Fighting addiction can be a life long battle for many people, sometimes resulting in death or bodily harm but researchers hope to end addition battles with a new round of addiction vaccines.
Dr. Kim D. Janda, a professor at the Scripps Research Institute tells the NY Times:
“We view this as an alternative or better way for some people,” and “Just like with nicotine patches and the gum, all those things are just systems to get people off the drugs.”
Just like vaccines for small pox, hep B and other diseases the drugs will work by producing antibodies that shut down the narcotic before it can take root in the body or brain, thus mitigating the “high” that the body feels from using the drug and rendering it useless.
Researchers hope that unlike preventative vaccines the new round can be used after the addiction has already taken hold of a person, thus helping stop addiction after it starts.
In one of Dr. Janda’s tests cocaine users who took his vaccine felt like they were receiving “dirty coke” and therefore they felt as if buying more product was a waste of money.
Dr. Janda and his 25-person research team made headlines recently when they announced that a vaccine they created stopped the effects of heroin in rats.
Not all research into drug dulling vaccines have been a success, Janda’s Phase 2 clinical trial for a nicotine vaccine showed no added help over a placebo, however his ‘hard drug’ studies appear to be moving in the right direction.
While there is still a lot of work to be accomplished more money is being put into vaccine and drug research to stop addiction which means it’s only a matter of time before research teams begin announcing major breakthroughs in drug addiction.