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Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) was used to detect small animal brain activation in response to drug abuse. Cocaine hydrochloride in saline solution was injected into the blood stream of Sprague Dawley rats through tail veins. The rat brain functional change in response to the injection of drug was then monitored by the PAM technique. Images in the coronal view of the rat brain at the locations of 1.2 and 3.4 mm posterior to bregma were obtained. The resulted photoacoustic (PA) images showed the regional changes in the blood volume. Additionally, the regional changes in blood oxygenation were also presented. The results demonstrated that PA imaging is capable of monitoring regional hemodynamic changes induced by drug abuse.