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UCSB study explores cocaine and the pleasure principle
Date:3/5/2014

ls show fewer retreats in the runway."

The study looked at acute cocaine use with only one injection a day, which is not considered a model of addiction. So the natural extension of this paper's line of inquiry is how the positive and negative systems associated with cocaine use change when animals are exposed to multiple doses in any given day (i.e. addiction). Subsequent studies have demonstrated that as the animals become addicted to the drug, the positive consequences get reduced and negative effects get exaggerated so the net experience is less positive. To overcome the decreased positive effects, users increase the dose, which creates a behavioral spiral.

"We need to more fully understand the underlying neuronal mechanisms altered by cocaine before we can treat people," Ettenberg said. "Once we understand how the brain systems producing the positive/euphoric and negative/anxiety effects of the drug interact, we might be able to produce treatments that address the balance between these two opposing actions, both of which serve as strong driving forces. We therefore need to understand both of these systems in order to come up with a rational treatment down the line."


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Contact: Julie Cohen
julie.cohen@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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