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Cravings May Be Slowed in Recent Experiment

Cocaine Cravings - The Bergand Group

It doesn’t share the limelight with heroin and opioids, both of which are wreaking havoc on our country, but those who are addicted to cocaine still need attention, care, and treatment. Fortunately, there is new research that suggests its victims may be able to better avoid cravings for the drug with the aid of ketamine.

The Reduction of Cocaine’s Cravings via a New Method

Like most other substances, the regular use of cocaine “leads to rewiring of the brain’s reward system.” As such, the cravings that they suffer as a result can be incredibly overpowering and make it nearly impossible for the individual to make healthy choices. Even if that person has been clean for years, exposure to the drug can send them back down that path all-too easily. “The craving for cocaine may never go away, and there are no consistently-effective medications to treat it.”

None of this is really good news, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason to be optimistic. With all that said, there are some experimental treatments that may be able to stop these intense and dangerous cravings in their tracks to give the patient control over his or her life again. This possible solution comes in the form of ketamine, an anesthetic drug. It has already been said to carry “antidepressant properties,” but it also may be able “to increase neuroplasticity—the ability to make brain cell connections more flexible.”

Why would this be helpful in combating a cocaine addiction and resultant cravings? Since cravings are a result of the brain having been rewired by the substance over time, it makes sense that something that could ease the brain’s connections would help. In the experiments already run along these lines, the ketamine-given patients were much more able to withstand the lure. 

There are always complications or things to be wary of in any new experimental treatment. In this case, ketamine “is known to induce acute psychotic symptoms in otherwise normal adults, and it is an abused drug in its own right.” Professionals obviously do not want their patients to develop a new addiction in place of the old one. Additionally, since this is a newly-tested theory, there is no evidence of what the long-term consequences or results may be. It’s hard to say if the risk is worth the reward.

Ultimately, even if this form of treatment isn’t able to do away entirely with cocaine’s cravings, it’s encouraging of the industry at large. It means that, more and more, those who have the ability to theorize and experiment will continue to do so in order to produce results for people who are addicted and suffering. “We may be entering an era in which acute infusion treatments become more common in psychiatry across a range of illnesses.” Hopefully, through much careful trial and error, clinicians will be able to offer at least some relief to those with substance use disorders before long.

If you are suffering from an addiction of any kind or are looking for help for another person or for yourself, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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