In 2012, Luca Rossi tried to kill himself by hanging in Perugia, Italy. He tied the belt from a wardrobe and was choking when his fiancee walked in. He struggled to safety, and in his mind was defeated even in his last act.
Luca Rossi had everything from a medical career, future plans, to a supportive family. However, he was addicted to crack cocaine. His habit developed after medical school, and at that point in life, he felt he could control it. In just a few short weeks, the drug started to control him. He was compromised but had no control over his actions. Accordingly to Rossi, cocaine fills you with emptiness and pushes you towards suicide. However, he was unable to give up his monthly $3’500 habit. When he found out his fiancee was pregnant, he started to smoke more.
In April 2013, Rossi’s father came across an article published by NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) in Baltimore. The study was conducted on crack cocaine addicted rats, who were shocked to help reduce their addiction. The study was lead by Antonello Bonci and Billy Chen who suggested that there was a part of the human brain, when zapped could help lose cocaine addiction. The article explained how TMS is a noninvasive method, will do the job.
Rossi’s father grabbed his son and took him to Luigi Galimberti, who is a well-known Italian addiction physician in Padua. He handed him the article and asked him to help his son. Since then the center and the world research labs have accumulated a lot more on TMS, and its effect on addicts. TMS is not a new addition to the world of medicine, but it is new in the drug addiction territory.
In the beginning, he tried to treat Rossi using antidepressants, psychotherapy, and anti-anxiety drugs. However, nothing worked and Rossi gave up on the Padua clinic. After that his use of cocaine exceeded, but in 4 months Gallimberti acquired a TMS device and trained himself and his staff to use it. He even cured two cocaine addicts and found Rossi on the brink of fatherhood, and on the edge of self-destruction. The clinic asked him to come in, and just after his first session, Rossi reported a change. He felt like he has never taken drugs, and was finally alive.
However, Rossi’s fiancee asked countless questions and told Rossi she did not believe the treatment worked. Which is why he dropped out, but returned just 2 days after his daughter’s birth. This time he stayed at the clinic for 6 months and received a complete session. Till this day, she has not used again. He did not get married to his then fiancee, but has a healthy relationship with their daughter. He added that he finally has a clarity, and is able to live his life.
This and a number of other success stories have encouraged more research in this area, but it is not completely mapped down. There is a lot more that needs to be done, and research on. Even then there are many that have been able to get a second chance with the help of TMS.