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Confirmed: cocaine is really addictive


Cocaine might be much more addictive than we originally thought – with a new study warning that it can get people hooked even from the very first use. 

According to research published in Scientific Reports, the drug can trigger a dopamine release in the part of your brain responsible for cravings. This reaction is common in people who have already developed addictions, but it was found to happen “much earlier” in the brains of casual cocaine users. 

“The study provides evidence that some of the characteristic brain signals in people who have developed addictions are also present much earlier than most of us would have imagined,” clarified Marco Leyton, a professor in the neurobiology of drug use and addictions at McGill university. Because of this, even users who take the illicit substance once (once??) are apparently putting themselves at risk of addiction. 

The research was conducted by looking at the brain signals of recreational cocaine users. It also filmed participants as they took the drug in a laboratory with a friend. According to the findings, both craving and dopamine levels increased significantly in reaction to any cocaine-related cues – even if, weirdly, it was just watching another person do a line. 

“An accumulation of these brain triggers might bring people closer to the edge than they had realised,” added Leyton. 

Given that a 100 per cent pure version of the drug is now circulating the UK – and that London is officially the most coked up city in Europe – it’s probably worth taking note.