Brain Science and Cocaine Addiction: Working on A Cure

The obsession of craving is how many differentiate recreational drug use from addictive drug abuse. Drug addicts, and alcoholics, seem to experience a deep seated need for the use of a specific drug or combination of drugs. Craving is the brain’s way of communicating the need for more drugs- after it has become dependent upon them. Physical and psychological cravings can completely take over one’s mind and body. It begins like this:

  • The brain tries a drug like cocaine for the first time and likes it
  • Reeling on the tail end of euphoria, the brain decides it would like to try that again, as soon as possible
  • Overtime, with each use, the desire to feel such euphoria again becomes implanted
  • Eventually, the brain requires more cocaine to get the same euphoric effect it has been experiencing thus far
  • Giving the brain more, it becomes more dependent and craves more cocaine to get an even better euphoric sensation
  • Cravings are what happens in between doses, when the brain starts to dwindle down to its last source of cocaine and is left to fend for itself in terms of euphoria
  • Anxious to feel euphoric again, the brain sends out distress signals in the form of psychological and physiological

For years the answer to the mystery of cravings has taken many forms. Traditional twelve step fellowships regard it as a phenomena, curable only by spiritual experience and psychic change. Neuroscience delves deep into the dopamine production process while citing the many other areas of the brain affected by drugs and alcohol. Recently, researching brain science has revealed a particular molecule which seems to dictate the presence of cravings for those substances. Hypocretin is the molecule which, when manipulated, can turn off the driving need to turn to drugs. Blocking hypocretin could potentially result in not only a reduction of cravings, but the characteristic drug-seeking patterns as well.

Information like this can help in the production of safe medication to prevent relapse.

Refuge Recovery welcomes men and women seeking healing for their addiction to cocaine. We offer detox, inpatient, outpatient, and other levels of treatment as parts of an individualized treatment plan for our residents. For more information call or text us today at 323-207-0276.

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