How Cocaine Addiction Affects a Person’s Self-Awareness
Cocaine is a stimulant that initially yields euphoric effects; as a highly addictive drug, however, there are clear mental and physical health consequences that can occur from short or long-term use. Within minutes after taking the drug, individuals can become more talkative, energetic and more hypersensitive towards light and sound. Physical changes occur to the brain when drugs are taken, and cocaine can alter a person’s sense of self-awareness not only through heightened sensitivity and reaction time, but through processing abnormalities in regions of the brain, such as the cortex.
A 2014 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry sought to explore this exact phenomenon by assessing two different groups: 33 individuals with cocaine use disorder (CUD) and 20 individuals without. Researchers found that of the group with CUD, individuals had lower activity in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) – which plays a unique role in cognition and emotion. Participants in the CUD group also experienced lower emotional awareness; what exactly does this mean?
The Scientific American once pondered this very meaning, and explained it this way:
“Consciousness is awareness of one’s body and one’s environment; self-awareness is recognition of that consciousness – not only understanding that one exists, but further understanding that one is aware of one’s existence.”
Cocaine abuse alters the state of mind by taking that level of self-awareness out of one’s reach – while using, a person is less likely to be able to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings, think about themselves, or even recognize themselves. In a sense, this could be a core reason why addiction affects the mind, body and spirit so heavily – because it takes out that sense of raw human experience and changes everything.
Over time, addiction can take a person even further away from their core nature. It can change their way of thinking and being, which is what makes healing and restoration so critical. If you’re ready to begin your journey towards restoration of the mind, body and spirit, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.
The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.
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