After being proven successful in primates, we may be looking at a vaccine to treat heroin addicts sometime in the close future. This vaccine blocks the ‘high’ of heroin and has been proven effective in primates up to eight months after administration.
This will be the very first vaccine against opioid to pass through testing at this stage. This study itself was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Researchers are hoping that now they will be able to begin clinical trials. This vaccine works by teaching the immune system to produce antibodies that fight against heroin. Thus killing off the psychoactive products within it. You see, by exposing the immune system to part of the heroin molecule’s structure the next time heroin is introduced into the system these antibodies that have been created will target it.
The monkies in these trials did not experience the euphoria that heroin gives because the heroin molecules were blocked before being able to reach the brain. It is believed that this vaccine will prove to be safe for human trials and move onto the next stage. By removing the high induced by the drug the motivation to take the drug will be lost. This could even help prevent relapses in the future when it comes to recovering addicts.
If the effects this vaccine showed on monkies proves to be the same in humans this could mean that long-term immunity could be given to heroin addicts in order to help with their recovery. This research, however, was only done specifically on heroin and would not be effective against any other opioids. That being said you could apply the same logic and come up with a similar vaccine for other opioids.
What do you think about a possible ‘heroin vaccine?’ Does it sound like a good idea to you? For more information on this please watch the video below.