Would you vaccinate your child against cocaine?

By Greenport · Oct 10, 2009 · ·
  1. Greenport
    Would you vaccinate your child against cocaine?

    cokesniffer.jpg Treatment Online has an interesting piece on the development of a cocaine vaccine. Unlike other drugs that reduce the pleasurable effect of addictive drugs, this is genuinely a vaccine - it persuades the immune system to attack cocaine molecules.

    There are various drugs that are sometimes described conveniently, but inaccurately, as 'vaccines' for addictive substances.

    For example, disufiram (aka Antabuse) creates a severe hangover 10 minutes after taking any alcoholic drink by inhibiting certain enzymes in the liver which break down alcohol. The idea is that it acts as an instant form of aversion therapy.

    A drug called naltrexone blocks opioids in the brain which all pleasurable drugs trigger, either directly (in the case of heroin), or indirectly (in the case of alcohol). Naltrexone simply aims to reduce how 'fun' the drug is, leading to extinction of the link between the drug and the 'high'.

    However, neither of these are actually 'vaccines' in the proper sense of the word.

    Vaccines are substances that stimulate the immune system. The immune system identifies and adapts to the key features of the potentially dangerous invader, and works to destroy it.

    Of course, this happens when foreign pathogens (like diseases) enter the body, but the immune system can be triggered by safe or less dangerous substances that share the 'key features' with the more dangerous disease. This safe or less dangerous substance is the vaccine.

    Edward Jenner invented the procedure after working out that giving people a tiny amount of the non-lethal cowpox virus vaccinated them against the deadly smallpox virus. In fact, this is where the word 'vaccinate' comes from as 'vacca' means cow in Latin.

    The developers of the new cocaine vaccine, known as 'TA-CD', are doing essentially the same thing by cleverly combining a deactivated cocaine molecule with a deactivated cholera toxin molecule.

    The deactivated cholera toxin is enough to trigger the immune system, which finds and adapts to the new invader.

    Because the cholera toxin and the cocaine molecule are combined, the immune system also adapts to the key features of cocaine, so works out how to seek and destroy cocaine molecules.

    This means they never reach the brain in sufficient quantities to cause an effect.

    A key advantage is that unlike other anti-addiction drugs, which have to be in the body to have their effect, the cocaine vaccine permanently changes the immune system to neutralise cocaine.

    Of course, it may not be completely effective, or it may not work in all people, but that's the aim.

    The drug is about to studied with a Phase III clinical trial to see if it useful in treating cocaine addiction, after which, if it is shown to be safe and effective, it could be approved for widespread use.

    Unlike the current concerns about the supposed 'new ethical challenges' of medical therapies being used by healthy people (which, as we've noted, are actually as old as drugs themselves), this therapy may present a relatively new ethical dilemma.

    If effective, you can see that some parents might want to vaccinate their non-addicted, perfectly healthy children, so they are 'immune' to cocaine.

    The difference here, is that once given, the 'immunity' may be permanent. In other words, you would make the decision that your child will never be able to experience the effects of cocaine for the rest of their life.

    One interesting effect might be an 'arms race' between illicit drug producers and vaccine makers. As children become 'vaccinated' against the common drugs of abuse, the market for street drugs would fragment and diversify into drugs that don't have vaccines yet.

    A Brave New World indeed.



    I know that this is a bit of an old story (there are newer ones available on the topic), however it goes into detail about how the vaccine actually works, and brings up an interesting ethical point on whether parents should be able to vaccinate their children against cocaine (or any drug) use.

    Is it the parents' right to decide whether their child should be able to use cocaine, to the point that they should be given the choice of whether or not to give them a vaccine which would permanently prevent them from achieving effects from the drug?

    What I would like to also bring up is what if the government were to decide to give this vaccine to people without telling them? Say 'slip' it into the swine flu vaccine for instance? It would surely make sense from an economic standpoint as they would no-longer have to pay for cocaine rehabilitation and overdose, nor would they have to any-longer fund resources to combat the drug. What's to say they wouldn't do something like that?

