Have Scientists Found a Way to Treat Cocaine Addiction

Scientists in Denmark believe they have found a cure for cocaine addiction, which could work in a similar way to methadone when treating a heroin addiction. At the moment, there is no treatment for a cocaine addiction but scientists at the University of Copenhagen believe that a protein they have identified could be used for future treatment options for dependence on the drug.

How the Treatment Would Work

The theory is that a new treatment could stop cocaine from having a pleasurable effect in the same way that methadone is used to help heroin addiction. Associate professor at the university, Claus Juul Loland admits that this treatment will not be a ‘wonder drug’ and added, “It would aid in the treatment of cocaine addiction, but the patient would have to be willing to go to rehab and other actions have to be taken in addition to this.”

Treatment would work by eliminating the dopamine that is released when a person takes cocaine. Dopamine is a chemical that is released by the brain and it affects many things such as sensations of pleasure. Cocaine blocks removal of dopamine from the brain, which results in heightened sensation of pleasure for users.

Professor Loland has admitted that it will be necessary to carry out further research before any treatment becomes available, but the signs are good.

Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is the second most common recreational drug used in the UK; it is second only to cannabis. It is a powerful drug used on the club and party scene. Cocaine and crack cocaine give the effect of being more energetic and alert as well as instilling feelings of overconfidence. Physical side effects include loss of appetite, palpitations, sweating, and a dry mouth.

Cocaine is highly addictive and large doses can cause a feeling of anxiety and paranoia. People coming down from a cocaine high will usually experience fatigue and may feel depressed. Those who become addicted to cocaine tend to quickly become tolerant to the effects of the drug and will therefore use more and more to achieve the same ‘high’.

Signs of a Cocaine Addiction

There are many people across the UK taking cocaine as a recreational drug; for them it may not be an addiction. However, if you do suspect that you or someone you love has developed a dependency there are a few signs to look out for, including:

  • disappearing in a club and then returning in a completely different mood
  • lack of appetite
  • being unusually talkative or confident
  • being unable to sleep properly
  • dilated pupils
  • runny nose
  • nosebleeds
  • track marks on arms (from injecting)
  • paranoia
  • delusions
  • hallucinations
  • depression
  • agitation
  • exhaustion.

Getting Help for a Cocaine Addiction

Kicking an addiction to cocaine can be tough and an addict will have to want help before receiving it. Families of those addicted to cocaine will want to do everything they can to get help for their loved one before the problem gets even worse. It may be necessary to seek external help.

If you or a loved one is addicted, talk to us at Addiction Helper. We have a team of expert counsellors on hand ready to discuss your options. We can put you in touch with private rehabilitation centres as well as NHS options, depending on your requirements and your budget.

Our team of experts have been trained in all addictions and in the various methods of treatments available; with years of experience, they can get you or your loved one on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Call us today for free, confidential advice.


  1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2909715/New-treatment-cocaine-addiction-work-way-methadone-used-combat-heroin-abuse-scientists-say.html
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