Can drugs break the chemical chain of memory? Should they?

If a drug could wipe away the environmental cues of your past drug addiction, would you take it? How about if it wiped out the cues of your post traumatic stress? That's what scientists may soon ask, turning off so-called glutamate receptors.

Amydala, image from Wikipedia via ScholarpediaIf a drug could wipe away the environmental cues of your past drug addiction, would you take it? How about if it wiped out the cues of your post traumatic stress?

That's what scientists may soon ask, turning off so-called glutamate receptors.

Scientists at Cambridge recently found they could keep rats off cocaine, even after they were addicted, with drugs which blocked  these receptors in the amygdala. (Picture originally from Wikipedia, found at Scholarpedia.)

The idea is that by having addicts relive their drug-taking and then administering this chemical, the memories could be blocked, and addiction could be cured.

The same technique might be applied to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which may affect one-third of our returning Iraq soldiers, most war victims, victims of crime and fire, a condition that can last a lifetime.

Many long-term PTSD sufferers might welcome such a cure. But might that cause militarists to want more war, seeing the mental damage as something readily cured with a drug?

And while many addicts might freely engage in a chemical "cure" for their addiction, should such a "cure" be forced upon the unwilling?

These are questions we may soon be forced to answer.