Despite the fact that the main focus regarding addiction these days is centered upon opioid use disorder, a form of addiction involving prescription painkillers and heroin, many Americans continue to regularly abuse cocaine. It is often the case that both opioids and cocaine are used in conjunction, as addicts attempt to maintain a delicate balance between the downing effects of opioids and the upper effects of cocaine. A practice commonly referred to as “speedballing.” You may be aware of the fact that a number of notable celebrities have lost their lives due to speedballs, such as John Belushi.
When cocaine is used on its own, the chances of an overdose are significantly less than that of opioids. Drugs in the opioid family cause severe respiratory depression which can easily lead to death. Part the reason that opioid addiction has garnered the attention of mainstream media to the degree that it has is the result of how deadly that form of drug can be. But rest assured, cocaine addiction can severely impact the course of one’s life, and without treatment it can be extremely difficult to find recovery.
Unlike opioid addiction, there are currently no accepted drugs to help people get off, and stay off, of cocaine. There isn’t a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug to treat cocaine addiction. However, new research suggests that blocking certain brain-cell receptors, specifically a receptor referred to as the TrkB, could reverse signs of cocaine dependency, ScienceDaily reports. The findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
“I think this study could help revive the idea of targeting TrkB signaling to treat addiction,” said The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) biologist Candice Contet, senior author of the study.
While blocking the TrkB has not been tested on humans, the technique showed great promise in rat models, according to the article. The researchers found that rats that learned to self-administer cocaine infusions, reduced their use of cocaine markedly when the TrkB blocker was given to them—exhibiting decreased signs of dependence. The findings are extremely important, especially when you consider that over 2 million Americans abuse cocaine.
People struggling with addiction may not be able to admit their need for help. If your cocaine problem is affecting your marriage, parenting, employment, friendships, finances, and spirituality, it’s time to call Celebrate Hope’s Christian addiction treatment center.