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posted by takyon on Wednesday June 28 2017, @04:03PM   Printer-friendly
from the permanent-fix dept.

Dr. Lowe, from In The Pipeline, writes about the development of a vaccine for heroin:

At first thought, that might seem like a weird idea. Drugs of abuse, such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine et al. are small molecules, and as such are too small to set off immune responses on their own. But a strategy could be to attach them to some larger protein that can raise antibodies – if those antibodies recognize the drug-labeled part of the protein conjugate, they may well retain activity against the drug molecule in its free state.

[...] It's been a long road. The first morphine immunoconjugate was described in 1970, and a morphine vaccine was tested in rabbits in 1975. But very little progress in the field occurred over the next twenty years or so, partly because methadone treatment for heroin addiction had become widely used. It's interesting to note, though, that vaccine development work against amphetamine seems to have followed a roughly similar path

[...] It would seem that we really are getting close to human clinical trials for some of these, which will be quite interesting. A drug-abuse vaccine is not going to be magic, though. Because of the specificity of the immune response, someone who's been vaccinated against heroin would almost certainly still respond to morphine, and most definitely would to compounds like fentanyl or oxycodone [...] But vaccines could, at the same time, provide the extra help needed for people to finally break free of a particular drug, and addicts who are really trying to quit need all the help that they can get.

I'd say that last part is the key. One of the big issues in drug addiction is (in the end) a philosophical argument about free will (which would explain why it never gets resolved!) Is drug addiction a disease, a choice, a behavior, a biochemical problem. . .the arguments go on forever, complicated by the way that different people attach different meanings to those terms.

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28 2017, @08:18PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 28 2017, @08:18PM (#532609)

    The levels of stupid in your post. Legalizing a way for stupid people to get dumber is definitely not what I would want. Most of addicts are already marginal use to society. How they got that way was not my doing and should not be my fucking problem, yet that's where my tax money goes. If there were no drugs and any other vices, maybe these ass-hats could find something productive to do with their time. Too bad the supply of people with low morals doesn't perfectly overlap supply of idiots, because all it takes is one smart scumbag to come up with the next vice.

    Stupidity vaccine would be one thing I can get behind.

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29 2017, @07:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 29 2017, @07:12AM (#532851)

    By the time its gone this far, I know this sounds terribly inhumane, but the individual wants his fix so bad he is in pure misery.

    Let him have all he wants. The stuff is cheap enough to make. I hate to have this guy making everyone else's life miserable by being forced to rob and pillage everyone else's stuff to pay for a whole army of warlord-type drug dealers in his supply chain.

    Yes, it will drastically cut his life-span. But the shorter life lived will be a happier one for everyone involved.

    Funding a chain of drug-lords will not happen.... they will have to find something else to do if heroin is as cheap as salt. And no-one gives a damn if he has all he wants.

    If the addict wants to knock himself out overdosing - its his right to do so. He does not have the right to involve me in it though. I find it much less burdensome to provide him directly with a cheap legal fix than to be burdened with supporting many opposing factions fighting to both supply and keep him from getting the supply of that which he craves so much.

    He does not live my lifestyle, but I do not want to deny him his. All I ask is keep ME out of it. My life is mine. His life is his. Don't tax the hell out of me to fund enforcement against someone else mandating his obedience to things that concern no one else but him. If he wants to knock himself off, who am I to sentence him to a life of hell wanting something he is not allowed to have? If someone wants to live, the old, the sick, the handicapped, whatever, I am all for helping them, but if someone wants to burn a bright short life and go like a flash of gunpowder, I also support that. Trying to fight this just drains our resources and prolongs misery.

    We are NOT an endangered species, and I, for one, would like to see the tendency to use drugs eliminated from our gene pool.

    ( Submitted AC for obvious reasons. )