Can New Treatment Keep You Out of a Drug School?

by: Mike Miller

Is a cure to drug addiction so simple that all that needs to happen is to have the addiction “turned off” in the brain? That is what some American researchers are claiming.

A study in rats has found that stimulating a key part of the brain reduces compulsive cocaine-seeking and suggests the possibility of changing addictive behavior generally. As reported in

The study, published in Nature, was conducted by scientists at the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the University of California, San Francisco.

One thing this study does offer is a new direction of research for the treatment of cocaine and possibly other addictions. Despite drug education and drug classes, the problem with chemical substance abuse and addiction seems to be getting worse all over the world.

Compulsive drug-taking, despite negative health and social consequences, has been the most difficult challenge in human drug addiction. In this study, researchers used an animal model of cocaine addiction, in which some rats exhibited addictive behavior by pushing levers to get cocaine even when followed by a mild electric shock to the foot. Other rats did not exhibit addictive behavior.

This is the first study to show a cause-and-effect relationship between cocaine-induced brain deficits in the prefrontal cortex and compulsive cocaine-seeking. The results seem to provide evidence for a cocaine-induced deficit within a brain region that is involved in disorders characterized by poor impulse control, including addiction.

What do you think? Could a solution be this simple. It would be nice to eradicate addictive behavior. I just don’t see that happening. We need to continue to educate our youth and parents with drug classes and provide counseling and support for addicts to help them overcome their problem.