    Comments appreciated!

    Share This Article


  1. FrenchFries
    profoundly fascinating (serious)

    having a proclivity for anything that stimulates the mesolimbic pathway I anticipate my children will as well.

    If there is anything that has held me back in life it's use of mind altering substances, why? Because they work.

    I would have my children vaccinated against cocaine and any other drug that this treatment is offered for.

    However, I really don't see how this vaccine would work. I mean seriously cocaine reaches peak effects in what 15 minutes? I know the immune system is efficient but I doubt it is that efficient. Futhermore, what if people just decide to ingest drugs in a fashion that over whelms or gives so quick of a rush of drugs the immune system can't respond.

    Like smoking crack, I bet the immune system won't beat cocaine to the brain if it's ingested by that route. Further more, what if a person begins to exhibit almost n allergic type reaction to cocain ingestion I am sure that might be a potential response. In much the same way that allergens can trigger a life threatening response from the immune system I am sure someone at some point would unwittingly systematically sensitize themselves to cocaine to the point of their own immune system putting them into shock.

    It may work but there's a lot of risks associated with it that I don't think are fully understood or at least researched, we will see though.
  2. EyesOfTheWorld
    Absolutely not. While I hope my hypothetical children never use cocaine, I also want them to make their own choices in life. This seems aking to making a person immune to orgasms to prevent pregnancy. If the vaccine were 100% perfected and there were no chances of medical errors, SWIM might consider it for himself, but wouldn't foist it on a child.
  3. Frond
    This is... insanity. What would happen if the immune system were to start attacking other alkaloids similar to cocaine? What if some of those alkaloids were biologically important? What if, some time down the line, your child needs a medication that's structurally similar to cocaine and the immune system breaks it down? The number of possible things that can go wrong with this is seriously high. To force that on a child that doesn't legally have a choice or doesn't understand the potential consequences of this, and force the risks of everything that this procedure may entail, only to limit that child's future lifestyle choices is, without a doubt, insanity, a sin, and what should by all rights be a crime. It's no different from cultures that broke women's legs in order to make sure that they had a properly respectful walk and posture.

    Actually, come to think of it, it's not insanity, it's just human nature. Technology is giving us the power to deform and abuse others, including our own future generations, and oh boy, do we ever want to, especially with Big Business persuading us, like the brainwashed drones that we are, that this is a good idea.

    Here's your Prozac Timmy. No, you have to take it, the Doctor said so. And here's your Ritalin. Don't forget your Dexedrine. What's that, you can't sleep? No problem, here's some Ambien. What? You're 12 and you're suffering from amphetamine psychosis? Here's some Seroquel. What? You're 18 and you've got dementia from all of the psychoactive meds? Damn, you're a danger to society! Where did our kids go so wrong? Here's some Thorazine and a straightjacket, and we'd better lock you up, you know, for your own good, and that of the little children which you may potentially molest and murder and force to smoke Marijuana. What's this? You're dead at 23? Well here's the number of our liability lawyer. Yup, he's won every case, he should have, with all of our money on his side.
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    is this the same "vaccine" that has been getting so much media attention lately, and has been covered here previously?

    If so it is turtles understanding that this is only for addicts and would be completely useless to those that had never done cocaine (or it is also turtles understanding that it would also be useless for casual users)

    Thers has been speculation that the recent press release and surrounding media flurry was more an attempt by the company to prevent a collapse of the stock price after results barely better then placebo effect.
  5. Greenport
    Yeah it's the same one -- but the concern is what happens if it becomes mandatory or if it becomes an option to parents.

    You may call bullshit on that one but think not that long ago rehab was optional when going to court over drug charges. It still is optional but today you get to pick rehab or jail.

    What happens if they tell you that you have to get this vaccine or go to jail for 20 years?

