Researchers Discover Vulnerable Moments When Cocaine Addicts Relapse

One of the biggest and the most dreaded challenges for recovering cocaine addicts is a relapse. The moment a former addict relapses after a hard-fought sobriety, all the efforts go down the drain. Preventing a relapse remains the top priority for substance abuse treatment programs.

A recent study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Egypt using electroencephalography (EEG) claims to have narrowed down to moments when cocaine addicts are quite vulnerable to relapse. The study, which was published online in the JAMA Psychiatry in September 2016, revealed that most intense craving for illicit substances comes when patients are released from addiction treatment centers or programs.

They found that former addicts are more likely Where to Buy Cocaine USA go back to their addiction from day two to one month of abstinence and are the most vulnerable between one and six months.

Triggers push addicts toward relapse

It is often difficult to fathom why addicts relapse despite restraining from illicit substances for a prolonged period. However, it is known that cue-induced craving is a major spoilsport. When a former addict is exposed to cues previously associated with drug use, it is almost certain he or she will veer towards the drug again. Studies so far have only delved into assessing self-reported measures of cue-induced craving.

This is the first study to use EEG to quantify cue-induced craving in humans with cocaine use disorder. The findings synced with previous studies, showing a similar trajectory of craving in animal models.

The researchers collated data for five and a half years from EEG recordings in 76 adults who were cocaine addicts. They had varying durations of abstinence, ranging from two days, one week, one month, six months to even one year. They recorded the EEG while the participants looked at different types of pictures, including pictures that depicted cocaine and individuals preparing, using and simulating the use of cocaine. The respondents also self-reported their level of craving for each cocaine-related picture after the EEG.

The researchers found that self-reported craving showed a gradual decline with increasing abstinence duration. It underlined a potential disconnect between psychological response to drug-related cues in addicts and their perception of this response.

“Results of this study are alarming in that they suggest that many people struggling with drug addiction are being released from treatment programs at the time they need the most support,” said principal researcher Rita Goldstein, Ph.D., a professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine.

“Our results could help guide the implementation of alternative, individually tailored and optimally timed intervention, prevention, and treatment strategies,” Goldstein added.

This information was important as such programs could be designed more appropriately to plug the existing loopholes. Additional information on causes of relapses meant enhanced treatment procedures and greater chance of a long-term recovery.

“Our results are important because they identify an objectively ascertained period of high vulnerability to relapse,” said lead author Muhammad Parvaz, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine. “Unfortunately, this period of vulnerability coincides with the window of discharge from most treatment programs, perhaps increasing a person’s propensity to relapse.”

Getting treatment for addiction

Substance abuse treatment has to be comprehensive to help patients overcome addiction and to thwart any potential threat of relapses. Apart from an effective detox program, a little commitment from the patient to remain in treatment, also matters a lot.

If a loved one is abusing any substance and you are looking for any rapid detox treatment, contact the Arizona Detox Helpline to avail services of quality detox treatment centers in Arizona. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-593-8453 to know about the best detox treatment in Arizona.

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