Can a Vaccine Help with Cocaine Addiction?

Is it possible that a vaccine could help with cocaine addiction? If there was an addiction vaccine, would you take it? Would you have your children take it? 

Should you be allowed, if a vaccine for cocaine addiction, or for any number of other addictions, is ever truly put on the market and believed to be safe, to force your children under the age of 18 to be vaccinated for addiction?

These are just a few of the questions that surround the controversial topic of an addiction vaccine. In an article that was published in the Washington Post, journalists report that scientists may have created a vaccine against crack cocaine addiction. This vaccine is a series of injections that actually changes the body's chemistry, making it impossible for cocaine to enter the brain and provide that "high".

In theory, this sounds like a great idea to help with cocaine addiction. Even if you are craving cocaine, would you bother trying to get high, knowing that you have been ‘vaccinated’ against the effects of cocaine?The problem is that some people just might, and this could cause extremely dangerous and potentially fatal situations.

Addiction Vaccine & The Effects of Cocaine

While it stops people from being able to feeling the “high” and other “desirable” effects of cocaine, the cocaine vaccine does not stop drug cravings, and does not stop people from physically putting the drug into their body. In one of the studies on this addiction vaccine, some of the participants began using extraordinary amounts of the drug in hopes to be able to get high despite the fact that they received a vaccine to help with cocaine addiction.

None of these people suffered a cocaine overdose, but many of them ended up with 10 times more crack cocaine in their blood than they would have if they had been able to get high from the drug in the first place. The idea is that if you can use the drug but you don’t get a pleasurable experience from it, you may not want to do it anymore because you are not experiencing the desired effects of cocaine, thus providing help with cocaine addiction.

The problem lies within us as people, I believe, more than it does within the cocaine vaccine itself. Humans, and in this case drug addicts, want what they want and believe that they can find a way to get it. Did the participants want help with cocaine addiction? And, even if they did, the fact that the vaccine for cocaine addiction does not stop drug cravings makes maintaining sobriety difficult. 

These participants knew they had been vaccinated, but they wanted to feel the high from the cocaine so badly that they continued to use it over and over again in hopes of feeling some of the positive effects of cocaine.

The cocaine vaccine, called TA-CD, is just like any other vaccine: It causes the body's immune system to create antibodies. According to the study, though, only about 4/10 people who received all 5 of the vaccine injections actually produced enough antibodies.

This means that some of the people who received the vaccine for cocaine addiction were still able to feel the effects of cocaine. At this point, the researchers are not sure why this happened and are now uncertain about whether a vaccine could ever really help with cocaine addiction.

That being said, more than half of the individuals in the high-antibodies group refrained from using cocaine more than half the time once their bodies had build up adequate immunity to the drug. These participants did not stay abstinent during the course of this study, but the cocaine vaccine did help them cut back the amount of cocaine they used. At this point, I can’t see this being something that is quite ready to go on the market until more of the kinks are worked outand until it proves more effective, but I certainly think it is going in that direction and could potentially help with cocaine addiction.

Addiction Vaccine: The Cure for Crack Cocaine Addiction?

There are already medications out there that stop the effects of alcohol and the effects of opiates, but the problem is that once a person stops taking the medication, it no longer works. With an addiction vaccine, however, it would hopefully last longer and you would actually build up immunity to the effects of cocaine (or even other drugs) in your body as opposed to just stopping the effects of a drug for a short period of time.

The cocaine vaccine, if ever made correctly and effectively, honestlywouldn’t mean a cure for addiction, but could certainly help with cocaine addiction. It would simply be another tool that people can use to help them try to maintain sobriety. It could also potentially be something that younger children would get in the hopes that it might steer them away from wanting to use drugs if they aren’t feeling any effects from it.

If this cocaine vaccine, or any addiction vaccine, for that matter, were made effectively and safely, would you make your kids get vaccinated? Would a cocaine vaccine help with cocaine addiction long-term if all it did was block the biological “high” receptors? Do you think it’s a good idea for someone to take an addiction vaccine if they are trying to stay sober, or is it sort of “cheating?” If you wouldn’t take it or wouldn’t want your kids to take it, what are your reasons? Please let us know your thoughts!

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