    Likewise what happens if it becomes available to parents - I'm willing to bet that a good subsection of parents would vaccinate their children from cocaine use without ever giving it a second thought, under the guise of "We MUST protect our children from the scourge of drugs and addiction !" To some parents this would be a godsend! No crack addict sons and daughters for me right?

    But at what price, is the ultimate question. Not only that but who pays? Not the parents but the child himself. Imagine 20 years later when you wanna try coke for the first time only to have your mom tell you "oh no, you were vaccinated for it when you were 6." I don't do coke myself but I know I'd be hella pissed by that point :p
  6. northbelfast
    i would certainly consider giving my kids the vaccine,with all due respect i think Frond (post #4) has went a bit overboard there,after all your doing whats best for your kids and im sure they would understand that,you would probably be stoping them from ending up in court some day facing drugs charges or something or stopping them from taking so much coke they would end up dead.so yes i would consider very carefully vaccinating my kids,after all,if you dont know what the effects of coke feel like then you cant miss it or wish you had that feeling.
  7. missparkles
    As long as my kids didn't have any need for amphetamines I'd vaccinate them.
    After all, I had them vaccinated against Measles Mumps and Rubella cos I didn't want them sick, brain damaged, or dead.
    Same thing, addiction kills so many people, why wouldn't I vaccinate?
  8. Sven99
    Because your kids response to the vaccination might be to take higher doses in order to try to circumvent it, which could be even more dangerous. It could mean switching to more dangerous methods of drug use to produce a quicker hit, or it could mean a switch to the use of more dangerous new drugs that vaccinations have not been developed for yet.

    The drug market is not stable. It will respond to vaccination the same way it responds to other threats - by getting clever and finding ways to circumvent it.
  9. missparkles
    If it prevents coke addiction I'm assuming it takes away any need to take the drug.
    So yes, I'd still have them vaccinated.
  10. elzz
    i like coke. no need to vaccinate :)
  11. Sven99
    So most present and future cocaine users will switch to meth, or amphetamines, or mephedrone, or ritalin, or bzp... the list goes on.

    Even if all cocaine were to disappear tomorrow, this swimmer seriously doubts it would have a significant lasting impact on levels of drug use. It would just mean a rise in use of other drugs, and a push to develop new stimulants to replace it.
  12. missparkles
    I'm assuming that the vaccine would prevent any need to use any stimulants so any amphetamines would come under the coke umbrella.
    Why does everyone assume you need a drug to feel good, you don't, so where is the problem?
  13. Greenport
    This vaccine works only against cocaine - it works if I'm not mistaken by causing the body to destroy compounds containing ecgonine groups so it would not be effective against amphetamines.

    It doesn't get rid of the desire to use stimulants.

    Personally I see vaccination against cocaine as kind of cheating. Parents should know to warn their children of the dangers of the drug as well as all drug-usage, but ultimately it should be that person's choice whether they are going to use it or not.

    Also I guess it's worth noting that people 'can' use cocaine without developing an addiction to it, so it's not like everybody who sticks the powder up their nose is going to become an instant addict.

    However I do see why parents would want to do something like that.
  14. missparkles
    Sparkles is fortunate only one of her kids went through a weed smoking time, but that was dealt with, her other kids are all anti drugs due to the struggle their mum has had with substances, so something positive has come from her addiction.
    She's always been honest and up front about drugs and sex with her kids, the positive and the negative. They've learned well.
    However, if she could spare her kids any pain, she do it in a heartbeat.
    But she doesn't see the point in a vaccine that just takes away the effects, might as well dose her kids with antabuse then they won't get high from booze.
  15. RainbowStorm
    Sure this is a great idea and if it was possible something like this would be in use somewhere, but like Fronds said theirs a big risk the immune system could target substances which are essential for the person to live or in a an injury to survive and adding to the discussion, its impossible to "teach" the immune system to target cocaine exactly.

