Stroke May Have Saved Man from Taking Quebec Drug Class

by Mike Miller December 11, 2012

In my book a stroke can never be a good thing. But if you want to make a bad pun, it may have been a stroke of good luck for one man horribly addicted to cocaine.

Montreal researchers are reporting on the curious case of a Quebec man apparently cured of a cocaine addiction following a stroke. As reported in o.canada.com.

It is the first known instance where a stroke cured addiction but could set the foundation for more research into whether it’s possible to target and treat the underlying brain regions behind drug abuse, possibly with deep brain stimulation.

The case involves a 45-year-old man who had been addicted to cocaine since he was 24, injecting or snorting up to seven grams a day.

Twenty-one months ago, he experienced a stroke affecting the basal ganglia, large clusters of nerve cells located deep in the brain that receive dopamine — the neurotransmitter involved in the brain’s pleasure and reward system that’s important for addictive behaviors.

Since the stroke the victim has no cravings for the drug.

Perhaps it was the near-death experience that has caused him to change his ways. It certainly would not be the first time a near-death experience caused a person to change his ways.

I am sure this will foster more research on the topic. Of course I would hope that people would not have to have a stroke or other near-death experience to cease using addictive drugs. Perhaps mandatory Quebec drug classes at a young age would keep them from ever experimenting with these lethal and addictive chemical substances in the first place.

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