How Credit Card Purchases Trigger the Same Chemical Reaction In the Brain As Cocaine and Drive More Spending



It will come as no surprise to compulsive shoppers who say they’re addicted to spending that credit card purchases actually encourage more spending. Research shows that credit card purchases give the brain the same “hit” as cocaine, which fuels further shopping sprees. It’s no secret that people get into trouble with plastic because they don’t view it the same way they do cash. Studies show that credit cards actually “step on the gas” by putting costs out-of-mind, regardless of the amount. Further, different cards can spark different desires. Cards used in restaurants and on vacations create a greater appetite for spending than cards used to buy gas. The reward networks in the brain that are activated by all kinds of rewards are activated by a credit card purchase, while they aren’t by cash. So, for those addicted to plastic shopping sprees, change your habits to “cash only” and you’ll likely see your addiction disappear.