New Anti-Cocaine Vaccine in the Works
Scientists have established a drug that successfully stops cocaine from reaching the brain, according to new research in monkeys. The study, printed in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, shows that the vaccine works by eating “up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-man before it can reach the brain,” study researcher Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, who is the chairman of the Department of General Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, said in a statement.
If duplicated in humans, the vaccine would be massive in stopping the high that comes from consuming cocaine — thereby eliminating the reason of taking the illicit drug. Cocaine, heroin and prescription opioid painkillers are liable for the most drug-related deaths in the U.S., as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cocaine was connected to 482,000 visits to the emergency unit in 2008.
Scientists described that cocaine creates its pleasurable effects in the body by hindering recycling of the “feel good hormone,” dopamine, in the putamen and caudate nucleus brain areas. When the dopamine recycling is blocked, it gathers at the nerve endings, which produces the high feeling. The new vaccine actually holds some parts of the common cold virus, as well as elements that look like cocaine to the body. When it’s inserted into the body, the immune system mounts a protection to the vaccine since it sees the common cold virus, and also ultimately builds an immune reaction to the cocaine imitating particle as well.
The purpose of all of this is so that the immune system learns to see cocaine as an intruder. Once the immune cells are educated to regard cocaine as the enemy, your body will create antibodies against cocaine the instant it enters the body. This vaccine appears to be successful either way, for a cocaine user who is trying to get off the drug or for someone who relapses on cocaine; cocaine will have no effect once the vaccine has been given to the person.
In my opinion, it’s crazy that they have started inventing medicine and vaccines that make it so you don’t get high or feel anything from certain drugs, just to get people to stop doing them. It just goes to show you that most people want to take the easy way out and our solution to everything is a new pill or new shot. I think this anti-cocaine vaccine could do a lot of good for people who are severely struggling with cocaine addiction but some people will end up finding loopholes or testing out if the vaccine actually works anyways, though. Drug addicts are very smart people and if anyone is going to find a way around something, we are.
When it comes to recovering from drugs, I still continue to believe that going through treatment and working a 12-step program is the best solution (it was for me). Having knowledge about my addiction and being around others who are going through the same things as me and people who have experience staying sober for a long period of time is just what I needed. I’m a very open person and think you should find whatever works for you and stick with it. Being a drug addict is a high cost for low living, we don’t have to live like that anymore! If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-777-9588.