Vaccine for cocaine addiction is viewed with skepticism

Vaccine for cocaine addiction is viewed with skepticism
Vaccine for cocaine addiction is viewed with skepticism
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The body becomes hyperactive. The heart beats at its maximum capacity while the arteries contract. Blood pressure increases, as does body temperature. Needs such as hunger and thirst are no longer important. In the worst case scenario, cocaine use can cause convulsions and even respiratory and cardiac arrest.

The effect lasts from five to 30 minutes. “It’s as if all the traffic lights are green,” says Hanspeter Eckert, a therapist at a Berlin association who works with drug therapy. “The brain memorizes: that was intense and great, I want it again! The body stores consumption as essential for survival”, he adds.

The desire for more cocaine dominates thoughts. The internal voices that warn about the consequences become quieter. Health, social contacts and work are neglected. An addiction develops.

Vaccination as a solution against addiction?

A cocaine vaccine can help treat addiction. After vaccination, antibodies form in the blood. These antibodies specifically bind to cocaine. Therefore, the substance is too large to pass through the blood-brain barrier. This means that the brain cannot be stimulated, so there is no sensation caused by the substance.

Brain reactions that normally trigger cravings for the drug are suppressed. As a result, the patient perceives the drug differently, says Frederico Garcia, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), who is developing a vaccine against cocaine. The vaccine has already been tested on rats.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Vaccine cocaine addiction viewed skepticism

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