Is There Hope For Heroin Addicts?
According to an article that I read recently, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a highly successful vaccine against a heroin high and have proven its therapeutic potential in animal models (rats).
Well, that’s great if you happen to have a heroin-addicted rat living in your house. And hey, I’m not saying that you couldn’t. It’s a crazy world out there. But it would be great if we could move on from animal testing and start testing on humans.
I don’t believe in incarcerating nonviolent drug users but what about violent drug dealers who are also users? Think about the service they could do for us if they allowed science to perform their testing on them instead of rats or other animals.
While they’re sitting in their cells counting the days until they’ll be released, let their idle time be put to better use. Instead of them taking from society let them give back.
These dealers have already taken so much from us; our kids, our peace of mind, our money, our feeling of safety, our plans for our futures and our kids’ futures and they’ve taken the lives of other innocent people. The collateral damage is felt by all in one way or another.
The Scripps study, published recently online ahead of print by the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, “demonstrates how a novel vaccine produces antibodies (a kind of immune molecule) that stop not only heroin but also other psychoactive compounds metabolized from heroin from reaching the brain to produce euphoric effects.”
According to George F. Koob, chair of the Scripps Research Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders; “I think a humanized version could be of real help to those who need and want it.”
This is the direction in which we need to be going – discovering how these drugs affect thehuman brain and how we can work diligently toward a cure for addiction; something that is just out of our reach right now.
It’s estimated that heroin abuse and addiction costs the United States taxpayers approximately $22 billion. This figure includes the loss of productivity of workers, and their medical care not to mention the devastating criminal activity that is so rampant in the drug world.
If this vaccine proves to be really effective, it will be “one giant leap for mankind.” I asked a leading researcher on addiction if there would ever be a way to make the brain forget… forget about the wonderful high that is experienced that first time of doing heroin or cocaine. He didn’t seem to think so – at least not for now.
But there appears to be much progress, much hope in this field. And hope is something that we need right now.