Is Brain Damage From Cocaine Use Permanent?
Posted: April 2, 2011, 5:44 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



I used 1.5 years and used average on 2 grams per week. 2 months ago I quit completely because my memory and cognitive functions were impaired. Prior to 2 months ago I was highly functionally in memory and cognitive functions. My memory impairment was severe 2 months ago but that function has recovered considerably. My ability to analyze information, problem solving, concentration, and process speed are still impaired. Had CT scan, EEG, and MRI and no damage to brain. Why am I experiencing moderate to severe impairments to my cognitive functions? Does this go away or am I facing reality of permanent damage to the cognitive functions? Before 2 months ago I was very efficient with work and considered a star in my field. Now I have to work 10 to 12 hour days and weekends to keep up with the job. I keep having great difficulty analyzing data. What exactly is damaged in brain that is causing all this and does this reverse over time? This is a huge concern. Life is so different now and it's frightening. Did anyone experience the same and has the issues lingered or improved? Please advise on facts and guidance!
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Posted: April 2, 2011, 10:37 PM


Posts: 552
Joined: July 31, 2004



What does your doctor tell you?
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Posted: April 3, 2011, 12:34 AM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



I went to the doctor and neurologist and really they are of no help. They say it's anxiety which is bs because I've never had anxiety and I have anxiety because of the stress of the cognitive impairments. It's two months going into month 3 and I pray the cognitive functions can improve. I don't want to regret and face the biggest mistake of my life. I have everything going right for me. I have advanced in my career, engaged to a beautiful wonderful women and have good friends. I need to get back to normal, it's like a second chance in life and I really need to know if time will heal these deficits. I took EEG, CT San, MRI, checkups ad they all came out fine. All I need now is for my brain to start remembering how to work again. Glad that there was no physical damage to brain because if there was a stroke or tissue damage the the damage is permanent. In my case there was no damage to brain and tissues so I'm relived in that sense but it's the processing speed and cognitive areas that are impaired. I really would like to get from current and ex users if they have experienced the same symptons and if they improved or still linger. Doctors are of no assistance
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Posted: April 4, 2011, 6:56 PM


Posts: 552
Joined: July 31, 2004



I did not seem to have any long term damage, however my doctor told me that it might show up later on in life. As for this moment, I seem to be ok. I was a hard core addict..up and down for 25 years so, I may just have been lucky. I do suffer anxiety though...it makes me forget words for things....I forgot how to move my legs to get up when I was on the floor playing with my dog...I just couldn't remember. I forgot where I was for about 2 minutes or so. When I am not stressed, or anxious I am just fine.
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Posted: April 4, 2011, 10:25 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



I'm scared out of my mind. My brain just ain't the same. I have difficulty performing work functions and analyzing data when this was never an issue. I can't take it. It's 9 weeks now and at sine point it's got to stop. I'm stressed everyday and it just doesn't get better. I'm taking supplants stopped using fir good and I really need to know facts as if this will linger or improve. I really want to get back to normal. Why am I experiencing these impairments if CT scan, MRI, and EEG test cane back normal?
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Posted: April 10, 2011, 4:06 PM


Posts: 5
Joined: February 17, 2011



I can empathise with ur worries, I went through similar worried and anxiety after years of intervenes crack use, the fist tme I cleaned up I wasn't sure what was goin on, went through hospitals, scans and the like and the results were clear, went through this a couple of times and didn't really get any answers, there's really not much study done on the permanent damage of long term cocaine use, I'm now 10 months clean and kinda accepted the fact if damage is done, is done, for me, if I look back at how I was when I first cleaned up and my mental state then and how I am now, I've come a long way, my thinking and cognitive skills have improved, my life is slowly getting better and am making the mostbof my life, as I said if damage is done thas not gonna stop getting my life back together, it takes time, except the consequences, is still early days for u, it does take time, give urself a break, take some time of work, u need to take some time for u an heal as it sounds like ur putting urself through to much pressure at work and worry, if u don't pick up it will get better whatever the damage, trust its happening for me.
much peace.x
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Posted: April 10, 2011, 7:47 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



Hi beamish thanks for the reply. It truly means alot. Can you tell mr in timeline how much improvements there were in cognitive functions. I'm now 10 weeks clean and there has been some improvement. First month was a nightmare for me as my brain couldn't follow a process or analyze new data. Second month there has been slight improvement. I'm just concerned if this is permanent. Can I expect my cognitive fubctions to keep improving? Since it's been 19 months for you can you tell me what areas of brain fubctions were initially impaired 10 months ago and how much improvement there was from month to month. This way I can assess and be able to relate an have an idea of what's ahead for me. Please advise
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Posted: April 11, 2011, 5:59 PM


