How Cocaine and Amphetamines Can Hurt the Brain

It is well known that drug abuse can hurt the body. Specifically, one new study has found the direct ways in which cocaine and amphetamine use hurts the brain. Researchers from Oregon Health & Science University spent two decades studying how highly addictive drugs, such as cocaine, impact normal functioning of the brain.

Results from the study found that these drugs actually interfere with the normal signaling in the brain and, more specifically, the dopamine transporter, which removes dopamine (a neurotransmitter) from connections in the brain.

“Addiction to amphetamines and cocaine devastates lives, families and communities in Oregon and across the U.S.,” said Eric Gouaux, senior scientist at Oregon Health & Science University’s Vollum Institute, in a HealthDay article. “Our research pinpoints how these addictive drugs interfere with the dopamine transporter and normal signaling in the brain, bringing us closer to developing effective treatments for people who are addicted to cocaine and amphetamines.”

Now, pharmacies have the knowledge they need to develop treatment and therapeutic approaches for blocking the effects of cocaine and amphetamines on the dopamine transporter and the brain as a whole.

According to the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, cocaine is the second-most trafficked illegal drug globally. About 35 million Americans over the age of 12 have used cocaine, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health on the Foundation for a Drug-Free World website.

For more information about drug addiction treatment programs and what to do if you or someone you love abuses drugs and is ready for a change, contact Talbott Recovery today.

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