Sunday, May 8, 2022

What Does Crack Do To The Brain

Don't Miss

Effects Of Cocaine On Breathing

Your Brain on Crack Cocaine

Cocaine addiction also impacts your respiratory system.

  • When cocaine constricts blood vessels and capillaries it hardens the walls of the lungs and other organs. This makes it more difficult to breathe.
  • Smoking crack cocaine can damage your lungs, make asthma worse, and cause other respiratory issues.
  • Studies on rats show cocaine can affect the olfactory system, which is responsible for your sense of smell.
  • Cocaine abuse can cause the lungs to swell, lead to ruptured lung arteries and air sacs, and reduce blood supply to the lungs.
  • Cocaine can produce spasms in the bronchial tubes, which can lead to respiratory failure.

How Does Cocaine Affect The Brain

Cells in the brain called neurons communicate with one another partially using molecules called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are released from one cell and enter an area called the synapseâa tiny gap between neurons. The neurotransmitter molecules then attach to the cell on the opposite side of the synapse, where they can have a number of different effects. After neurotransmitters are released into the synapse, they are taken back up into the releasing cell, where they can be either broken down or ârecycledâ and released again later.

Cocaine primarily affects a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which plays an important role in the brain’s reward and reinforcement systems. The drug prevents dopamine molecules from being taken back up into the cell. This allows dopamine to build up in the synapse and have a much stronger effect on surrounding cells than it normally would. This is how cocaine causes the intense happiness and energy that it is often associated with. According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, other short-term effects of cocaine use include:

  • Mental alertness

What Advice Would You Give Someone Who Would Like To Help Someone Who Is Addicted To Cocaine

Most drug users deny that they have a problem, and push family and friends away. You may feel helpless, frustrated, and unable to cope. You can get help by contacting a local drug abuse treatment center. You should also do the following:

  • Establish appropriate limits and rules with your loved one who may be addicted.
  • Dont change your actions to suit the needs of the user.
  • Dont cover up for the user when he or she fails to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home.
  • Dont make excuses for the addicts drug use.
  • Dont lend money.
  • Encourage the user to seek help.
  • Get additional information and help from Al-Anon or Nar-Anon.

Also Check: Explain Brain Freeze

Crack Cocaine Effects On The Body

Crack cocaine will have a variety of effects on a users body. First and foremost, the high begins seconds after the drug is inhaled and will last about 5 to 15 minutes. Effects of crack include hyperstimulation, euphoria, fever, and increased heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure. The unnatural increases in heart rate and blood pressure put enormous strain on the cardiovascular system, leading to heart and blood vessel damage. Crack also damages the immune system, making the user more vulnerable to disease.

Crack use will cause a users pupils to dilate and will make them restless and jumpy. As the high lasts a relatively short time, a person will keep repeatedly using to maintain their high, which can lead uncontrollable twitching movements known as tweaking. Using crack cocaine can cause a person to forget to eat and drink, resulting in malnutrition and rapid weight loss. Crack can cause the sensation of bugs crawling under the skin, which will lead users to pick at their skin until they have wounds, which can easily become infected. Crack abuse also causes users to lose sleep, which leads to a range of negative mental and physical consequences, including preventing the rest a person would need to recover from the damage being done throughout the brain and body.

Effects Of Cocaine On The Endocrine System

Research Shows That High Doses Of Cocaine Can Cause The ...

Cocaine affects the endocrine system by interfering with hormone production and regulation.

  • Chronic cocaine use can keep the adrenal glands overstimulated, leading to aggression and mental health issues.
  • Cocaine can also impact female sex glands, disrupting menstrual cycles and may affect fertility.
  • Cocaine use may lower sperm count in men.

Don’t Miss: Balancing Neurotransmitters Naturally

Cocaine And Brain Aging

As a person grows older, their brain will naturally change and begin to lose gray matter. In a healthy brain, this is a decades-long process, and it does not appear until a person has reached older adulthood. Memory problems, changes in cognitive ability, and even dementia are linked to reduction of gray matter.