    If a working vaccine ever exist that worked (which is highly unlikely) The government would properly get an upper hand in its fight against cocaine, but people would just use over drugs or change the chemical structure of cocaine.
  16. chillinwill
    Testing of cocaine vaccine shows it does not fully blunt cravings

    Scientists may have created a vaccine against cocaine addiction: a series of shots that changes the body's chemistry so that the drug can't enter the brain and provide a high.

    The vaccine, called TA-CD, shows promise but could also be dangerous; some of the addicts participating in a study of the vaccine started doing massive amounts of cocaine in hopes of overcoming its effects, according to Thomas R. Kosten, the lead researcher on the study, which was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in October.

    "After the vaccine, doing cocaine was a very disappointing experience for them," said Kosten, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

    Nobody overdosed, but some of them had 10 times more cocaine coursing through their systems than researchers had encountered before, according to Kosten. He said some of the addicts reported to researchers that they had gone broke buying cocaine from multiple drug dealers, hoping to find a variety that would get them high.

    Of the 115 addicts in the study, 58 were given the vaccine, administered in a series of five shots over 12 weeks, while 57 received placebo injections. Six people dropped out before the end of the study. The researchers recruited the participants from a methadone-treatment program in West Haven, Conn., which made it possible to track them for the full 24 weeks of the study. The patients were addicted to cocaine and heroin; TA-CD is designed to work only on cocaine, including the crack form of the drug.

    Like disease vaccines, TA-CD stimulates a person's immune system to produce antibodies. Of those who received all five vaccine injections, 38 percent reached antibody levels that were high enough to dull the effects of the drug. The antibodies stayed active for eight to 10 weeks after the last shot.

    In the high-antibodies group, 53 percent stayed off cocaine more than half the time once they had built up immunity. That compares with 23 percent of those who produced fewer antibodies. The researchers monitored cocaine use through regular urinalysis.

    "In this study, immunization did not achieve complete abstinence from cocaine use," Kosten said. "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."

    About a quarter of those who received the vaccine did not make sufficient antibodies at all; Kosten isn't sure why.

    "That's the million-dollar question," said Margaret Haney, a professor of clinical neuroscience at Columbia University Medical Center, who is also researching the cocaine vaccine though she was not involved in Kosten's study.

    In October, the journal Biological Psychiatry published online an article by Haney that also tested the effects of TA-CD.

    Through newspaper ads, Haney had recruited 15 cocaine-dependent men to participate in her study. (Only 10 stayed to the end.)

    She and her colleagues gave crack cocaine to each man 39 times over 13 weeks while monitoring his heart. ("A nurse held a flame on the cocaine and participants were instructed to take one large inhalation and hold it as long as they would outside the laboratory," according to the study.) The researchers vaccinated each participant with TA-CD on weeks 1, 3, 5 and 9 and periodically asked him to fill out a survey about his mood.

    Haney, who has been studying pharmacological treatment for cocaine addiction for 15 years, said she was surprised by how effective the medication was in blocking cocaine's effects. In the conclusion of her study, Haney suggested that the vaccine could help protect motivated treatment-seekers from relapse because if they slipped and used some cocaine, they wouldn't get high and trigger the craving for more drugs.

    Regarding the ethics of giving laboratory-produced crack cocaine to the men, none of whom was seeking treatment for his addiction at the time of the study, Haney said that the benefits of developing a vaccine outweighed any potential harm. She said scientists have been doing these types of studies -- funded by the federal government -- for 20 years under safe, controlled conditions. "I sleep well at night because it's unethical not to do well-designed studies," she said.

    A larger six-site clinical trial of the vaccine organized by Kosten is scheduled to start in the spring.

