Doctors Are Developing an Anti-Heroin VaccineLast Updated: Friday, June 9, 2017
(Newsweek, June 7) Doctors are currently developing a vaccine that can block the high that heroin users get from the drug. Hopes are that the vaccine will be used one day to keep former heroin users from using the drug again.
The vaccine only works with heroin and does not prevent people who receive it from getting high off of any other drugs. In addition, it’s only been successfully tested on animals so far. But doctors are happy because this is the first time such a vaccine has been successful in primates, Newsweek reports.
Here’s how it works: the vaccine introduces a part of the heroin molecule to the immune system, which in response creates antibodies to the drug which includes the components that cause the high. Because of this, the euphoric high is stopped, and former users will be less likely to want to take heroin if they can no longer get high.
The compound was created by chemists from the Scripps Research Institute who then worked with researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University to test the vaccine. The chemists hope to conduct a human study in the future. Read more.