From a quick bump in the Jacks on a night out – to full-blown dependency – to a potentially fatal overdose.
With the increasing ‘uberisation’ of drug deals through cocaine call-centres, and online trafficking through social media & darknet markets, the short journey from cocaine use to addiction is a slippery downward slope (European Drug Report, 2018).
According to the Health Research Board Ireland, the nation ranks fourth highest within the EU for cocaine use amongst young adults. A recent survey conducted by Coolmine Therapeutic Community highlights crack cocaine as the most frequently consumed drug in Ireland. As a matter of fact, the number of individuals availing treatment for addiction increased over 30% in the previous year alone and has nearly doubled since 2011 (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2019).
Cocaine use elevates blood pressure and causes respiratory difficulties, resulting in a stroke or a heart attack. 25% of heart attacks experienced by those under the age of 45 are triggered by cocaine, and frequent use of the drug increases the likelihood of a stroke by seven times (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2018).
How can TMS help?
TMS is a gentle, non-invasive process that transforms lives through symptom reduction. It involves focusing a magnetic pulse to stimulate under-active brain cells, and activate them to work more efficiently. This NICE (UK advisory body) approved treatment improves or offers complete remission for depression and anxiety. 68% of patients have experienced significant improvement, while 45% report complete remission.
Studies show that cocaine dependency decreases the ability of cortical networks in the brain to be effectively stimulated. Target stimulation through repeated applications of TMS, therefore, can treat neuro-adaption induced by chronic substance use (Chen et al., 2013). When accompanied with psychosocial interventions and cognitive-behavioural therapy, TMS can successfully reduce craving and consumption of cocaine.