More than 200,000 people worldwide die from drug overdoses and addiction-related illnesses yearly and that figure does not even include tobacco and alcohol. More than a billion people smoke and tobacco causes heart disease, stroke, respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. And one in every 20 adults are addicted to alcohol! And guess what? We don’t even know how many are addicted to sex, gambling and other compulsions. Coming up is the opioid addiction in the U.S. which killed over 33,000 people in 2015. Sounds like a horse race out of control. Good news for some of these addictions because through the use of optogenetics (fiber optics and genetic engineering) we are able to provide electromagnetic pulses to the prefrontal cortex to cocaine addicts with some success. It will now be used on a more large-scale trial tests for other addictions. Just maybe in my lifetime we will see an end to addiction!
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