Could Sound Waves Help Reduce Cocaine Cravings?

pensive young man

Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) are studying a novel approach to managing cocaine addiction. They’re experimenting with using ultrasound waves to target a key region of the brain known to control cravings.

It’s hoped this novel treatment will allow physicians to reprogram brain cells, leading to a reduction in those cravings. UVA is a leader in novel ultrasound treatments for a range of medical conditions.

In this trial, university researchers will gently massage cells in a brain region called the insula using focused sound waves. The insula is located deep in the cerebral cortex and is known to play a role in cocaine cravings. The researchers will then look to see if chemical changes have occurred that reduce those cravings.

Studies such as this one are important because, currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs to treat cocaine addiction. If the treatment proves successful, it’s possible that someday, patients addicted to cocaine will be able to receive a simple outpatient procedure to curb their cravings.

Adults 18 and older are currently being recruited for the trial.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.