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NIDA Notes Articles: Stimulants

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Long-Term Cocaine Self-Administration Depresses Brain Activity

December 2008

Discusses research exploring how widespread the reduction of neural activity is in the brain with chronic exposure to cocaine.

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Methadone Reduces Rats' Cocaine Seeking

December 2008

Reports on an animal study showing that methadone, normally used as a therapy for opioid abuse, may prove to be an effective treatment for cocaine abuse.

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Cocaine Locks Rats Into Unrewarding Behaviors

April 2009

Describes research with rats to better understand cocaine’s effect on the neural signaling in the learning circuits of the brain.

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Low Dopamine Receptor Availability May Promote Cocaine Addiction

April 2009

Describes findings from an animal study showing that cocaine lowers availability of dopamine receptors in the basal ganglia, an area of the brain that includes portions of the reward system.

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Extended Cocaine Exposure Impairs Cognitive Function in Rats

November 2009

Reports an animal study presenting evidence that cocaine causes cognitive deficits that can persist well into abstinence.

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Methadone Therapy in Prison Benefits Men a Year Out

November 2009

Describes clinical trial results providing evidence that methadone maintenance to men in prison can pay off in better retention in community treatment and reduced drug abuse following their release.

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Rare Glutamate Receptor Proliferates After Cocaine Withdrawal

December 2009

Reports findings that a rare neuroreceptor may be linked to the intensive cravings cocaine abusers experience during their first weeks of abstinence.

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Recovery May Be Harder for Adolescents, Animal Study Suggests

December 2009

Reports animal study findings that suggest adolescents' heightened sensitivity to drug reward puts them at enhanced risk of addiction and may also increase their challenges in recovery.

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Test Substance Attenuates Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal in Rats

December 2009

Reports on several drugs that may ward off depression and anxiety, common withdrawal symptoms from cocaine, based on an animal study.

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Stroop Test Identifies Patients at Risk for Treatment Dropout

April 2010
Reports on a study of cocaine abusers revealing that the Stroop test may predict which cocaine abusers are likely to drop out of therapy.

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