A recent study through the University of Cambridge examined the aging of the brain in people who abused cocaine and those who had no previous history of substance abuse. The group found that the average brain normally loses 1.69 milliliters of gray matter per year however, people who had abused cocaine in the past, or who were currently cocaine-dependent, doubled the rate of gray matter loss, for an average of 3.08 milliliters per year.

Another study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University, found that cocaine may cause brain cells to cannibalize themselves. The study describes cocaine triggering autophagy in neurons in mice, or the process of the cells eating themselves from the inside out. The cells threw out useful resources during metabolism, leading to a stress reaction of cannibalizing other internal cell structures. Mice whose mothers had been fed cocaine during pregnancy, but who were not cocaine-dependent themselves, also showed this phenomenon.

More about the Effects on the Brain or Body

Physical Effects Of Cocaine Abuse

One of the most severe long-term effects of cocaine abuse is the damage that is caused to the bodys cardiovascular system. This will inevitably cause damage to several other organ systems, which does include the brain.

If the linings of the arteries and veins are damaged, then this will lead to chronic, debilitating headaches caused by blood flow to the brain being restricted. Because this damage is also capable of causing blood clots, this can result in a stroke.

Cocaine is also capable of causing seizures, whether that be during chronic cocaine abuse or during bingeing and can cause a seizure disorder to develop. If that happens, long-term treatment will be required.

Those who suffer from a cocaine addiction will also have reduced levels of glucose metabolism in many areas of their brain this suggests that the brains neurons will either underperform or begin to die off.

Recommended Reading: Can Brain Freeze Cause Seizure

Use Of Cocaine Presents Dangerous Health Risks

Cocaine use can adversely affect the health of any and all organs, systems, and functions of the body. The Mayo Clinic warns that cocaine can cause a heart attack, coronary artery spasm, arrhythmia, and sudden death. Other medical dangers include:

  • Constricted blood vessels slowing or blocking blood flow
  • Dangerously high body temperature damages brain, heart, kidneys, and can lead to stroke or coma
  • Dangerously high blood pressure can lead to stroke
  • Arrhythmia can cause sudden cardiac death
  • Tachycardia risk of stroke or cardiac arrest

Key Points To Understand The Brain And Addiction:

What effect does cocaine have on your brain… and how does it affect your health?

1. Some characteristics of addiction are similar to other chronic diseases.

Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and changes its functioning, addiction changes the brain and impairs the way it works. Below is an image of the brain and the heart .

These images show how scientists can use imaging technology to measure functioning of the brain and heart. Greater activity is shown in reds and yellows, and reduced activity is shown in blues and purples. Both the healthy brain and the healthy heart show greater activity than the diseased brain and heart, because both addiction and heart disease cause changes in function. In drug addiction, the frontal cortex in particular shows less activity. This is the part of the brain associated with judgment and decision-making .

Addiction is similar to other chronic diseases in the following ways:

  • It is preventable
  • If untreated, it can last a lifetime

2. Substances of misuse trick the brains reward system.

Below is a picture of the brain and the nucleus accumbens, in addition to some other brain regions that are affected by addition.

The brains nucleus accumbens activated by alcohol

Addictive drugs can provide a shortcut to the brains reward system by flooding the nucleus accumbens with dopamine. Additionally, addictive drugs can release 2 to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do, and they do it more quickly and reliably.

3. The brain can recover but it takes time!

Don’t Miss: Anesthesia Effects On Alzheimer Patients

Long Term Effects Of Cocaine Use

Long term use of cocaine increases the above risks and increases the risk of other severe impairments, including:

  • Malnourishment
  • Movement disorders like Parkinsons Disease
  • Hallucinations or Paranoia

Additional health risks may occur depending on the manner of use and ingestion such as:

  • Injecting Cocaine risk of contracting blood-borne diseases like HIV or hepatitis C skin ulcers or collapsed veins
  • Snorting Cocaine loss of smell, nosebleeds, runny nose, and trouble swallowing
  • Swallowing Cocaine bowel decay
  • Smoking Cocaine cough, asthma, impaired lung function, respiratory distress, and higher risk of infections like pneumonia

What Fentanyl Does To Your Brain

With over a decade of editing experience, Tom is a content specialist for Advanced Recovery Systems,… read more

Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy at… read more

Fentanyl is one of the most potent pain relievers available. Its a prescription opioid that helps with the management of severe, chronic pain, most often in patients with cancer. Unfortunately, because it is a fast-acting opioid that can create a dramatic sense of euphoria when people begin using it, there is a high potential for abuse.