    The idea of developing a medication to block addiction has long been attractive: Disulfiram (now sold under the name Antabuse), which makes people ill if they drink alcohol, has been available for alcoholism since 1948. Kosten said he hasn't received any inquiries from drug companies wanting to manufacture a large-scale cocaine vaccine. (He and Haney are conducting research on TA-CD under an agreement with the private equity firm that controls the prospective vaccine; both of their studies were largely funded by the National Institutes of Health.)

    According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 2.1 million Americans had used cocaine within the previous month.

    Haney said she receives phone calls from desperate people asking where they can get the vaccine for a family member who is addicted.

    "They have a mistaken view of how a vaccine might work, thinking of it as magic, where what it's doing, at best, is blunting the effects," Haney said. "They get very excited, and it's heartbreaking."

    By Rachel Saslow
    January 5, 2010
    Washington Post
  17. Greenport
    Ohh the antibodies are only active for 8-10 weeks? SwiM thought it was a permanent change in that once you were vaccinated, cocaine would never work for you again.

    That changes a lot!
  18. Rin_Weh
    No SWIM would not put a drug in her kid to possibly erradicate the chance they might do coke one day.
    If SWIM's kid was at a point they wanted to try, or needed to get high, they'd find another way.
    It's bullshit.
    Just like researching savlia divinorum to use in future anti-psychotics.
    Things are so "bad" until someone high up can make the profit.

    It's all about money.
    No one cares what's actually bad for the public, it's all about money.
    Salvia divinorum is a godsent compared to anti-psychotics.
    And entirely different. SWIM knows this is off topic but she's mad today.
    Salvia being mixed up with anti-psychotic meds.....this will be interesting havok on the brain and the world.
    The two should not meet. It wasn't meant to be!

    A vaccine to erradicate future coke effects.

    Why do the masses follow suit and allow the money mongering at the expense of OUR society?
    Two wrongs don't make a right but why is the obvious more dangerous wrong the one who gets away with it?
    These industries/manipulators exist because we allow them to.

    Without demand, there is no industry.
    So education is needed.
    TRUTHFUL education.
    The masses are responsible for how the money is spent.
    The mases depend on proper intelligence to help them decide.
    But it's to the point where common sense is avoided and people follow these ill-lies like zombies.
    Probably because we're all on drugs!!! :p
    F**k. SWIM knows this is all obvious but she's mad because it's never going to stop as far as she can tell until people realize real healthcare, for the most part is in all of our hands. And we need to stop following this legalized drug industry blindly.
    Blah. Bad rep for off topic, SWIM doesn't care today.

    As long as we think drugs are the solution, they will make a profit.
    Everytime we go to the doctor's the get a prescription to band aid our sadness, they will make a profit.
    Everytime time something alive has a problem, they will manipulate it.
    Everytime we think this is healing- we are dying.
    And they will use our parts and the parts of other living species, to experiment on how much further they can make a profit- and for most of you countries- the damned malevolent profit won't even go toward basic health care.
    Money isn't put into actual proven free fucking healing - it's put into pockets because they can.
    It is done because they can and they have society so convinced it needs it.
    Yeah, they need something, all this shit makes us more sick and desperate so it gives them further excuses to keep going.
    And SWIM wouldn't even be surprised if they lurked around here for further manipulation and lies to sell the public, keep 'em buying, keep 'em dependant on false information and tell them they need this crap. That there is no other way.
    But, even if they are lurking here too, so is the Creator.
    And besides this whole rant, SWIUS knows what makes this worth it. Harm reduction. I would think scientists and doctors, from all they observe and know would feel guilty and they would also know money doesn't last forever besides the rippling effects of negative and postitive uses and what they're doing is so ugly.
    SWIM knows the public including herself lets them but there is a certain degree of responsibilty those in a position of power must be held accountable for.
  19. Dr.Clean
    I found it very interesting. It seems as though it would be of great use for addicts who want to quit. Also, as more and more children become vaccinated for various drugs, the prices on designer drugs will skyrocket, simply because they will be more highly in demand.
  20. moda00
    This is fascinating.

