A vaccine to combat drug addiction is on the horizon as early trials show promise.

Baylor College of Medicine's (BCM) research team has developed a vaccine that recruits the immune system to help block cocaine's euphoric effects, and so far it's proved effective in 38 percent of subjects who received it. The vaccine has been in development for more than 15 years. The report appears in the current issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

The vaccine is not intended to prevent addiction from occurring, but for preventing relapse. It is not an antidote, but a resource in treating addiction by "provoking the body to make antibodies," according to Kosten.

Kosten further explains that, "These antibodies bind to the cocaine, preventing it from leaving the bloodstream."

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse is encouraged by the promise of the study. "Provided that larger follow-up studies confirm its safety and efficacy, this vaccine would offer a valuable new approach to treating cocaine addiction, for which no FDA-approved medication is currently available."

The implications are not just for treatment of addiction, but potentially to prevent addiction in the first place.
categories Movies, Sci-Fi