A Cocaine Vaccine?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that a ‘cocaine vaccine’ is on track for implementation. The premise, according to the article, is that the vaccine forces the body to produce antibodies to the cocaine molecule, hence rendering it impossible for cocaine to pass through to the brain:

Like vaccines against infectious diseases, the anti-cocaine vaccine stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies. The antibodies attach themselves to cocaine molecules in the blood and prevent them from passing through the blood-brain barrier. By preventing the drug’s entry into the brain, the vaccine inhibits or blocks cocaine-induced euphoria.

Mind you, this ‘vaccine’ doesn’t cure addiction, it merely ameliorates it. I love the way the article put it:

“In this study, immunization did not achieve complete abstinence from cocaine use,” Kosten says. “Previous research has shown, however, that a reduction in use is associated with a significant improvement in cocaine abusers’ social functioning and thus is therapeutically meaningful.” [Emphasis SKG]

Gee, there’s nothing like a socially improved coke addict. So, what’s next? A donut vaccine?