    I personally would consider getting this myself if I had a problem with cocaine but was very motivated to quit and if it had a known long term safety profile (swim did have concurrent cocaine and heroin addiction, but she has been able to abstain from cocaine for around four years, and has what she calls the opposite of cravings the thought makes her sick- so whether physiological or psychological or what, she doesn't feel she needs any additional help to stay away from the drug currently and likely for life)

    I do understand the knee jerk reaction as a mother of wanting to protect my child from addiction. However, careful consideration is taken regarding ANY medicine, food, drink, or vaccine I consent to on my child's behalf, and when there are clear risks or questionable benefits in any case, I would rather take an alternate route as a parent and/or offer choices to my child. For example, sorta off topic, but I err on the side of not consenting to any non-reversable medical procedures that are not necessary for health/life. So circumcision, ear piercing, the like (although one could argue the holes from the latter procedure would likely close if s/he needed them removed, but I don't know if this is the case if done at birth and kept in for years, and even so I would not make these changes to a child) since there is no medical reason to do so.

    Now I can see how, especially with kiddo's gene's, there is a real legitimate risk of the disease of addiction. BUT, I also know that most everybody has to or chooses to ingest something mind altering and addictive at some point, no one WANTS to become an addict but it does happen, and knowing my child is at risk, I would want to err on the side of talking about my history and educating about risks and benefits. There will never be a way to vaccinate against all known mind altering or possibly addicting substances, and if there were, I would not think one would want to do this as many have legitimate medical uses that could not be foreseen (for example, the use of opiates for chronic pain and terminal illness, or acute injury- how could I vaccinate against that, not knowing? I would rather stick with the known risk of addiction, and talk about it and create an atmosphere of openness, since I believe this can help- whereas no amount of parenting can undo permanent chemical/structural changes caused by a vaccine like that, and I could never do that to a child. So knowing that even if this one substance were accounted for, there would be many others to take its place (and also the potential for rebellion or trying to circumvent its mechanisms with regard to cocaine in particular, either by the sellers and/or by my child- creating analogues, etc., doing higher doses or more risky route of administration, etc.)

    I could see how a parent could feel complacent from a vaccine, and this would negate the necessity of discussions and ongoing communication. I also think the message would be diluted, since even if a parent is committed to open dialogue and honesty about addiction and recreational use issues, you sort of undermine that position by telling your child that you decided without their consent to vaccinate them for the drug's effects, not trusting them not to do it. To me, this foundation of trust undermined would be very problematic for the type of environment and discussion I hope to create with my child over time.

    Drug use is never just about drug use, imho, so if and when my child would ever even have the desire to alter consciousness, whether or not the desire is acted on, I want to talk about why and how, rather than just dismiss it since "well, you can try, but it won't work anyways."

    Plus, thinking rationally, look at the current drug market in our society. When Germany outlawed certain cannabinoids, there were new ones on the market within weeks, etc. When people cannot get opiates, they might use poppy pods. Someone might choose a less safe alternative if straightforward ones are not available, as we are already seeing- not that these things are necessarily less safe, but that the practices surrounding them already are- for example, illegal drugs= legal risk, iv use or use of escalating doses in attempt to circumvent escalating tolerance or use of meds or "vaccines" such as naltrexone, suboxone, etc., use of cheaper or easily available alternates when the preferred drug is not available, is illegal, or is more expensive, etc. I don't see why these same things wouldn't apply to a vaccine against the effects of one particular drug. I can see that nothing is perfect, so it could both be problematic in that it could block other essential neurotransmitters or immune function from working, or medications that we may develop that are structurally similar, or whatnot, but could also not be specific enough and could be susceptible to being circumvented by newly designed substances with similar properties, or with increasing doses or iv/smoked routes of ingestion.

