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Study: Medication Can Help Prevent Relapse in Cocaine Addicts

Study: Medication Can Help Prevent Relapse in Cocaine Addicts

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently released a study showing that baclofen—a drug used to prevent spasms in people with spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders—can help prevent relapse in people addicted to cocaine. 


The study was conducted on twenty-three cocaine-addicted men between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five. According to Penn Medicine, “each [of the participants] reported using cocaine on at least eight of the thirty days before screening” (2014). The group was split into two groups; one group received baclofen and one group received a placebo. 


After the participants were shown images of non-drug-related scenes, with intermittent subliminal images that were drug-related, researchers found that the men who received baclofen had “significantly reduced responses” to the unconscious drug cues than those who received the placebo (NIDA, 2014). The researchers concluded that “the effects of baclofen on cue-induced brain activation were specific to drug cues,” meaning that the drug could potentially be used to successfully prevent relapse in cocaine addicts. 


The study was published in the Journal of Neuroscience this month. To view a copy of the abstract, click here



The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2014). Medication can help prevent relapse in cocaine-dependent males. NIDA Notes. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2014/04/medication-can-help-prevent-relapse-in-cocaine-dependent-males

Penn Medicine. (2014). Penn medicine points to new ways to prevent relapse in cocaine-addicted patients. Retrieved from http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/04/childress/