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The Neurological Effects of Cocaine

The Neurological Effects of Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the most powerful drugs with a long history. It is created from naturally growing cocoa leaves, mainly in South America. However, it is not a natural drug in its processed state. It is still used in hospitals medically to control blood flow, but only in small doses and only in extreme cases, in liquid form. The drug is often snorted in its powder form illegally, and it causes short-term effects, including euphoria, talkativeness, and energy. It raises blood pressure and heart rate to dangerous levels.

Use of Cocaine

As stated before, it is most commonly snorted in a powder form through the nose. It absorbs through nasal tissue to enter the blood stream. In the medical setting, it is dissolved in a water solution then injected into the patient, or inserted into the nose on a cotton swab for absorption.

Crack is a cocaine derivative, processed into a crystallized form. It is often smoked as entrance into the body. Users create a vapor from the crystal to introduce the drug into the bloodstream through the blood.

How it Affects the Brain

Cocaine directly targets the central nervous system in the brain. It stimulates the brain, raising dopamine levels to unnatural heights. In normal brains, dopamine is released in response to positive stimuli. In the brain affected by cocaine, it is released in response to no stimuli, making the drug the reward. The brain desires more and more of the drug to feel the same euphoric effects, creating an addict. Cocaine also stops dopamine from being recycled. Dopamine is released, then sent back to the neuron which sent it, ending the good feeling cycle. Cocaine, when it stops this process, causes an excessive amount of dopamine to build up between neurons, called the synapse. Normal brain communication is disrupted as this cycle is discontinued. This is what causes the euphoric feeling associated with cocaine and crack. It also increases the risk of psychological effects on the user.

If you’d like to discuss more on the topic of cocaine and its relation to the brain, contact Vancouver Home Health Care Agency today.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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