Shots Could End Coke Addiction

Vaccine stops drug from producing a high
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2008 8:02 AM CST
Police officers guard cocaine seized from a ship in the port of Manzanillo, western Mexico. The seizure, around 23.6 metric tons (26 tons) of cocaine, is considered to be one of the biggest drug busts...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Scientists have developed a potential vaccine against cocaine addiction and have asked the federal Food and Drug Administration to greenlight large-scale clinical trials. The injections of modified cocaine work by stimulating the immune system to attack cocaine when it's ingested, preventing the drug from producing a high, reports the Houston Chronicle. Current treatment for cocaine addiction is limited to counseling and 12-step programs.

"At some point, most users will give in to temptation and relapse," said the doctor who developed the vaccine. "But those for whom the vaccine is effective won't get high and will lose interest." Similar vaccines are being developed for heroin, crystal meth and even nicotine. They could eventually be used for prevention as well as treatment, raising complex legal issues.