the same sensation repeatedly. This very often leads to serious physical and mental damage to your health.
It also affects other functions like how your body and brain respond to stress. So as time passes, cocaine addiction will affect different parts of your brain and cause the development of cocaine dependence.
Cocaine and Short Term Memory Loss
Cocaine has been shown to affect the cognitive functions of a person. Cocaine can affect your memory and thinking skills negatively. A study conducted by NIH, including 57 people using cocaine compared to a group of 48 not using cocaine, showed interesting results. Each group of people was followed for one year. Once the year was completed, the group using cocaine showed worsened cognitive performance in nearly all areas than those who did not use cocaine. One area, in particular, was with their working short-term memory. Luckily, those who did stop using cocaine after the study was over did experience cognitive repair.
Cocaine and Long Term Memory Loss
Long-term memory loss can be a much larger problem and also develops a lot differently than short-term memory. While cocaine use does not directly cause long-term memory damage, many severe effects can lead to permanent brain damage due to cocaine use.
Clots can form in a person’s vascular system in the veins and arteries. Clots are a result of years of cocaine use and can lead to other severe complications like strokes. Clots cause oxygen not to get to areas of the brain and cause it to die. These dead brain cells can lead to memory loss. Unfortunately, memory loss as a result of a stroke is typically permanent.
Overcome Crack Cocaine Addiction at Crackabuse.com
Cocaine is a very serious drug that can cause short-term and long-term memory loss and a long list of other nasty side effects. If a person is suffering from cocaine addiction, it is vitally important to seek professional medical help as soon as possible. Memory loss is just one of the many extreme side effects of long-term cocaine use. Fortunately, there are several treatment options you can choose from to meet your specific needs, including inpatient and outpatient treatment. These options will include therapy, which is an important part of getting to the root of your addiction. So don’t wait to get the life-saving help that you need today.