One of the primary drug addictions luxury residential drug rehabilitation centers deal with is cocaine addiction. Cocaine abuse, drug abuse, and addiction continues to be a problem that plagues our nation, but that can be dealt with at drug rehabs. For instance, from 1965 to 1967, only 0.1 percent of youths had ever used cocaine, but rates rose throughout the 1970s and 1980s, reaching 2.2 percent in 1987. After a brief decline, lifetime prevalence rates peaked at 2.7 percent in 2002.
However, we now know more about where and how cocaine acts in the brain, including how the drug produces its pleasurable effects and why it is so addictive. Through the use of sophisticated technology, scientists can actually see the dynamic changes that occur in the brain as an individual takes the drug. They can observe the different brain changes that occur as a person experiences the “rush,” the “high,” and, finally, the craving of cocaine. They can also identify parts of the brain that become active when a cocaine addict sees or hears environmental stimuli that trigger the craving for cocaine. Because these types of studies pinpoint specific brain regions, they are critical to identifying targets for developing medications to treat cocaine addiction.
One of NIDA’s most important goals is to translate what scientists learn from research, in order to help the public better understand drug abuse and addiction and to develop more effective strategies for their prevention, treatment, drug detox, and drug rehabilitation. We hope that this compilation of scientific information on cocaine will help to inform readers about the harmful effects of cocaine abuse and that it will assist in prevention and treatment efforts.