Cocaine 'Vaccine' Could Help Addicts Kick Habit

Researchers trick body's immune system into attacking the drug
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2011 3:56 PM CST
A new vaccine could help addicts kick cocaine.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A vaccine that diminishes the high of cocaine in rats could someday help human addicts kick the habit, LiveScience reports. Researchers created the vaccine by combining a virus associated with the common cold—for its ability to trigger the body's immune system—with a cocaine-like molecule. It showed promise when injected into the rats, essentially by causing their immune systems to go after the drug.

The next step is to try it in humans: "The vaccine may help them kick the habit, because if they use cocaine, an immune response will destroy the drug before it reaches the brain's pleasure center," says the lead researcher.

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