Another complication caused by the unknowns of street drugs and their composition, is that it is very difficult to understand exactly what the long term effects are and their causes. However, brain scans of individuals who have used street and synthetic drugs show clear brain damage. Scans using Gamma rays and single photon emission tomography technology allowed doctors to develop 3D brain images revealing the extent of street drug-related brain damage. Blood vessels become impaired and constrict circulation to various regions of the brain, causing gaps of function that may never heal. These drugs can cause a lack of blood flow to certain areas of the brain and the images clearly showed the damage that was done.
Although we understand how alcohol, cocaine, and heroin can impact an individuals health over a long period of time, there is still so little known about street drugs. This is why it is so critical to avoid the use of these substances or to discontinue use immediately.