Around 1.4 million people in America are addicted to cocaine. Users normally inject, snort, sniff, or turn the drug into rocks and smoke it. It can usually lasts between ten minutes to two hours depending on how it is taken.
Cocaine is the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes for people under 35. It is a huge social and economic problem, but help could be on its way after scientists have reported that cocaine addicts could be cured using a technique that stimulates the brain with magnets.
The way this works is that by stimulating a region in the brain called, the pre-frontal cortex, with light, they could wipe away addictive behavior in lab animals and also turn non-addicted mice and rats into compulsive cocaine seekers.
Research has shown that rats have extremely low activity in the prefrontal cortex which is similar to human especially when they are addicted to cocaine.
This demonstrates the central role the prefrontal cortex, which controls impulses, decision making, and behavioral adaptability, plays in compulsive cocaine addiction.
Any use of this procedure on human would not involve lasers; it would most likely involve electromagnetic stimulation outside the scalp such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS involves a large electromagnetic coil being placed against the scalp creating an electrical current that stimulates the nerve cells.
It is understood that this method of using magnets could work on human drug abusers with clinical trials starting soon to confirm this.
If you or a loved one needs help or support tackling a cocaine addiction, get help and support from a drug addiction specialist. You can find various specialists online or through your GP.