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Is Cocaine Addictive? Reasons Why Addicts Relapse After Clean Time

is-cocaine-addictive---texasIs cocaine addictive enough to cause an addict to relapse after some clean time?  Some say no, but that still leaves the debilitating question as to why addicts pickup after they have detoxed from cocaine.  Studies show that this is an ongoing issue with addiction in general.  David Dietz, PhD of  the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences stated it simply: “It’s because addiction has rewired the brain.”

Is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine is known to drastically alter brain chemistry.  “These changes persist and become permanent,” says Dietz.  With $2 million just granted to the University at Buffalo by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are high hopes to discover a way to manipulate the brain to either revert or reshape neural pathways that cocaine has damaged. The goal of the study should demonstrate new information regarding manipulations of the brain’s plasticity post-drug abuse and addiction.  In light of how drug abuse and addiction is on the rise, this research will benefit the lives of many recovering addicts because it will suggest how their physical brain recovery may look for years to come and if any of the brain damage is reversible.

What evidence proves that brain damage from cocaine addiction can be corrected?

In 2013, scientists conducted a research experiment on lab rats where they were able to turn their cocaine addiction on and off using laser therapy.  The study showed no craving for the drug at all, and then the scientists were able to re-introduce a new cocaine addiction to them.  This study focused on the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is the area of the brain that is in charge of compulsive behaviors and decisions.  At the time, this left great strides and promises for the potential treatment it could pose for human cocaine addicts.  Of course there would need to be human trials, and it would not be with lasers but rather through trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.  TMS uses nonmagnetic pulses that activate areas of the brain and is typically used as a form of treatment now.

Recent Proof: TMS Displays Brain Improvement

Though no word has been said much on a cure for cocaine addiction, TMS has shown astonishing results for those with memory ailments.  It was found that when TMS was occurring and an electromagnetic coil was on the head of an individual, that person’s memory showed a drastic positive improvement in its cognitive functioning capability.  It was said that this could be key for treating and correcting memory ailments that resulted from strokes, Alzheimer’s, and brain infliction.  Joel Voss of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine foretold, “This opens up a whole new area for treatment studies where we will try to see if we can improve function in people who really need it.”

Voss poses an excellent point.  The hopes seem high with TMS showing improvement in brain functioning that there could possibly be a link toward manipulating neuroplasticity damaged from cocaine and enticing treatment for cocaine addiction in general; perhaps even a cure somewhere down the road with further research.  Of course that is more hopeful but at least there is a way to treat cocaine addiction regardless of these test results. Addict treatment programs like The Watershed followed by a 12-step recovery program have had great results when it comes to combating cocaine addiction, provided the person wants to recover.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a cocaine or other drug addiction, call The Watershed Texas at 1-800-439-5959 for help today.

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