Are Vaccines the Answer for Cocaine, Heroin Addiction?

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

At this very moment, people in every state of this nation are in a life and death battle. Millions of addicts desperately want to get clean, but have nowhere to turn. The good news is that researchers finally see some light at the end of the addiction tunnel, thanks to the encouraging results of cocaine and heroin vaccinations.

The Cocaine Vaccine

Current data indicates 1 out of 4 Americans between the age of 26 and 34 have used cocaine at least once. Conservative numbers indicate more than two million U.S. citizens are currently addicted to the drug. After years of research, experts at Weill Cornell Medical College have successfully developed a vaccine that, for all intents and purposes, decimates addiction to cocaine.

Dr. Ronald G. Crystal, lead investigator of the study, says the “vaccine eats up the cocaine in the blood like a little Pac-Man before it can reach the brain.”

The vaccine is made from small “bits” of the common cold, along with a particle that mimics the natural structure of cocaine.The vaccine is made from small “bits” of the common cold, along with a particle that mimics the natural structure of cocaine. When injected with the vaccine, the body is tricked into thinking the cocaine particle is just another cold virus. White blood cells kick start the body’s immune response, launching an attack. If cocaine is used again, the body will immediately produce antibodies against the drug.

The Heroin Vaccine

A new report commissioned by the Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates 1.5 million Americans were “chronic heroin users” in 2013. Since prescription painkillers are becoming harder to obtain, heroin addiction has skyrocketed, along with fatal overdose numbers.

The job of a heroin vaccine is to counteract the byproducts of heroin and prevent it from reaching the brain. After vaccination, previously addicted lab rats refused to take heroin when it was offered. Even more impressive, the rats seemed to be immune to heroin overdose. The animals were given doses up to 20 times greater than what would normally kill them, but experienced no problems.

In the study, unvaccinated rats relapsed quickly, while vaccinated rats stopped accepting heroin all together.

In the study, unvaccinated rats relapsed quickly, while vaccinated rats stopped accepting heroin all together. Each rat received four booster injections, leading researchers to believe that several injections would likely be effective in humans for the duration of two to three months. The team is currently seeking funding to begin human trials.

Vaccines are Tools

Though vaccines may eliminate the effects of cocaine and heroin, addicts should not view either as a “miracle cure.” Vaccines should be considered an integral part of the recovery tools needed for sustained sober living.


If you or someone you know is struggling with cocaine or heroin abuse, take action and find drug addiction treatment centers in your area today.

Photo Source: pixabay

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