advertisement
Home » News » Cocaine Addiction May Be Different For Men and Women

Cocaine Addiction May Be Different For Men and Women

Cocaine Addiction May Be Different For Men and Women A provocative new brain imaging study has lead researchers to suggest that cocaine addiction is different for men and women.

Scientists from Yale School of Medicine believe the findings suggest men and women with cocaine dependence might benefit from different treatment options.

In the study, investigators determined stress robustly activates areas of the brain associated with craving in cocaine-dependent women, while drug cues activate similar brain regions in cocaine-dependent men.

The study will be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“There are differences in treatment outcomes for people with addictions who experience stress-induced drug cravings and those whose cravings are induced by drug cues,” said psychiatrist Dr. Marc Potenza, first author of the study. “It is important to understand the biologic mechanisms that underlie these cravings.”

The researchers conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging scans of 30 cocaine-dependent individuals and 36 control subjects who were recreational drinkers.

While undergoing brain scans, researchers then presented subjects with personalized cues (situations or events) the participants had indicated were personally stressful and other cues involving cocaine or alcohol.

Cocaine-dependent individuals presented greater activation in broad regions of the brain linked to addiction and motivation than the control subjects – a finding that was expected. But the patterns of activation between the groups differed markedly in men and women when presented with stress or drug cues.

Potenza said the findings suggest that women with cocaine dependence might benefit from stress-reduction therapies that specifically target these cravings.

Men, on the other hand, might derive more benefit from elements of cognitive behavioral therapy or 12-step programs based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Source: Yale University

Cocaine photo by shutterstock.

Cocaine Addiction May Be Different For Men and Women

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Cocaine Addiction May Be Different For Men and Women. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/01/31/cocaine-addiction-may-be-different-for-men-and-women/34286.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.