Scientist Working On Cocaine, Nicotine Vaccines

cocaineWhatever next – McDonald’s vaccine? Douglas Quenqua reports for the New York Times:

Imagine a vaccine against smoking: People trying to quit would light up a cigarette and feel nothing. Or a vaccine against cocaine, one that would prevent addicts from enjoying the drug’s high.

Though neither is imminent, both are on the drawing board, as are vaccines to combat other addictions. While scientists have historically focused their vaccination efforts on diseases like polio, smallpox and diphtheria — with great success — they are now at work on shots that could one day release people from the grip of substance abuse.

“We view this as an alternative or better way for some people,” said Dr. Kim D. Janda, a professor at the Scripps Research Institute who has made this his life’s work. “Just like with nicotine patches and the gum, all those things are just systems to get people off the drugs.”

Dr. Janda, a gruff-talking chemist, has been trying for more than 25 years to create such a vaccine. Like shots against disease, these vaccines would work by spurring the immune system to produce antibodies that would shut down the narcotic before it could take root in the body, or in the brain.

Unlike preventive vaccines — like the familiar ones for mumps, measles and so on — this type of injection would be administered after someone had already succumbed to an addictive drug. For instance, cocaine addicts who had been vaccinated with one of Dr. Janda’s formulations before they snorted cocaine reported feeling like they’d used “dirty coke,” he said. “They felt like they were wasting their money.”

It’s a novel use for vaccines that has placed Dr. Janda, who is 54, in the vanguard of addiction treatment. Because addiction is now thought to cause physical changes in the brain, doctors increasingly advocate medical solutions to America’s drug problem, leading to renewed interest in his work…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Anonymous

    Smallpox, dipthera, and polio were not ended by vaccines, as will be the case with ‘drug addiction’.

  • JoiquimCouteau

    Smallpox, dipthera, and polio were not ended by vaccines, as will be the case with ‘drug addiction’.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Genuine curiosity: then how were they ended. I know these are used as the baseline “look what we already cured” defense of vaccination, but i never looked into these specifically.

      • JoiquimCouteau

        They weren’t really ‘ended’. They were split into many similar ‘disease states’ that had different names than the original one, and so statistically speaking incidence went down. When a vaccine is introduced, and gets the blessing of the state, doctors are hesitant to tell parents that their children have gotten a disease to which they had been ‘immunized’. Apart from that, there was  a reduction in the actual toxicological causes of the conditions; in polio this corresponds to a decrease in DDT and persistent pesticide use in the early 1950s after congressional hearings, research about neurotoxic effects, and introduction of less (or differently) toxic alternatives. 

        Smallpox:
        http://www.archive.org/stream/storyofgreatdelu00whitrich#page/n7/mode/2up
        Polio:
        http://www.harpub.co.cc/overview.htm

        • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

          Heh more and more evidence for the toxicological view of disease as opposed to the germ theory.

          Little known piece of information: Some believe that Pasteur denied his own germ theory(germs cause disease) in favor of the alternative (diseases cause the presence of germs) before his death. Pasteur’s germ theory is the basis for most all antibiotics, vaccines, antibacterial cleaning products etc.

          I wouldn’t argue against sterility being useful for scientific inquiry, but i would argue against its importance for health.

          Edit: Wow, this book. I don’t know if i should thank you or rebuke for adding an interesting read to my long list.

          • Haystack

            “Edit: Wow, this book. I don’t know if i should thank you or rebuke for adding an interesting read to my long list.”

            Wait until there’s another whooping cough outbreak at your local school, then thank him. 

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    This has already been demonstrated to be a bad idea as a standalone solution. The drug abusers just used more and more of the drug trying to even catch sight of the dragon.

    Turns out the vaccine only protects against the high the drug gives, but not its toxicity to the body.

    The researchers commented afterward that they considered it lucky that there were no overdose deaths as a result.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    This has already been demonstrated to be a bad idea as a standalone solution. The drug abusers just used more and more of the drug trying to even catch sight of the dragon.

    Turns out the vaccine only protects against the high the drug gives, but not its toxicity to the body.

    The researchers commented afterward that they considered it lucky that there were no overdose deaths as a result.

