Is There Really a Heroin Addiction Vaccine?
As heroin abuse grows and spreads to new groups of people and new communities, don’t you wish there was a vaccine that you could give to your kids to protect them?
The future may actually bring us just such a vaccine—if the drug companies ever allow it. A doctor at the Scripps Research Institute has developed a vaccine designed to treat heroin addiction. This new vaccine has been shown to be incredibly effective at treating narcotic addiction in rats, and the drug’s inventor, Dr. Kim Janda, hopes to have approval and funding for human trials soon.
In much of the country, prescription drug addiction is up 200% since 1999. In some states, it’s up by as much as 400%. But what is even more frightening is that many of those prescription drug abusers have turned to cheap and readily available heroin as an alternative.
Heroin is infiltrating communities and neighborhoods across the country like never before. Similar to prescription drug overdoses, studies show heroin overdoses have also doubled… but that change has occurred in two years as opposed to 15.
For this reason, scientists have taken action to treat heroin addiction and stop heroin deaths. The drug naloxone is designed to save people who are experiencing a heroin overdose, and the medical community is using it more commonly to slow the rising tide of heroin deaths. However, the holy grail of heroin treatment could be a heroin vaccine that keeps heroin addiction from ever happening in the first place.
Do Medicines Take the Whole Addiction Picture Into Account?
Some critics of this approach to treating addiction believe that wanting the “magic pill” or “miracle cure” takes focus away from the fact that addiction is a psychological disease as well as a physical disease. Even if heroin addiction is prevented, some people may become alcoholics, cocaine addicts, or addicts who use any number of other drugs. Without proper psychological care, these individuals will continue having unhealthy emotional lives.
Until We Have a Cure…
No drug companies have agreed to fund human trials for naloxone. So, if you are in need of addiction treatment, it’s probably best—at least for now—to get treatment that has already been shown to be effective.