Crack Cocaine and your brain… What the scientists don’t want you to know.
While the title sounds like the newest Lil Wayne album, it is actually related to a recent scientific study done at the prestigious Columbia University by associate professor Carl Hart.
Hart has been hard at work looking for ways to fight addiction for the past two decades, and some of his most recent research shows promise.
The dopamine stimulation that certain hard drugs provide, including cocaine, crack cocaine, and heroin, used to be believed to be the strongest sensation in an addict.
Old thinking was that addicts just could not kick addictions, because their brains would not let them.
It seemed that addicts were so hooked on the drug that they could not stop using it.
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However, the study that Hart worked on at Columbia University showed a different situation altogether.
Hart invited crack addicts to the lab to smoke crack for free and also make close to $1,000 while doing it – a great deal for crack addicts!
The addicts came in and were given an undisclosed amount of crack to smoke. In the morning, they were given a hit, and then later in the day were given another hit.
However, for each hit, the participants were also given the choice to select a reward instead, a $5 bill or a $5 gift voucher, to be given to them at the conclusion of the study.
When the crack hits were large, the participants were less likely to opt for the $5, but when the crack hits were small, they went for the cash, even though they had to wait weeks to pick it up.
This contrasted with traditional addiction thought, where the addict must get high quickly, without delay. When the reward was increased to $20, every single addict went for the cash.
This shows that addiction in about 80-90% of those who believe they are addicted is not as strong as once thought.
Addiction seems to prey on those who were already vulnerable to such things in the first place, not the other way around.