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Cocaine use enhances distraction

Cocaine use enhances distraction

Studies suggest that recreational use of cocaine is associated with significant impairments in the same cognitive control functions affected by chronic use. Are up to 4 grams monthly enough to damage the ability of suppressing irrelevant information?

Second preferred recreational drug

Over the last 10 years, taking cocaine by snorting route has become the most common recreational drug habit in Europe after smoking cannabis. The increasing use of cocaine has become a serious public health issue both in Europe and in the USA, especially because of the well-known addictive properties of this psychostimulant drug and its detrimental effects on cognitive functioning (European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction 2012).

Recreational use as dangerous as chronic use

Recent studies from our lab have shown that even recreational cocaine users, who do not meet criteria for abuse or dependence but take cocaine (preferably by snorting route) on a monthly frequency (1 to 4 g monthly), show similar cognitive impairments as chronic users consuming cocaine on a much more regular basis (often 1g daily, but at least 3g weekly).

Cocaine use enhances distraction

For the first time, in our new study published in Experimental Brain Research we compared recreational cocaine polydrug users and cocaine free-controls on the Simon task—in which participants have to ignore irrelevant information on a computer screen.  We found that users were more distracted from the irrelevant information than nonusers. This means that up to four grams of cocaine monthly, for at least 2 years, seems to be  enough to damage  interference control, the ability of  suppressing irrelevant information.

Real-life impact

Even though the task we used to diagnose interference control in recreational users is rather artificial, the deficit itself is likely to affect everyday behavior. Many real-life situations require the ability of suppressing distraction. This is particular obvious for examples like traffic behavior, where stopping to walk or to drive is necessary when the traffic light turns from green to red, or when passengers, animals, or vehicles are suddenly crossing the street.

2 Comments

Gabrielle
Posted by Gabrielle on March 22, 2015 at 15:45

to outdoor acetiivits, Rosedale is a great option. Within ten minutes drive of the community is Riverbend Recreational Area, Balmoral Golf Course, Parkland Nurseries, Gaetz Lake Sanctuary,a0Kerry Wood Nature Centre, and

Jennifer
Posted by Jennifer on March 20, 2015 at 19:15

I very much enjoy both drugs and sex and from my personal exierpence i would have to say drugs.i have no drug addictions but i greatly enjoy the altered state of consciousnesses which drugs(especially ones which make your tryp)give me for it allows me alternate ways to think about the constant changes of life and gives one a more complete knowledge of oneself. but drugs are not essential for a balanced life and sex is, so while i enjoy drugs more they are not as important as sex.-Jak

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