Cocaine addiction has always presented a serious challenge for addicts and scientists alike. In fact, despite years of research, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to identify and approve a specific pharmacological intervention to treat people struggling with this disease. And, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mortality rate for cocaine increase been steadily increasing. The most recent data presented by the National Center for Health indicate that the number of people dying annually due to misuse of cocaine increased by 42% between 2001 and 2014.
In a scientific studies published recently in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have revealed even more alarming effects of cocaine. According to John Hopkins researchers, they now have new evidence to support the fact that high doses of cocaine kills brain cells and triggers a cannibalizing effect in which these cells digest their own insides. While this discovery is not a comforting thought for those with a cocaine addiction, this research has also enabled scientists to further develop the “CGP3466B” an experimental compound and possible antidote to this activity.
CGP3466B has been in development since scientist first recognized that nitrate oxide was connected to cocaine induced cell death through its interaction with the GAPDH enzyme. Until these new findings however, scientists were unsure of the specific cause of cell death or autophagy. Cocaine induced autophagy represents a destructive process that causes cell disassembly and lead to cellular dysfunction. In tests, CGP3466B has been shown to disrupt nitric oxide/GAPDH interactions and stop cocaine-induced autophagy. This treatment offers significant hope for cocaine addicts as well as for women who use cocaine during pregnancy.
According to Solomon Snyder M.D., professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University School of Medicine this information provides greater insight into how to use a known compound to interfere prevent cell damage. He also said researchers hope these findings will eventually lead to treatment that will arrest the devastating effects of cocaine and reduce the effects of this drug on babies in utero.
Addictionologists current utilize various cognitive behavioral and relapse prevention therapies as well as such as Buprenorphine to aid in the cocaine addiction rehabilitation process. Buprenorphine in particular has able to alleviate physical and emotional suffering caused by cocaine addiction. It has been shown to be especially safe as a sobriety maintenance drug without many of the risk factors of other medication intervention substances.
According to the NIDA, cocaine addiction is a progressive disease that without appropriate treatment has the potential to lead to irreversible damage. As such, seeking cocaine addiction treatment at the earliest opportunity, preferably at the onset of a cocaine dependence is critical to preventing the debilitating effects of this drug.