Fentanyl is one of the key culprits in the opioid epidemic thats taken hold around the United States because of how potent it is and how easy it is to obtain.

While it is a Schedule II drug thats meant only to be given in very specific circumstances by prescription, Chinese manufacturers often send versions of it to Mexico, where it then comes into the United States.

Fentanyl is considered to be 100 times more potent than morphine, which is one of the reasons why it has such a significant potential for abuse.

You May Like: Fluoride Bad For Your Brain

Immediate Effects Of Crack Abuse

Due in part to the unpredictability of the drugs contents, the effects of smoking Crack can vary from person to person. Cracks effects are both physical and psychological, and the severity increases the more a person smokes. Some immediate side effects of Crack abuse include:

  • Aggression
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Intense cravings to use more
  • Stroke
  • Potential death from respiratory failure
  • Coke bugs, a feeling of bugs under the skin

Ways To Get In Contact With Us

cocaine Infographics

Cocaine can have serious negative effects on the person abuse this drug. If you or a loved one is currently using cocaine or other addictive substances, help is only a phone call away. At American Addiction Centers we can answer your questions about addiction and provide information about our treatment options.

There are a variety of confidential, free, and no obligation ways to get in contact with us to learn more about treatment.

  • Fill in our online insurance verification form below to find out if your insurance provider may be able to cover the cost of treatment. Our admissions advisors may contact you thereafter to discuss your options.

Cocaine and crack certainly differ in appearance. Cocaine is generally found in white powder form, and crack is found in a rock form that is generally white, cream, tan, or light brown. Crack and cocaine also differ in the manner in which they are used. Cocaine is typically snorted, and crack is typically smoked.

Another difference between crack and cocaine relates to the high produced. The intensity and duration of the high largely relate to how the drug is taken, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Generally, when cocaine is injected or smoked, the drug takes effect more quickly, resulting in a more intense but shorter high. When cocaine is snorted, it takes longer to feel its effects but the resulting high lasts longer.

Also Check: President Kennedy Brain Missing

Genes And Gene Expression

Genes determine the shape and function of every cell. Every individual is born with a unique combination of roughly 30,000 genes. Every cell in the body contains all 30,000. One cell differs from anothera liver cell looks and acts differently from a brain cell, for examplebecause, in each, certain genes are turned on, while others are turned off.

The popular notion that our genes never change is incorrect. It is true that the fundamental pattern of gene activation that gives each of our cells its essential properties is fixed once and for all during development. For example, once a cell develops into a liver cell, it remains a liver cell for life and cannot be converted into a brain cell. However, every cell retains the capacity to change the level of activity of a portion of its genes in response to the demands we place upon it. An example is weightlifting: Muscle cells respond to repeated exercise by increasing the expression of certain genes, leading to growth and strengthening of the individual cells and, collectively, of the entire muscle. So it is with brain cells: As we use them, they respond with changes in gene expression that, overall, increase their capacity to meet the demands we make upon them. For example, our brains register and store memories by altering gene expression in cells in the hippocampus and amygdala.

