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Vaccines display effectiveness in treating drug addiction

03-16 | By CSAA Team

Vaccines display effectiveness in treating drug addiction

Drug addiction has emerged as a major threat to health across the globe. The recent report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids.

While people across the globe are well aware about the risks associated with drug abuse and addiction, a striking number of users continue to abuse these drugs or develop drug addiction. Ever wondered why? It is certainly due to the instant high and the feeling of pleasure that one experiences after drug use.

One must understand that using these drugs for a long period is dangerous and can take a severe toll on his or her life. Some of the common effects that one might experience are hallucinations, blurred vision, tremors, impaired judgment, slurred speech, etc. These, in turn, can make life difficult for the concerned individual. It is, therefore, important for him or her to seek the right form of treatment at the right time.

There are a number of ways to treat drug addiction, such as medications, counseling, self-help groups, therapies, etc. While these treatments for drug addiction have been in existence for long, scientists and researchers are working continuously to find out some newer and more effective ways to curb this issue more effectively. One of the latest treatment options found effective by the researchers is vaccines. Since their role in decreasing the risk of diseases like polio and measles has been proven, it will be extremely beneficial to develop vaccines to treat drug addiction.

Vaccines do not curb drug cravings, rather avoid the risk of getting high

For years, researchers have been trying to evaluate the feasibility of developing a vaccine to treat and curb the problem of drug abuse and addiction. It is known that vaccines work by producing drug-specific antibodies in the bloodstream that assists the immune system in blocking the effects of the drug of abuse. However, the challenge is to develop a vaccine that would induce a high immunity level in an individual,  sufficient to stop the addictive molecule from reaching the brain.

While a vaccine can’t help a person suffering from drug addiction to stop his or her intense cravings, it can definitely assist him or her avoid the risk of getting high. This is possible by letting the concerned person know that the drug will no more make him or her feel high, thereby reducing the chances of reusing the drug.

While vaccines seem to be an effective treatment option, they too have their own set of negative effects. Some of the common problems witnessed  include:

  • No safety available against a structurally different drug producing similar effects like the drug of choice.
  • No effect or control over drug cravings that increase the risk of relapse.
  • Inconsistency in antibody formation.

Dealing with substance abuse disorder

When a person is addicted to drugs, vaccines can act as an effective treatment option and speed up the recovery process. Other necessary requirements are strong willpower and determination to overcome all hurdles in the way of recovery. Currently, the vaccines for cocaine and nicotine are going through clinical trial. One must ensure that the person addicted to drugs is kept well informed about the treatment process so that he or she can put in his or her best efforts to attain complete recovery.

The best suitable treatment for every individual will be determined based on his or her requirements. Therefore, it is best to seek advice from an expert and get a plan designed to attain recovery. In case you know someone who is addicted to any form of drugs and is looking for details about some of the best substance abuse treatment centers, the Colorado Substance Abuse Advisors can help. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-300-5857 or chat online with one of our experts to connect with some of the best substance abuse treatment centers in Colorado.

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