Long-Term Effects of Cocaine on the Brain & Body
When you turn to drugs for the short-term effects that appeal to you, you may not be considering how the continued use of drugs such as Cocaine can affect you further down the road. These effects are important to understand so that you know how the effects can impact your life if you don’t seek treatment and recovery.
Become Desensitized to Pleasure
Cocaine use affects the reward system by hindering the ability to feel pleasure in real things like relationships, food, and other naturally rewarding experiences. Instead, a user will be more likely to seek the drug as an outlet of pleasure rather than natural alternatives that won’t harm them.
As tolerance increases, the user will decrease in sensitivity to things in life that normally would have been happy or pleasurable, and it will require an increase in the intake of the drug for them to be able to feel any form of pleasure. This increase in dosage will only present more health problems as they develop an even stronger tolerance for the substance.
Become More Sensitive to Stress
According to NIDA, the changes in the brain are long-term and can affect not only the reward system but also a user’s response to stress. These neurological pathways are distinctly different, yet they do overlap in some ways, and Cocaine manages to affect both of them in a very severe manner . Many cases of Cocaine abuse are linked to stress-related causes, and stress is also a major source of relapse.
When stressed, an addict is more likely to seek the drug than other healthier methods of stress-relief. However, in abusing a dress in order to relieve stress, a user is only furthering their tolerance and sensitivity to the effects of the drug. If you or a loved one have reach the state of desensitization, or want to put a stop to it before you get there, then just call 800-736-5356(Who Answers?) to speak with a specialist about it today!
Long-Term Cravings and Relapse
According to a study reported by NCBI, users can still experience cravings and potential relapses for months or years after their last use of the drug. Although the cause of these long-lasting neurobiological changes is difficult to diagnose, researchers have a potential theory that it is due to the physical change in nerve cell structure within the brain.
These physical changes can affect a user for an extended period of time after they stop using the drug, which can present many issues for people who don’t handle temptations or cravings well. In order to recover fully, it will often take intensive behavioral therapy and encouragement from a counselor or support group.
This is not something you should have to do alone, so support groups can help you find people who know what you are going through and can share their own success stories. You will also have people nearby to hold you accountable should you be faced with cravings, and behavioral therapy can teach you to find alternative ways to cope with stress, rather than the drug.