By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on May 12, 2011
Researchers report promising advances in the lab toward the development of a vaccine to treat methamphetamine addiction.
Although the abuse of “speed” or methamphetamines is under the radar screen for many, the costs associated with the addiction are astronomical exceeding $23 billion annually. Expenditures include medical and law enforcement outlays as well as lost productivity.
In the paper, Kim Janda, Ph.D., and colleagues note that “meth” or “crystal meth” can cause a variety of problems including cardiovascular damage and death. Meth is highly addictive, and users in conventional behavioral treatment programs often relapse.
Earlier forms of vaccines for methamphetamine addiction were ineffective or are very expensive. As a consequence, researchers made and tested new vaccine formulations that could potentially be effective for long periods, which would drive down costs and help prevent relapse.
The group found that three of the new formulations that produced a good immune response in mice (stand-ins for humans in the lab) were particularly promising.
“These findings represent a unique approach to the design of new vaccines against methamphetamine abuse,” the researchers said.
The report appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.