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Pills spilling out of bottleCocaine is the second most commonly chosen non-prescription drug that is abused in the United States for recreational purposes after marijuana. The profits garnered by the cocaine industry in Columbia now exceed those of the coffee industry. The issue of cocaine abuse and dependence afflicts approximately 2 million people in the United States alone according to estimates. Because the problem of cocaine addiction continues to plague individuals and families, the search for additional treatment options has escalated in recent years in hopes of finding any medical augmentation for current evidence-based therapeutic treatment services.

If your loved one is struggling with a cocaine addiction or abuse problem, contact us at the phone number listed above and speak to an admissions coordinator about your options today.

The Study

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai launched a study to determine whether or not a dose of Ritalin would improve the brain function of an individual dependent upon cocaine. Half of the 18 participants in recovery for cocaine addiction were given an oral dose of methylphenidate (Ritalin) and the other half received an oral placebo. It was determined that use of the drug affected the connectivity of certain circuits in the brain that affect cravings for cocaine and impulse behavior, decreasing both.

Rita Goldstein is a Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai and the lead researcher on the study. She said: “The benefits of methylphenidate were present after only one dose, indicating that this drug has significant potential as a treatment add-on for addiction to cocaine and possibly other stimulants. This is a preliminary study, but the findings are exciting and warrant further exploration, particularly in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy or cognitive remediation.”

Possibility of Vaccine Use

Ritalin isn’t the only drug being investigated for its use in cocaine addiction treatment. A recent publication in the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology (May 2013) indicates that the use of a vaccine for cocaine may soon become a possibility for addicts seeking treatment.

Dr. Ronald G. Crystal from Weill Cornell Medical College was the lead researcher on the study. He stated: “The vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-man before it can reach the brain. We believe this strategy is a win-win for those individuals, among the estimated 1.4 million cocaine users in the United States, who are committed to breaking their addiction to the drug. Even if a person who receives the anti-cocaine vaccine falls off the wagon, cocaine will have no effect.”

Like methylphenidate, the vaccine would be used by treatment programs in conjunction with traditional therapies and rehabilitation.

Take Advantage of Today’s Cocaine Rehab Options

In effect currently is a wide-range of evidence-based treatment services for the abuse of cocaine. Contact us at the phone number listed above and have your addicted loved one matched to a drug rehab program that can help them walk away from drug use and dependence now.