Problems with Coordination in Drug Abuse

While substances like stimulants and synthetic drugs can temporarily give intense feelings of euphoria, they can also have life-threatening consequences. Some of them can have side effects ranging from loss of hearing to permanent brain damage. Brain damage can have a serious effect on your coordination and quality of life. Chronic drug and alcohol abuse can have severe neurological consequences.

Stimulants

They affect the central nervous system. Examples include cocaine and methamphetamine. They can speed up the heart rate, increase blood pressure, and alter brain activity. If you use stimulants, this can lead to a stroke, because of the increase in blood pressure and the effect they have on the blood vessels – unnecessary and uncontrollable constriction.

Just as all stimulants are not the same, they each have their own unique central nervous system risk related to their abuse.

Methamphetamine

This is also known as “meth”, and can cause damage to the cells of your brain. The damage can be permanent.

Dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain, is one of the important chemicals that takes part in the reward system of the brain. Long-term abuse of methamphetamine can lead to a decrease in the level of dopamine in the brain. Meth commonly affects those lobes concerned with dopaminergic chemical signalling. Thus, our very perception of feeling glad or content is biased.

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There are studies which have shown that there is a relationship between the impairment of the dopaminergic pathway and an increased chance of developing Parkinson’ disease. One of these studies showed that if you use meth, you are three times more likely to develop the condition than non-meth users. This risk was found to be higher in women.

Meth abuse has also been proven to cause irreversible brain damage, which is similar to the neurological effects of a traumatic brain injury like the one resulting from a blow to the head. This kind of injuries affect the proteins in the brain, which can lead to brain cell inflammation and death.

Cocaine

Chronic abuse of cocaine can lead to cardiac arrest and seizures. As you continue using cocaine, it will take smaller and smaller doses of the substance to elicit these same negative effects. This is called “kindling”.

Alcohol

As alcohol reduces your ability to get enough vitamin B1 from your diet, if you abuse alcohol over a long period of time, it can lead to a deficiency. Lacking this essential nutrient can have serious neurological effects over time.

For example, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a severe neurological disease caused by vitamin B1 deficiency and includes symptoms such as:

  • Poor coordination
  • Double vision
  • Confusion
  • Paralysis of the nerves which control the movement of the eye
  • Problems with walking

This syndrome can cause what is called Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which can eventually lead to the development of Korsakoff’s psychosis. Korsakoff’s psychosis can affect your ability to walk properly and interfere with your coordination. It can also cause memory issues.

If you find yourself abusing any of these substances, you can join a programme which will help you overcome your addiction and save yourself from the neurological risks associated with drug abuse.

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