Drug Vaccine?

By Micklemouse · Nov 25, 2004 · ·
  1. Micklemouse
    Source: Independent On Sunday
    Date: 25 July 2004
    Children to get jabs against drug addiction

    Ministers consider vaccination scheme.
    Heroin, cocaine and nicotine targeted
    By Sophie Goodchild and Steve Bloomfield

    A radical scheme to vaccinate children against future drug addiction is being considered by ministers, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

    Under the plans, doctors would immunise children at risk of becoming smokers or drug users with an injection. The scheme could operate in a similar way to the current nationwide measles, mumps and rubella vaccination programme.

    Childhood immunisation would provide adults with protection from the euphoria that is experienced by users, making drugs such as heroin and cocaine pointless to take. Such vaccinations are being developed by pharmaceutical companies and are due to hit the market within two years.

    The Department of Trade and Industry has set up a special project to investigate ways of using new scientific breakthroughs to combat drug and nicotine addiction.

    A national anti-drug immunisation scheme is one of the proposals being put forward by the Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs project, an expert committee of scientists appointed by the Government earlier this year.

    Professor David Nutt, a leading government drugs adviser who sits on the committee, told the IoS that anti-drug vaccines for children are likely to be among the panel's recommendations when it reports next March.

    Professor Nutt, head of psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol and a senior member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said: "People could be vaccinated against drugs at birth as you are against measles. You could say cocaine is more dangerous than measles, for example. It is important that there is a debate on this issue. This is a huge topic - addiction and smoking are major causes of premature death."

    According to the Government's own figures, the cost of drug addiction - through related crime and health problems - to the economy is £12bn a year. There is a strong incentive for the Government to find new ways to halt spiralling addiction. Last week, the IoS revealed that cocaine use had trebled in Britain with increasing numbers of users switching to highly addictive crack cocaine.

    Scientists are already conducting trials for drugs that can be used by doctors to vaccinate against cocaine, heroin and nicotine addiction.

    Xenova, the British biotechnology firm, has carried out trials on an anti-cocaine vaccine which showed that 58 per cent of patients remained cocaine-free after three months.

    Meanwhile, experts at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, have developed a super-virus, harmless to humans, which produces proteins that can block or reduce the effects of cocaine.

    The team at Scripps tested the virus on rats by injecting it into their noses twice a day for three days.

    On the fourth day, the rats were given a shot of cocaine. The researchers found that cocaine had more effect on the rats not injected with the virus than those that were. Scientists hope that the virus will help stop the cravings experienced by cocaine users for the drug by blocking the pleasure they normally associate with cocaine. This anti-drug medication is expected to be available to users within the next two years in the form of a nasal spray.

    Proposals to introduce a national anti-drug vaccination programme have been given a cautious welcome by MPs and experts.

    Ian Gibson, head of the Commons Science and Technology Committee, said the Government would have to carry out public consultation. "There is no reason to think this would not be a starter or beneficial," said Dr Gibson, Labour MP for Norwich North. "But ... proper consultation with the public needs to happen well in advance."

    David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Commons Health Committee and Labour MP for Wakefield, said: "This could have a huge impact on society in terms of preventing damage to others and dealing with addicts. [But] the ethical perspective does need to be looked at closely."

    The National Treatment Agency, which manages drug-addiction programmes, welcomed any new ways of treating addiction but said there was no "magic bullet".

    I wish this was a hoax...

    Please note the bit where it says 'children at risk of becoming smokers or drug users' - as there is no 100% foolproof method of determining genetic predisposition for substance abuse, this will mean either
    a) children whose parents smoke or use drugs will be 'immunised';
    b) children whose parents have smoked or used drugs will be 'immunised';
    c) chidren born into a certain social background(i.e.working/lower middle/under class) will be 'immunised';
    d) ALL children will be 'immunised'.

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  1. WhiteRyan
    what about herb, does it block herbs effects ?
  2. Micklemouse
    No, but this might..

    From The International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (www.cannabis-med.org)

    Science: Cannabinoid receptor blocker Rimonabant effective against obesity and smoking

    First results of two phase III studies of Rimonabant (SR141716), a cannabinoid receptor antagonist, were presented at the 53rd annual scientific meeting of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans on 9 March. The drug was shown to help to reduce weight in obese persons and to help smokers quit smoking. The drug, which is made by Sanofi-Synthelabo, could be available by late 2005.

    Rimonabant blocks the cannabinoid-1 receptor. This receptor is activated by THC and other cannabinoids, which causes appetite. Both overeating and tobacco overstimulate the cannabinoid system in the brain, which is reduced by rimonabant.

    In the tobacco study, more than 700 smokers were given either 5 milligrams or 20 mg of rimonabant or a placebo. About a quarter of the persons, who received 20 mg of rimonabant, stopped smoking in 10 weeks, which was about twice the quit rate seen in the placebo group. In the second study with more than 1,000 obese subjects more than 70 percent of the subjects in the 20 mg group lost more than 5 percent of total body weight and 44 percent lost more than 10 percent during the year.

    (Sources: Press release of Sanofi-Synthelabo of 9 March 2004, UPI International of 9 March 2004)

    Big Pharma strikes again.
  3. serotonin
    "A national anti-drug immunisation scheme is one of the proposals being put forward by the ..."

    scheme is right!!!!

    but i think the idea does have some good points and some bad points. could have major potential for helping with drug addiction (depends though...)

    but also, those bastards! [​IMG]
  4. Micklemouse
    Definitely! But there has to be an element of choice in the equation, or an already existing problem with an individual that has failed to be fixed by other methods. Using it carte-blanch, on the off chance would be serious contravention of human rights.

    Opiate blockers have been around for a while and get good results with a lot of addicts, and Ibogaine successfully resets virtually all addicts brains to pre-addiction mode with few ill effects, and has an amazing success rate in preventing relapse. The trouble is, it's too good, so there's no funding available for R&D, which means the Pharms won't be able to justify the huge markup they'd have to put on it to make a profit.

    Potentials for good and bad are both there...Either way, it's a major human rights issue waiting to kick off!
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