BSF South Sudan Blog The Neurobiology of Cocaine Addiction

The Neurobiology of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that affects neurochemistry through the brain’s reward system. The drug prevents dopamine—the neurotransmitter that causes feelings of pleasure and satisfaction—from being reabsorbed in the brain after it’s released, creating an intense rush of euphoria. It can be injected into a vein or smoked after being processed into a form called crack cocaine. Cocaine abuse can lead to a number of psychological and physical problems. People who use the drug regularly often have strained relationships, difficulty managing finances, and problems at work or school as they prioritize their use of cocaine over other aspects of their lives. Those who have long-term problems with cocaine may also have serious health issues such as heart, lung, and kidney disease. They may also have dental problems such as tooth decay from clenching and grinding of the teeth while high on cocaine.Resource:

Facing the Truth: Recognizing Cocaine Addiction in Yourself or Others

Cocaine addiction can be hard to overcome without professional treatment. Even after stopping, many people experience a period of withdrawal symptoms including cravings for the drug, irritability, and sleep problems. The symptoms usually begin a few hours after the last use of cocaine and can last weeks. For best results, a comprehensive program that includes detox and counseling is recommended.

Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat cocaine addiction, but researchers are studying several options. Some have developed drugs that bind to the cocaine receptors in the brain to block the drug’s effect. Others are working on ways to retrain the brain so that cocaine doesn’t trigger rewards. Research to understand the neurobiology of addiction is essential for advances in treatment and prevention.

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