Cocaine Addiction May Different in Men and Women

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Addiction when concerning the different sexes can quite obviously have different factors involved. Before now, most of those factors revolved around the reasons why men and women were driven into drug abuse. Examples specifically for women could be rape, domestic violence, the loss of a child and so on. Men also have gender specific causes that are particular to their reasons for becoming addicted. Now however, a new brain imaging study leads to evidence that may prove how the addiction (and how they react inside of the body and mind) might be different between men and women. The subject has always been implied in the past, and until now, there was no real substantial scientific evidence that could prove that the anatomy and physiology of the brain during addiction was different between the two sexes.

The study performed by scientists in the Yale School of Medicine has narrowed these differences down, such as what causes cravings to abuse drugs/substances in addicted women and men. In women, it was found that stress activates areas of the brain associated with the cravings, specifically in women addicted to cocaine. On the other hand, it was found that actual drug cues (such as lighters, pipes and drug related words) activate similar areas of the brain in men, and cause the brunt of the cravings. This find, while it may sound minute, could potentially lead to significant improvement in the areas of cocaine addiction recovery in the future.

While not all men and women will follow this same trend of differing craving triggers, being able to pinpoint which way the brain is wired with the addiction will reveal more accurate ways to treat these addicted individual. Speaking on recovery terms, and strictly following the model in which women suffer from cravings due to stress, the recovery approach of stress reduction therapy which will focus specifically on the drug cravings could turn out to be a much more accurate method of recovery. For men that follow the model of drug cues being the main triggers in their addiction, the well known 12 step programs (based on the ideals of AA) would be the most effective method of treatment.

Of course, it cannot be expected that each and every man and women would follow the model of triggers that has been found in this study. The principle at least, is an important one. The closer medical professionals and scientists get to isolating the factors and brain functions of addicted individuals, the closer they get to pin pointing the most effective treatment plans. Should this type of research continue, the addict community will experience a growth in the efficiency, effectiveness and quality in addiction treatment?

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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