Person thinking about the link between using cocaine and the brain

How Cocaine Affects the Brain

What is the link between cocaine and the brain? Cocaine is a powerful stimulant drug that has a profound effect on the brain, which can have devastating consequences on your mental and physical health. Learning about the long-term effects of cocaine and how it affects the brain can provide the motivation you need to get help for cocaine addiction.  

It can be challenging to stop using cocaine once you are dependent on it. Still, with the help of my 5 Palms’ comprehensive cocaine addiction treatment program, you can achieve your recovery goals. To kick off your journey to a cocaine-free lifestyle in beautiful, sunny Florida, call us at 1.844.675.1022 and schedule an intake assessment.  

Understanding Using Cocaine and the Brain’s Reactions 

As a stimulant drug, cocaine is most well known for its energizing effects. People use cocaine to feel more alert and social, whether for a party or to pull an all-nighter studying or working.  

Like other stimulants, cocaine reaches the brain quickly and interferes with the regular communication between neurons. The drug blocks the reabsorption of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure. 

This action allows for a rapid build-up of dopamine in the brain, leading to the telltale intense feelings of euphoria and heightened energy. 

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine on the Brain and Body 

While the immediate effects of cocaine may be desirable, the long-term consequences of the drug can be detrimental to your health. The long-term effects of cocaine can include physical and psychological health issues like: 

  • Respiratory issues 
  • Heart problems, such as increased risk of heart attack and stroke 
  • Cognitive impairment 
  • Anxiety 
  • Paranoia 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Psychosis 

On top of these risks, chronic cocaine use can also lead to addiction. This can make it difficult for people to stop using the drug despite the negative consequences. 

Also, an extended relationship between cocaine and the brain’s dopamine levels can make it more difficult for your brain to produce dopamine on its own from healthy activities like exercising, sleeping, listening to music, and spending time in the sun. Instead, your brain will require intense surges of dopamine from cocaine or other stimulants for you to enjoy pleasurable feelings. 

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction 

If you know someone dealing with cocaine addiction, help is available through professional addiction treatment programs. Treatment for cocaine addiction may include the following. 

Behavioral Therapy 

Behavioral therapy is one of the core components of any addiction treatment program. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management are two evidence-based behavioral therapies that may be effective for overcoming cocaine addiction. These modalities aim to help you identify unhealthy thought and behavior patterns related to drug use and restructure them to form healthier patterns that support recovery. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) 

Medication-assisted treatment involves the use of specially selected medications to ease the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The types of medications used are chosen on an individual basis and vary depending on the particular drug addiction being treated. For example, those working to overcome cocaine addiction may be prescribed disulfiram, topiramate, or modafinil as part of their treatment plan. 

Support Groups 

In addition to individual therapy, it is strongly advised that you attend support groups to help you get through the challenges of cocaine dependence. Meeting with your peers in recovery reminds you that you are not alone and that others are there to sympathize with and encourage you on your recovery journey. You may also learn helpful strategies for managing triggers and reducing the urge to use, which will significantly reduce your risk of relapse. 

Call My 5 Palms in Florida to Get Help for Cocaine Addiction 

Prevent the long-term effects of cocaine use on your brain by reaching out to My 5 Palms for help. Our whole-person approach to recovery provides you with a customized combination of medications and therapies most suited to your needs. Fill out our online form or call us at 1.844.675.1022 for more information about cocaine addiction treatment at our Florida rehab. 

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