Magnetic Stimulation of Brain can help Treat Cocaine Addiction, Says Study

Cocaine addiction has been a concern for the United States for the past several years. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an estimated 1.5 million cocaine users belonged to the age group of 12 years or more in 2014. The adults aged between 18 and 25 showed a higher rate of cocaine use than any other age group.

Cocaine is the second most popular illegal drug used in the country. The widespread use of the drug to get a short-lived intense high can be attributed to the misconception that it is relatively safe and non-addictive. As a result, people from all sections of society, including college students, are increasingly getting hooked on it.

However, not everyone is aware that a repeated use of the drug can lead to addiction and subsequent health consequences, such as overdose and death. Usually available in the form of white powder, the drug is either snorted or injected into the bloodstream. At times, it is heated and the resulting fumes are inhaled to get the desired euphoric effect.

Traditionally, detox programs, supported by medicines and counseling, has remained the first line of treatment for cocaine addiction. But a December 2015 study, published in the journal “European Neuropsychopharmacology” highlighted an alternate method that can bring about a significant reduction in cocaine use and cravings. According to the study, magnetic stimulation of a part of the brain can act as the primary therapeutic intervention for millions of cocaine users.

Effect of magnetic stimulation on cocaine addiction

Cocaine abuse carries numerous health risks, since it is a stimulant that works on the central nervous system (CNS), thereby elevating the blood pressure, body temperature, and the heart rate. A regular use of cocaine increases the risk of heart stroke or development of mental disorders such as anxiety.

Interestingly, the therapy involving stimulation of brain can emerge as a new treatment modality for cocaine addiction. “The treatment, known as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) works stimulating the brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with magnetic pulses. This region is involved in controlling inhibition, or impulsive behavior, but it has abnormally low activity in people addicted to cocaine,” said the study authors.

As part of the study, the researchers divided 32 longtime cocaine users seeking treatment into two distinct groups. While the first group was given various medications to mitigate the devastating symptoms of cocaine addiction, the second one was exposed to 13 minutes of TMS once a day for five days, and then, once a week for three more weeks. Surprisingly, 69 percent of the second group that received TMS did not use cocaine, as compared to just 19 percent of the group that received the conventional therapy.

“Patients with addiction tend to have more risk-taking behaviors and increased impulsivity, so stimulation to [this brain region] may alter these actions, potentially helping patients cope with addiction,” observed the study.

Seeking professional help

Though it is always better to avoid indulging in illegal substances altogether, it is important to note that drug addiction can be cured successfully with proper treatment. If a person is suffering from any kind of addiction, he or she should immediately seek medical assistance to get sober and lead a healthy life.

If you or your loved one is addicted to cocaine, make haste in seeking medical help. You can contact Sovereign Addiction Services for detailed information on our cocaine addiction treatment in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855–683–9756 to know more about Sovereign’s cocaine rehab centers in California.

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