Adverse effects of cocaine on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

Does cocaine affect the brain? How? Check out this visual graphic to find out. If you like it, please SHARE with your friends or start a discussion here.

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Adverse effects of Cocaine on the brain

Cocaine is known to be one of the strongest central nervous system stimulants. When cocaine enters the brain, it blocks dopamine transporters, flooding the neural synapse with dopamine. What other effects does cocaine have on the brain? More here.

Severe effects of cocaine on the brain

Adverse effects of cocaine on the brain (INFOGRAPHIC)

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  • addiction
  • cerebral gray matter atrophy
  • extreme paranoia
  • inability to feel pleasure
  • psychosis
  • severe depression
  • violent behavior

Negative effects of cocaine on the brain

  • anger
  • cravings
  • emotional instability
  • exhaustion
  • extreme anxiety
  • impaired thinking
  • inability to concentrate
  • insomnia

Additional effects of cocaine on the brain

  • chronic stimulation of postsynaptic dopamine receptors
  • disorientation
  • drowsiness after use
  • fatigue after use
  • interferes with the uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin
  • irritability
  • restlessness
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. I have played around with cocaine over the last 15 years or so. Maybe 20 times total. In the last 6 months it was 4-6 of those times. I notice now that when I use eye drops that I can taste the eye drops. Almost if I had no sinuses at all. Is this super serious? I decided to quit a month ago for good. When I put my eye drops in the other day it freaked me out. What can I do? Is it just time or need surgery?

  2. I did cocaine 6 years ago for the first time just one time but I haven’t did no more after them 6years. Will I f fail the hair test that I got to take tomorrow?

    1. Hi Marie. Cocaine concentrations in hair are visible for at least 90 days after dosing. However, cocaine does not leave its marks at the root of the hair, but to specific areas. That means that it is there until the hair falls out or is cut off.

  3. Hey, my partner has admitted to taking Coke and that it had be become a problem , he used mainley at weekends but that progressed to 3/4 nights a week , not sure how much but have been told by friends it was getting a big problem and by the change in him I had already assumed the worst , he has been ‘ clean ‘ for nearly 2 weeks but he is still getting positive results in urine tests , he did drink heavy at time of use and does weigh over 20 st could this be why or is he still using and I’m just looking for excuses , he isn’t displaying any other signs of use , thanks for reading

  4. I snorted some cocaine decades ago. My nasal passages clogged up real bad. My nose was just constantly dripping uncontrollably, mucos was very thick and stretchy almost intareable. Sorry to be so detailed. But, was this an allergic reaction to it? If I would have done it any other way, such as intravenously or oral, what could have happened? I’ve always wondered this…

    1. Hi Myra. Well, I am not sure what could have been the cause. Testing for allergies is the most certain way to know, but no one will ever agree to test you for allergy to cocaine. I’s suggest to stay away from cocaine if the reaction to snorting was so severe. Don’t risk it.

  5. i had taken cocaine on friday 19th june by using it intravenously and was given a urisample by my drug worker on wednesday 23rd june and it came back positive can someone explain these reasons as i only use it once every 10 to 14 days.

    1. Hi seeley. In general, cocaine and its metabolites stay in the system and can be detected 2-4 days after use. This means that even after a single use, cocaine can be detectable for days after use. There are also many other factors that influence the detection period, such as general health, metabolism, level of hydration, age, weight, how much cocaine you used, etc.

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