Stress flips cocaine relapse to ‘on’; research switches it back to ‘off’

A heartbreaking phenomenon of addiction is that just a brief stressful episode can trigger relapse. In a detailed new cocaine addiction study conducted in rat models, which closely parallel human addictive behavior, scientists have identified what appears to be taking place in the mammalian brain to make that happen and uncovered the molecular biology that allows them to switch the stress-induced relapse back off.

The findings, published in the journal eLife, suggest a new way to develop medicines to combat relapse, even a day or so after stress has occurred.

“That’s so critical because you don’t want to be taking medication all the time in anticipation of stress,” said senior author Julie Kauer, a professor of molecular pharmacology, physiology and biotechnology at Brown University.

Full story of stress triggers cocaine relapses at Science Daily

Researchers Study Wearable Device to Track Drug Addiction Relapses

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School are testing a wearable device that may help track drug addiction relapses.

The E4 Empatica wristband device measures temperature, heartbeat, motion and skin electrical conductance, according to Business Insider. The measurements are taken 30 times per second.

Knowing the time addicts tend to relapse, and the effect the relapse has on their bodies, can help doctors improve their methods of intervention, according to researcher Stephanie Carreiro. She has led two studies on the device.

Full story of the E4 Empatica wristband at