Canada is often deemed in popular culture as the happiest, most beautiful and most empathetic country towards mental health. A recent grave addition to this hall of honours is the nation ranking second in the world for cocaine use (The Global Drug Survey, 2019). According to this study, the average Canadian abuses cocaine at least once a month, and is more inclined to “totally” trust their drug dealers with respect to drug quality (National Post, 2019). Although cocaine is the most expensive drug across the globe, it costs approximately $85/gram in Canada compared to the worldwide average of $120 (National Post, 2019), making it more difficult for addicts to curb their dependency.
From a quick bump in the washroom on a night out – to full-blown dependency – to a potentially fatal overdose. With the increasing ‘uberisation’ of drug deals through cocaine call-centres, and online trafficking through social media & darknet markets, the short journey from cocaine use to addiction is a slippery downward slope (European Drug Report, 2018)
Cocaine use elevates blood pressure and causes respiratory difficulties, resulting in a stroke or a heart attack. 25% of heart attacks experienced by those under the age of 45 are triggered by cocaine, and frequent use of the drug increases the likelihood of a stroke by seven times (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2018).
How can TMS help?
TMS is a gentle, non-invasive process that transforms lives through symptom reduction. It involves focusing a magnetic pulse to stimulate under-active brain cells, and activate them to work more efficiently. This Health Canada (2005) approved treatment improves or offers complete remission for depression and anxiety. 68% of patients have experienced significant improvement, while 45% report complete remission.
Studies show that cocaine dependency decreases the ability of cortical networks in the brain to be effectively stimulated. Target stimulation through repeated applications of TMS, therefore, can treat neuro-adaption induced by chronic substance use (Chen et al., 2013). When accompanied with psychosocial interventions and cognitive-behavioural therapy, TMS can successfully reduce craving and consumption of cocaine.