Posts: 5
Joined: February 17, 2011



Hi there, can't really say in timeline as u put it how things were improving, I kinda put faith in that things will get better, I knew from the tests that there wasn't anything obviously wrong, I was aware that my brain had been chemically imbalanced by all the crack use, (and heroin, benzos etc), and accepted this, not to take anything away from the seriousness of ur situation but my drug use was extreme for many years, which has resulted in seizures, fits and many trips to the hospital, I done a lot of damage to myself, the reason I say this is after all that abuse and the time I've been clean there has been massive improvents, my mind is kinda interweaving back to normal, with no obvious brain damage, ur use of cocaine in my opinion even though serious didn't reach extremities as it has in many people I know who are doin fine in life as long as they don't pick up Including myself, I'm no doctor and I may be wrong but I'm writing this from my own experience and the evidence I see in myself an others that there's no obvious damage, things will improve for u in that respect theres no doubt, please give urself a break and in time trust me as long as u don't use u,ll b fine, maybe things ain't gonna be the same but hey, maybe there needs to b a change for u (a break from work might help), please don't worry to much about this brain damage stuff to much, uve abused it so now give it time to heal, ur doin well, 10 weeks u should be commended, well done, post here in a few weeks an let us know how ur getting on, I wish u well as I do all of u battling addiction. Much peace.x.
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Posted: April 11, 2011, 7:27 PM


Posts: 8548
Joined: April 24, 2007



It doesn't really matter where the stress and anxiety originate...you are very clearly stressed and anxious...it isn't helping your impairment and is very likely worsening it.
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Posted: April 11, 2011, 8:52 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



Today is the first day in 10 weeks when the impairments surfaced where I felt close to normal in mental fubctions. I didn't have anxiety or stress for the first time in quite a while. I'm not sure the cause of such sudden change but maybe it's the brain repairing itself or the extensive exercise I've been doing that is improving blood flow to the brain. I know I sound worried and scared but isn't that to be expected when impairments came out of nowhere and it is interfering with a successful career and everyday life. I can tell it's getting better but man it was really severe 2 months ago. It was the most stressful traumatic experience I've ever dealt with. Also doing research on effects of cocaine on the brain is very discouraging as the web constantly sates that brain damage is likely permanent and irreversible. If you were experiencing this symptons that are all new to me and trading these studies on the web I would be scared out of my mind. The memory issue got alot better but as an high level accountant it is imperative to restore the cognitive functions. I was always known as an innovative thinker and my strengths were analytical thoughts and problem solving. This area is yet to be restored to the level I need it to be. For example, a 10 minute job sometimes now takes hour and requires deep focus when this was never the issue. I'm just befuddled how the impairments happened over night 10 weeks ago. If I had felt the slightests impairments I would not risk 15 minutes of pleasure for a successful career. I really am taking your advise and hope in the coming months that my cognitive fubctions can come close to the levels before my use. Question, what could have caused the brain to malfunction all of a sudden in like one day? I thought possible it could have been a stroke I'm brain but CT scan and MRI showed no such damage. I'm looking at my recovery as a second chance in life and I will no longer take anything for granted.
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Posted: April 13, 2011, 9:27 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



My senses are slowly coming back. My memory, cognitive functions, and overall well being is showing signs of recovery. I'm not there fully but I'm more optimistic that I can overcome the impairments that started 10 weeks ago. It was one hell of a ride, a scary one in fact. I don't know If my once promising talents and analytical functions can peak to Pre use levels but I am relieves with the recent surge in improvement in the last 3 days. I really can't explain why the sudden surge but maybe it's the aminos I'm taking or the exercise but I thank the lord for hearing my cries. I have too much going on in life to fail and I want others to learn from my mistakes. Cocaine can cause serious impairments to cognitive functions and even brain damage that can be long lasting. I'm still recovering my functions and to think back, it's not worth the ramifications and complications that can destroy ones life. Hopefully the healing keeps up at a rapid pace and others can acknowledge my experiences and make better judgement. I would say my cognitive fubctions are 70 percent healed. I'm still striving for the other 30. Anyone experience the same? Interested in hearing your experiences
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Posted: April 17, 2011, 5:32 AM


Posts: 5
Joined: February 17, 2011



Hi there, am happy for u that things r getting better, have a great life and never forget where the drugs can lead u, all the best in ur future.
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Posted: April 18, 2011, 9:25 PM


