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Heroin And Cocaine Vaccine Research May Help, Not Addiction Cure

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The scientific community, specifically, the National Institute of Drug Abuse supported drug developers (NIDA), have been in the process of developing experimental “narcotic antibodies.” Touted as a cocaine vaccine, the research could prove to be a remarkable milestone in addiction treatment and recovery. The study looks at the cognitive affects that the drug has on behavioral responses to drugs such as cocaine and heroin. The physical and mental dependencies that result from the prolonged abuse of heroin and cocaine are well documented. The rapid descent from recreational user to substance abuser can be quick and terminal. This cocaine vaccine is the latest in the never-ending wave of scientific attempts to solve the human epidemic that includes drug addiction and alcoholism. In previous years, drugs such as naltrexone and buprenorphine (anabuse and suboxone, respectively) have been successful in aiding recovering alcoholics and addicts in their transition to sobriety and recovery.

New Frontier Of Addiction Science?

The researchers recently conducted a clinical trial of the study, yielding mixed results. The goal of the cocaine vaccine is to “induce the immune system to block the psychoactive affects of the target drug. When an anti-drug antibody [the would-be cocaine vaccine] encounters a molecule of the drug [any narcotic], the two combine to form a complex that is too large to pass from the bloodstream into the brain. Locked out of the brain, the [narcotic] cannot produce the rewarding effects that motivate continued use.” In other words, the antibody disrupts the narcotic and runs interference, thus preventing the user from getting high. The study here implies the premise that addiction and substance abuse issues stem entirely from brain chemistry, and should be treated as such. The new drug antibody may account for the physical sensations, but does not seem to address the internal, or spiritual if you will, issues that lie at the heart of all drug addictions and alcoholism.

Maintaining A Balanced Perspective

In fact, the two doctors interviewed actually agreed with the incongruity of the above premise. They argue that the cocaine vaccine, in addition to the others in development, “should be part of a comprehensive therapy… ‘People have the misconception that a single vaccine can protect patients from substance abuse—that’s not true…[the] vaccine will not alleviate craving, but it could help maintain abstinence in weak moments…’” Sentiments like these, even from the scientific community, correlate the fact that medicinal aid alone is not proper addiction treatment. Because substance abuse is not a cut and dry, black and white issue of cognitive synaptic function, you cannot divorce it from all other mental and emotional impulses. External factors, such as life circumstances, good and bad, stressors of all kinds also have significant impacts on the recreational drug user who has the potential to become a substance abuser.

A professional drug rehab should offer an individualized and full spectrum of care, from a not only a medical detox, but also coping strategies and concepts of recovery-based methodologies to help look at the underlying causes of addiction, which may be inclusive of genetics, predispositions, environmental and volitional factors different in every individual. Call us to learn more and to find the right drug rehab center that fits your individual needs: 1-800-853-1614!

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