Effects Of Cocaine On The Digestive System

Another physical effect of cocaine abuse is its effect on the guts good bacteria as well as the way it recedes the stomachs natural barrier to acidity. The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns of these additional risks on the digestive system:

  • Damage to bowel tissues
  • Reduced blood flow to the gut
  • Acid reflux

You May Like: How To Know If U Have A Brain Bleed

Cocaine Can Kill Cells In Your Brain

A study conducted by John Hopkins University found that cocaine can cause brain cells to kill themselves. In the study, cocaine triggered neurons to consume themselves from the inside out. Autophagy, the process through which this happens, is usually beneficial, but cocaine distorts it. A cell is like a household that is constantly generating trash, Prasun Guha, Ph.D., explains. Autophagy is the housekeeper that takes out the trashits usually a good thing. But cocaine makes the housekeeper throw away really important things, like mitochondria, which produce energy for a cell. When your cells dont receive the energy they need, they become damaged and can eventually die.

How Is Cocaine And Crack Addiction Treated

Part 2 ‘Stop using Crack/Cocaine and reclaim your life’ Crack/Cocaine and the brain

Recovery often begins with detox, the body’s physical withdrawal from cocaine. Physical symptoms of withdrawal can begin within a few hours and last up to seven days. The inability to enjoy normal pleasure may take longer to recover.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Inability to sleep .
  • Bad dreams.

As soon at the patient can begin therapy, he or she enters the next phase of addiction treatment. This involves group participation, counseling, and, often, psychiatric evaluation and treatment. The goal of counseling is to help the addict understand the effects of cocaine use, face the issues that lead to drug use, and learn ways to stay away from cocaine. Another therapy strategy uses incentives to motivate by providing rewards to people who remain drug free. This therapeutic approach is also called contingency management.

Group participation usually involves the 12-step process that is common to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. If the addict also suffers from a psychiatric issue, such as depression or bipolar disorder, such issues also need to be treated or else they will probably lead the person to go back to using drugs.

Also Check: What Can Cause A Brain Bleed

What Are The Dangers Of Smoking Crack

Crack is a slightly different form of cocaine that is mixed with another basic chemical such as ammonia or baking soda. When smoked, crack produces a very fast, very intense feeling of euphoria. Unfortunately, this feeling is extremely addictive. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, around 72 percent of cocaine related drug treatment admissions are due to crack cocaine. This is a startlingly high statistic considering the dangers of smoking crack. Users often underestimate the dangers of using crack cocaine.

Subjects And Housing Conditions

Male Balb-c mice, with a mean age of 6 weeks and an average weight between 20 and 30 g, were used in this study. The Multidisciplinary Research Laboratory of the University of São Francisco, Bragança Paulista , in collaboration with both the Biophysics and Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Institutes of the Faculty of Medicine of University of Coimbra , developed the research. All experiments were conducted following the European Union directives for the care of laboratory animals and the iCBR Vivarium guidelines. The project is under the ORBEA 17/2015 and the DGAV authorization.

You May Like: Ischemia And Hemorrhage Kill Neurons By

Treatment For Crack Cocaine Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with crack cocaine abuse, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness Florida offers cutting edge addiction treatment. We can help you get on the road to a lasting long-term recovery, all you have to do is find the courage to reach out for help.

How Fentanyl Affects The Brain

Cocaine Causes Your Brain To Literally Eat Itself, Study ...

When you take a drug like fentanyl and it binds to these receptors, they flood your brains reward centers with dopamine. Dopamine occurs naturally, but not at levels like it does when someone takes fentanyl. This flood of dopamine is what creates euphoria and a sense of extreme relaxation.

What fentanyl does to your brain and how fentanyl affects the brain are similar to heroin, but even more powerful. In addition to euphoria and relaxation, other signs of the effects of the drug can include nausea, drowsiness, sedation, confusion, respiratory depression, respiratory arrest, coma and death.

Seeking addiction treatment can feel overwhelming. We know the struggle, which is why we’re uniquely qualified to help.

Your call is confidential, and there’s no pressure to commit to treatment until you’re ready. As a voluntary facility, we’re here to help you heal — on your terms. Our sole focus is getting you back to the healthy, sober life you deserve, and we are ready and waiting to answer your questions or concerns 24/7.

Recommended Reading: How To Shrink A Brain Tumor Naturally

More articles

Popular Articles