Posts: 17
Joined: March 28, 2011



I'm so thankful and blessed to have made a quick recovery to my brain fubctions. It's been one week since I've felt normal or close to normal. My memory and cognitive functions are almost fully restored. I would consider this a miracle as I had experienced severe to moderate impairments to memory and cognitive fubctions for the past 2 and a half months. I was in fear that my career and capabilities were destroyed. I am so relieved to have my abilities recover so quick. I cannot explain what caused such quick recovery but it is a huge lesson learned. I'm still very upset that I have cocaine use on my medical records when I seeked medical help. The medical records could possible hurt me in my job search if the employer seeks medical records as a precondition for employment. Using cocaine was the most regretful choice I've made. It's just not worth it and I would never resort back to use. I have too much going on in my life to risk losing. I am enjoying every second of ny new life and advise others to learn from my mistakes.
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Jon Doe
Posted: August 14, 2011, 11:24 PM







I wish you better luck then I've had. I worked communications for a local trauma center when I went on a crack binge. Prior to that I was a medic for the fire department. I've always done rec drugs, but not to this recent extent. I was smoking crack everyday, all day for a year and a half before I went to rehab. I've been clean for 2 1/2 years and still feel like I'm living in a day dream that I can't awaken from. I have a conversation with someone and and two minutes later, can't recall if it actually happened, or if I just imagined it. A non-stop daydream nails it to a T. I still peak out windows and think people are out to get me. I've since gone back to school and maintain my spot on the honor roll, but still feel like I'm stoned and can't come down. I can discuss politics and culture while putting on a good face to fool others, but inside, my brain feels like a bowl full of jello or oatmeal. It's like I've had my eyes glued to the tv for a straight 72 hours. This is after almost 3 years clean. I'm just starting to look at ways to do something about it (hence why I ended up here). If you feel like you're getting back to normal, be thankful. I hope doing some of the things you've been doing (exercise, vitamins, memory/brain teasers), will get me closer to where I once was.
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Sharon
Posted: December 8, 2011, 12:10 AM







To those who are worried if you ever fully recover,who no's but you do heal an recovery is slow.but it do get alot better.I used from the age of13, glue.then went on to crack at 16,17.then ended up on heroin.I'm 41 this year an.4 years clean.I was very worried about my health, luckily I.m fine an every thing is bending it's self.
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Posted: December 8, 2011, 11:12 AM


Posts: 325
Joined: December 14, 2009



How did I miss this thread?

15 yrs smoking crack, 35 yrs smoking weed and who knows if there is any impairment. Most likely, I mean shouldn't there be. But I am in college and doing well, just got my final grade in psychology...A. But that dang statistics is killing me. In High school I scoredin the 98th percentile for math on the SAT, so maybe it was the drugsor maybe I just need to get my brain back in shape.
As to ABC233, your vocabulary certainly seems to be alright, although I am not sure what YOU mean by cognitive function. (I do know what cognitive means). But since you have not been here in a while, I probably never will.
Hope all is well

Larrylive


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All gods send their drunks to AA
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spaghetti
Posted: December 8, 2011, 2:11 PM







you know, i am sure drugs can cause damage even if you have just used a little. I do not in anyway mean to sound boastful - far from it, mortified would be a better description - but it does concern me when people who have, in my eyes, 'barely binged' worry for their health. If THEY are scared, what hope do the likes of those (that includes me) with more than a decade of s*** behind them have?


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Posted: December 22, 2011, 1:38 PM


Posts: 325
Joined: December 14, 2009



A better life is coming, but you have to work for it.

Larry

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All gods send their drunks to AA
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MediMac
Posted: January 2, 2012, 11:52 PM







I'd like to hear from ABC.. again, but I have a feeling he recovered, and maybe feels like he was being a nervious nelly. I've been in the medical field for 30 yrs and have seen people in the ER in acute ODs, in the ICU recovering from chronic damage. Also have used crack myself during periods of my life. From my experience and a lot of reading--anxiety can explode like a bomb inside when the sudden fear that you've done something to permanently damage yourself happens. I've seen this and experienced this. This causes internal confusion and lack of focus that can totally destroy current memory tasks and analytic processes. It may be like nothing you've ever experienced. so it just reinforces the perception that something terrible has happened. Exactly what to do about it would be impossible to say because the effect of giving psych drugs depends on a lot of individual personality and brain chemistry factors. If you're absolutly non functional then supervised rest and sedation may be needed. Most people just need time and quit using, if they have an otherwise supportive environment. As far as long time damage it's hard to say because there is so much anti drug hype, anything "good" is not emphasized or even suppressed. This is why ABC.. feld the doctors where useless. The evidence does not support saying to any one individual that he has sustained long term damage, yet it's still possible--not what you want to hear in the state he was in.
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Posted: January 5, 2012, 5:35 PM


Posts: 325
Joined: December 14, 2009



Thanks Mac,

I shall use and pass this information on.

Larry

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All gods send their drunks to AA
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