New research finds brain systems that can help curb cocaine abuse

the amygdala — responsible for the experiencing of emotions — is very active in the rats given long-term access to cocaine. When injected with the HCRT-receptor agonist, the rats displayed less drug-seeking behavior and lower levels of stress, which pointed to a link between the HCRT system and the amygdala.

Researchers concluded that injecting a HCRT-receptor agonist in the HCRT system and amygdala of the brain reduces the desire to give into compulsive substance cravings. Factors such as stress in relation to drug use and drug-seeking behavior are important in research for treating people who are addicted to cocaine and play an important role in helping addicts accomplish and maintain sobriety.