Chronic cocaine use may reduce the body’s ability to store fat, new research from the University of Cambridge suggests.
The scientists found that cocaine use may cause profound metabolic changes which can result in dramatic weight gain during recovery, a distressing phenomenon that can lead to relapse. It was previously widely believed that cocaine suppresses the appetite and that the problematic weight gain during rehabilitation was a result of patients substituting food for drugs.
Dr Karen Ersche, from the Behavioral and Clinical Neuroscience Institute at the University of Cambridge, said: “Our findings challenge the widely held assumptions that cocaine use leads to weight loss through appetite suppression. Rather, they suggest a profound metabolic alteration that needs to be taken into account during treatment.
“Notable weight gain following cocaine abstinence is not only a source of major personal suffering but also has profound implications for health and recovery. Intervention at a sufficiently early stage could have the potential to prevent weight gain during recovery, thereby reducing personal suffering and improving the chances of recovery.”
Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education