Cocaine is one of the most addictive substances in the world. It strongly affects the brain’s dopamine system. The drug influences reward centers, making you feel good for a short amount of time. Most people experience negative effects as they come down off of the high. Sadly, this can lead them reaching for more. Understanding the long-term and short-term cocaine effects can help you optimize your treatment for a successful recovery.
Short-Term Cocaine Effects
Cocaine is a controlled substance that produces a quick high. The faster the substance gets to your brain, the more likely it is to cause addiction.
Although people generally snort cocaine, they can also smoke or inject it. Smoking cocaine is the fastest way to feel the high. It may also be the quickest way to develop an addiction. Individuals may feel the short-term cocaine effects within seconds. The high might only last up to 10 minutes, though.
The substance increases dopamine release in the brain, which leads to positive feelings. It also rewards the behavior that leads to the high.
When you feel great after running a few laps around your neighborhood, your brain is rewarding you for engaging in healthy exercise. When you feel great after using cocaine, your brain is rewarding you for using the drug. This is one of the reasons why cocaine is so addictive.
The short-term effects of cocaine result in:
- Improved confidence
- Positive mood
- Appetite suppression
- Decreased need for sleep
However, the cocaine high or the period following the euphoria can make you feel paranoid and anxious. Cocaine can cause panic, psychosis or violent behavior. It increases the heart rate and constricts the blood vessels.
Long-Term Cocaine Effects
One of the most notable long-term effects of the drug is the tolerance that develops. Over time, users need more to get the same high.
Cocaine disturbs the way that your brain uses its own mood-boosting chemicals. Long-term use can make people need the drug just to feel normal. Cocaine immediately stimulates the pleasure and motivation centers in the brain. However, when you keep administering the drug, you end up depressing those same pleasure centers.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes a study that found a link between cocaine use and diminished activity in the regions of the brain that are responsible for emotions. The result is depression, reduced memory, and trouble processing information.
Chronic cocaine use can also lead to harmful physical effects, such as:
- Severe fatigue
- Weight loss
- Inability to detect smell and taste
Dangers Of Cocaine Overdose
Cocaine overdose can happen to anyone at any time. Recreational cocaine users are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure and hardened arteries. Therefore, cocaine use can lead to a spontaneous heart attack.
Heart problems can happen with just one use. A cocaine overdose can also cause hallucinations, seizures, convulsions and sudden death.
Cocaine addiction treatment will guide you away from substance abuse for good. It’s never too early or too late to seek help. Ashley Addiction Treatment offers programs for cocaine, such as:
Don’t let cocaine or other substances control your life. A high-quality rehab program that focuses on healing in a supportive environment can help you overcome addiction. Call 866-313-6307 to learn how to find strength in recovery.