EFFECTS OF COCAINE ADDICTION ON THE BRAIN AND BODY
Cocaine is considered a stimulant, which means that its effects are due to an increase in brain activity instead of a decrease. When you use cocaine, it blocks your brain cells from absorbing chemicals linked to mood, energy and pleasure. When these chemicals — called serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine — are not absorbed, they continue to drift between brain cells and cause reactions that trigger your brain and body to respond with heightened emotions, a spike in energy and feelings of euphoria. When a cocaine high wears off, these sensations rush out of your brain as quickly as they flooded in.
After continued cocaine use, your brain starts to crave the extra serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine to avoid the periods between highs when you feel drained and despondent. These cravings can quickly become dependence, which occurs when you come to rely on cocaine to feel any positive emotions. This develops into an addiction, which is not only mentally unhealthy but can have serious physical repercussions as well. Cocaine abuse floods your body with adrenaline, dangerously raising your heart rate and blood pressure. It also leads to drastic weight loss as your appetite dwindles with repeated use. Additionally, for users who take cocaine nasally, the drug can cause serious damage to the nasal tissues and even corrode the septum to a point requiring reconstructive surgery.