Depression is an unfortunate part of reality for people who use cocaine. In fact, these individuals suffer from higher rates of depression than the general population of our country combined. Still, have you ever wondered what causes this terrible mental problem to begin with? According to scientists, cocaine users endure chronic depression due to severe brain cell damage, instigated by excessive consumption of this addictive stimulant. Simply put, the addicts dampen brain cells that stimulate pleasure (dopamine transmitters) and, as a result, suffer from prolonged sadness. Without the dopamine, no happiness and pleasure can be stimulated. Let’s take a closer look at this unfortunate situation and find out some more information.

Destroying Dopamine

Whenever people use cocaine, the drug kickstarts the overproduction of dopamine in the brain, resulting in the overwhelming sense of euphoria called a “high.” However, long-term cocaine use can eventually deplete dopamine. As a result, the addict will no longer feel pleasure and will suffer from chronic depression. Dr. Karley Little (associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School) explains how the neurons do not accept cocaine and are hijacked by this drug. However, she does ponder as to whether or not the stimulant destroys the cells or merely “mutes” them (so to speak).

Reviewing the Research

HOW CHRONIC COCAINE USE CHANGES BRAIN CHEMISTRYIn a recent study, Dr. Little and her team studied brain tissue samples from deceased victims (35 users and 35 non-users) to determine the long-term effects of cocaine use. Ultimately, the group discovered that the cocaine uses contained lower mixtures of dopamine and VAMT2 (a protein contained in dopamine transmitters), and users who suffered from depression had even lower levels of these chemicals.

Severe Brain Problems

Nevertheless, Little and her team still could not figure out of these neurotransmitters had been damaged, destroyed, or simply muted. However, they did confirm that this action is a failsafe response, in an attempt to counteract the effects of cocaine. By removing dopamine, the brain can attempt to reset equilibrium (resulting in depression).

Seeking Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Always remember that drugs do not have control over your life. You do. Are you suffering from a substance use disorder or a severe form of addiction? Do you have a friend or family member suffering from one or more of these debilitating illnesses? If you do, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our counselors and healthcare experts are ready to walk you through every step of the detox and withdrawal process and rehabilitation and guide you towards living a happier, healthier, and freer lifestyle. While the road to recovery might not be an easy road to travel, we promise to help you every step of the way. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe.

The time for you to take back control of your life is now. If you are interested in one of our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how to overcome your drug abuse or addiction troubles today.