French officials announced the largest haul of cocaine ever seized in that country–1.3 metric tons, or 2,900 pounds—was found in suitcases on an Air France flight arriving from Venezuela. The drugs were worth at least $67 million, The New York Times reports.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have identified a compound that stopped mice addicted to cocaine from wanting the drug. The compound has been proven safe for humans and is undergoing further animal testing, in preparation for possible clinical trials for people addicted to cocaine.
An experimental anti-cocaine vaccine blocks the drug from reaching the brain, according to a study of non-human primates. Scientists at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York say human trials of the vaccine may begin within a year.
The shape of cocaine users’ brains may influence whether they become addicted to the drug, British researchers have found. A smaller frontal lobe is associated with a greater risk of cocaine addiction.
A new study presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting suggests people who use cocaine may have stiffer arteries, higher blood pressure and thicker heart muscles, all of which can lead to a heart attack.
Colombia’s cocaine production dropped 25 percent from the previous year, the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy announced Monday. Peru and Bolivia are now the world’s top producers of the drug.
A new rodent study suggests that a key ingredient in “bath salts” called mephedrone has effects on the brain’s reward circuits that are comparable to similar doses of cocaine. The study offers evidence that mephedrone has the potential for abuse and addiction, the researchers say.
Addiction experts are looking at exercise as a potential non-drug treatment for various types of substance abuse. One study at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston is examining whether exercise can treat people who are dependent on both cocaine and nicotine.
The increase in prescription drug abuse in the United States is forcing the government to re-examine its emphasis on trying to stop shipments of illegal drugs into the country, The New York Times reports.