  • RoboBagons

    I already don’t feel anything from Cigarette’s, but I’m still really addicted, and smoke them only because of that…

  • RoboBagons

    I already don’t feel anything from Cigarette’s, but I’m still really addicted, and smoke them only because of that…

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Heh.. you’re not alone in that…

  • http://twitter.com/judsonfsnell judson f. snell

    I can hear the cavalry of class-action lawsuit commercials coming. “Attention. If you are experiencing CIA, Chemically-Induced Apathy, you may be entitled to collect benefits from a class action lawsuit from Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. Call 1-800-I-FEEL-NOTHING.”

  • http://twitter.com/judsonfsnell judson f. snell

    I can hear the cavalry of class-action lawsuit commercials coming. “Attention. If you are experiencing CIA, Chemically-Induced Apathy, you may be entitled to collect benefits from a class action lawsuit from Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. Call 1-800-I-FEEL-NOTHING.”

  • http://twitter.com/judsonfsnell judson f. snell

    I can hear the cavalry of class-action lawsuit commercials coming. “Attention. If you are experiencing CIA, Chemically-Induced Apathy, you may be entitled to collect benefits from a class action lawsuit from Dewey, Cheatem and Howe. Call 1-800-I-FEEL-NOTHING.”

  • fuzzgun

    Translation – let us unleash a synthetically engineered virus in your body that permanently destroys your dopamine receptors. Conveniently, destroying your dopamine receptors also has the effect of cutting off much communication between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain ala a lobotomy. “Antipsychotics” (aka chemical lobotomy pills) work via the exact same mechanism. This is a terrible idea – in the coming decades, we’ll essentially be looking at compulsory court-ordered lobotomies for repeat drug offenders in leu of jail sentences.

  • mole_face

    Translation – let us unleash a synthetically engineered virus in your body that permanently destroys your dopamine receptors. Conveniently, destroying your dopamine receptors also has the effect of cutting off much communication between the frontal lobe and the rest of the brain ala a lobotomy. “Antipsychotics” (aka chemical lobotomy pills) work via the exact same mechanism. This is a terrible idea – in the coming decades, we’ll essentially be looking at compulsory court-ordered lobotomies for repeat drug offenders in leu of jail sentences.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Heh.. you’re not alone in that…

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Genuine curiosity: then how were they ended. I know these are used as the baseline “look what we already cured” defense of vaccination, but i never looked into these specifically.

  • Anonymous

    They weren’t really ‘ended’. They were split into many similar ‘disease states’ that had different names than the original one, and so statistically speaking incidence went down. When a vaccine is introduced, and gets the blessing of the state, doctors are hesitant to tell parents that their children have gotten a disease to which they had been ‘immunized’. Apart from that, there was  a reduction in the actual toxicological causes of the conditions; in polio this corresponds to a decrease in DDT and persistent pesticide use in the early 1950s after congressional hearings, research about neurotoxic effects, and introduction of less (or differently) toxic alternatives. 

    Smallpox:
    http://www.archive.org/stream/storyofgreatdelu00whitrich#page/n7/mode/2up
    Polio:
    http://www.harpub.co.cc/overview.htm

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Heh more and more evidence for the toxicological view of disease as opposed to the germ theory.

    Little known piece of information: Some believe that Pasteur denied his own germ theory(germs cause disease) in favor of the alternative (diseases cause the presence of germs) before his death. Pasteur’s germ theory is the basis for most all antibiotics, vaccines, antibacterial cleaning products etc.

    I wouldn’t argue against sterility being useful for scientific inquiry, but i would argue against its importance for health.

  • Haystack

    “Edit: Wow, this book. I don’t know if i should thank you or rebuke for adding an interesting read to my long list.”

    Wait until there’s another whooping cough outbreak at your local school, then thank him. 

  • Haystack

    If this stuff works, it won’t be used to treat addicts. It will be used to replace the drug test that companies want to to take before they’ll consider you for a job. 

  • Haystack

    If this stuff works, it won’t be used to treat addicts. It will be used to replace the drug test that companies want to to take before they’ll consider you for a job. 

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