SCIENTISTS CREATE COCAINE ADDICTION VACCINE THAT PREVENTS USERS FROM FEELING HIGH, HUMAN TRIALS PLANNED FOR NEXT YEAR
Matt Case - October 27th - 7:32am PDT
Scientists in Brazil, one of the world's largest consumers of cocaine, are developing a vaccine for addiction to the drug and its potent derivative, crack.
Named 'Calixcoca,' it works by triggering an immune response that prevents cocaine and crack from reaching the brain, meaning users would no longer get high from the drug, which may help break the addiction cycle.
The experimental shot has shown promising results in animal trials and will soon enter the final stage of trials - testing on humans.
Cocaine, when snorted, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues, creating an intense and immediate high for the user. Some individuals may also choose to apply the drug directly to their gums or dissolve it in water for injection, further intensifying the drug’s effects.
Researchers in Brazil have developed a vaccine that targets this powerful and addictive substance, aiming to curb its impact on users. The vaccine operates by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies that bind with the cocaine molecules in the bloodstream. This union results in molecules too large to penetrate the brain’s mesolimbic pathway, also known as the ‘reward center’ of the brain.
In the absence of cocaine molecules in the reward center, the usual surge of dopamine — a hormone associated with pleasure — is not triggered, preventing the individual from experiencing the euphoric high that typically follows cocaine use.
The development of this vaccine represents a significant stride in addiction research and treatment, with plans to initiate human trials in the upcoming year.