A recent scientific study has shown that cocaine messes with our will power and this maybe the reason that some are more vulnerable to addiction than others.
Brains scans have revealed the possible biological basic for cocaine addiction. The scans show that cocaine alters the parts of the brain responsible for behavior and appropriate decision making.
Because the drug directly affects our will power, the recent findings may help explain why some are more vulnerable to addiction that others.
Researchers at the Trinity College Dublin took brain scans of cocaine users whilst they performed computer tasks.
The results showed that cocaine increased activity in the areas of the pre-frontal cortex.
The scans also revealed differences in brain structures of cocaine users; however it is still unclear whether these differences existed before they start taking cocaine, or if they were a result of using the drug.
Although more research is to be carried out, the findings raise the possibility that differences in brain structure are the reason some get addicted whilst others use the drug socially.
Lead researcher Dr Hugh Garavan said previous research into drug abuse had tended to focus on the emotional aspects of addictions – such as pleasure seeking, craving and withdrawal.
The latest study suggests that it is not simply these emotions that are affected by cocaine, but the way the brain deals with them, and keeps them in check by controlling a person’s actions.
Trinity College Dublin researchers will present their findings to a Royal Society meeting.
Dr. Garavan continues….
“Understanding the role that our brain plays in addiction may also have important implications for treating long-term addiction and designing intervention therapies”¦”¦
“Importantly, new medication based on certain chemical processes in the brain could be developed as currently there are no good pharmacological treatments for cocaine”¦..
“Traditional treatment therapy such as counseling or rehab could also be adapted to train addicts to monitor their behavior and practice impulse control.”
Dr Gerome Breen, of the Institute of Psychiatry, said:
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