There are plenty of reasons to avoid many of the more common drugs on the market, with severe withdrawal symptoms, dangerous long-term effects, and plenty of other difficulties that plague individuals struggling with substance abuse. One of the more common beliefs is that drugs kill brain cells and wear away at the nervous system, especially when consumed in large quantities. But is it true, and can brain cells be replenished after ceasing use? Discover drugs’ impact on brain cells and what to do to keep your brain at peak performance. 

How Drugs Affect Brain Cells

Brain cells are an important part of your brain’s functionality. They send and receive electrochemical signals that control movement, feelings, and other important bodily functions. Without brain cells, it would be nearly impossible for us to function at such a high level. 

It’s natural to lose brain cells, but the brain is powerful enough to regrow enough to sustain full functionality. Things become a problem when something increases the neuron death rate or interferes with this production process. Concussions, head banging, and contusions can all cause extreme losses of neurons that become difficult to replace. Additionally, amphetamines, cigarettes and tobacco, cocaine, ecstasy, inhalants, benzodiazepines, and antipsychotics can cause the loss of large amounts of brain cells.

What Happens When Brain Cells Die?

Loss of brain cells leads to brain damage, one of the more serious medical conditions known to man. Brain damage causes short and long-term memory loss, impaired cognitive processes, behavioral and mood changes, and can even impact essential human aging processes. Drug abuse can lead to brain hypoxia from a lack of respiratory drive and can also lead to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and an overall reduction in quality of life.

Cocaine and Brain Cells

Many illegal drugs, like cocaine, negatively affect brain cells in many ways, and recent research has shown that cocaine can actually directly lead to the death of many brain cells. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered that high doses of cocaine could cause overactive autophagy, a condition in which the brain cells consume and digest themselves. While extremely high levels of cocaine are needed to produce strong enough effects that lead to death, a loss of brain cells is still extremely dangerous, on top of the other negative effects of cocaine.

Can Brain Damage From Drugs Be Reversed?

Brain damage isn’t anything to mess around with, but the brain is a remarkable part of the body. Not all brain damage leads to irreversible damage, with more mild forms of brain damage resulting in bleeding and tissue damage that the brain can often recover successfully from. Other times, serious drug abuse can lead to damage that the brain cannot recover from and may even require surgery to treat bleeding or pressure within the brain.

Stopping consumption early enough is the only way to prevent brain damage from drug abuse. Doctors and medical professionals can use advanced technology like MRIs to determine which part of the brain is most affected by drug abuse. With the many studies performed on alcohol and other drug abuse, medical professionals have formed effective medically supervised withdrawal plans and treatment methods for patients suffering from drug abuse. By getting the right help, people can prevent severe brain damage and loss of brain cells due to drug abuse.

The Best Way to Prevent Damage to Your Brain Cells? Treat Drug Abuse With a Treatment Center

Your brain is one of the most important parts of the entire body, so it’s obviously important to protect it from damage. Drug abuse is one of many things that can cause damage to your brain and its cells, but there are ways to prevent it. Finding a quality drug addiction rehabilitation center like Steps to Recovery ensures that individuals avoid damage from excessive drug use in different parts of the brain. If you or a loved one need assistance combatting the effects of drug abuse, call Steps to Recovery today at 866-488-8349.