Cocaine Effects on the Brain
Cocaine effects on the brain are both physiologically and a psychologically. Addiction to the drug is the result of the intense euphoria it produces in the human brain, but this effect lasts only a few hours which drives the addict to use increasing amounts of the drug in an attempt to maintain the initial high. Although the drug works directly on the human brain to produce the euphoric feeling, it does not permanently alter any of the structures of the human brain. However, serious or fatal long-term effects can take place in the addict's circulatory system, including heart failure and stroke.
Narcotics and the Human Brain
A natural chemical called dopamine is present in the human brain. Dopamine helps to control the central nervous system and is associated with the pleasurable sensations that are naturally present in the human brain. Narcotics such as cocaine stop the reabsorption of dopamine, causing it to build up in the human brain. This results in a strong euphoria that lasts up to several hours. Users of the drug are likely to experience the following:
One usually experiences a feeling of intense energy, even if he or she was sleepy before taking the drug. Certain individuals use cocaine to overcome the exhaustion that comes from being overworked or out of rest.
This is also referred to as the "Superman" effect. Addicts feel as if they are invincible and can conquer the world. This is why some addicts refer to the drug's effect on the human brain as "magic". While the drug is certainly not magic, cocaine causes the human brain to function at an impressive speed and quickens the user's mental processes.
Negative Effects on the Human Brain
There are negative side effects associated with cocaine. Having tasted the euphoria produced by the drug, users quickly become unsatisfied with how the human brain feels in its normal state. Just as with all addictive substances this causes the individual to continually crave the drug. Negative side effects on the human brain include:
This is sometimes evidenced physically by extreme fidgeting and the inability to sit still. Twitching in anticipation of movement is also quite common.
The tolerance of the human brain for small irritations is lowered considerably when narcotics are used. This causes one to experience erratic mood swings and unreasonable anger.
Irrational suspicions and delusions of persecution are a side effect of cocaine use that negatively affect the human brain. This paranoia can eventually lead to psychosis, at which point the user breaks with reality and experiences hallucinations–hearing or seeing things in the absence of stimulus.
Cocaine is widely available and new cases of addiction are occurring at an alarming rate. Those using the drug for the first time will feel a euphoria that will never be experienced again, but the quest for a similar high will unfortunately keep the individual addicted. Anyone with a substance abuse problem should seek professional help without delay.