    Now, reading through past the premise posed in the ortiginal post, and the what-ifs, to the actualities and limitations of this specific vaccine, the only thing in my understanding that this vaccine takes away is the high (and not even then in all cases, just a fraction of people, but still clinically significant, in my understanding). NOT the health effects of any other cuts put in with the cocaine, surely not the legal risks that come along with the using of an illegal substance, and NOT necessarily any cardiac effects or other ill effects (as someone mentioned, what about huge doses, IV or smoked use- as the articles shed some light on this, but less than half participants achieved required antibody levels anyway, and of those, only a portion decreased their use or had effectiveness- so couldn't this pose a risk if the system was bombarded and the person assumed anything about the way their body would respond to it, or it was unable to completely de-activate the cocaine molecules? Isn't it possibly less safe to tamper with it, as opposed to toher harm reduction? I feel that the people who are not going to use or become addicted and receive this anyway could be risking unknown consequences and side effects, while those who are going to wind up using or addicted will find a way- they always do, right? Isn't this why the drug war has failed?

    I can see that one would likely hope to tell their child that they had received this... maybe the people who view peer pressure as one of the bigger indicators for drug use... (I think it exists of course, but in swim's case it was the opposite, she very consciously sought out substances on her own, and I think it is sorta misunderstood/elevated in our society to a level that is not on par with the social realities.) But I can kinda see thinking that their child would know in advance that it wouldn't work and not even try (as opposed to a parent who would just never tell their child and assume that it would be "all good" even if and when their child experimented- which to me is quite a gamble to take and not very responsible- but if this were to become widespread I imagine there would be both kinds of parents). And plus how on earth do you tell you kid- oh btw don't do coke.. not because it's bad for you, not because of legal risks, not because of addiction risks... but because you won't get your money's worth(!?) And people again are bound to test the limits, since for example, a significant percentage of the population potentially are not affected by the vaccine, so unless 100% effective, how could it be effective at all?

    I also have to look at this as some previous posters have pointed out and say, yes, the theory that we could prevent addiction without any negative side effects is great, but it seems looking at the articles that it requires ongoing maintenance injections- which I would not want to subject a child to without good reason- and since we can't see into the future, it seems very short sighted to even consider administering to children something on which no long term studies have been done. And ethically, children do respond differently to things as their immune systems and metabolisms and organs are growing and changing, so I am unsure it would ever be ethical to do a study like this on children, nor could one necessarily generalize from a study carried out on adults, already addicted and using.

    I do think one author makes a good point when she admits this is not a panacea but that it could be useful to motivated individuals seeking treatment- since obviously it is not a one-off, permanent deal (in my understanding). And the fact that it is not permanent, neither needing to be administered young, nor causing permanent changes (we hope/assume), is actually a good thing in my book because the circumstance under which i would consider allowing my child to have this would only be say once they are old enough to consent and discuss, and hopefully that the long term safety of this procedure has been demonstrated by that point as well (and possibly even pinpoint who is likely to respond well to it, so that no one winds up taking a medication or vaccination that will at best be ineffective and at worst potentially create side effects or risks).

    Anyways, that way, my child and I could make an educated decision together with of course the child having the final say (I am thinking in the scenario of a person who might feasibly be of age to be exposed to or choose to use cocaine, and also a person who would be able to rationally weigh pros/cons and give informed consent- so probably middle or high school, not before then- I am envisioning- goddess forbid- either a situation where my child was feeling tempted to use and wanted it as a preventative measure/excuse (either from own cravings, or an excuse to peers, not that I see that becoming an issue, but this is a hypothetical question at this point, so yeah.. or the other circumstance being if my child happened to be one of those motivated addicts who want to use this as a tool in their recovery, and if my child knew the pros/cons and consented, I would support that decision or other treatment decisions wholeheartedly, as I support a variety of addiction treatment measures involving medications, such as opioid maintenance, naltrexone, "anta-buse" etc.

    So that lessens my concern about making permanent changes to my child, and would definitely be reason in my opinion for any parent to hold off until there is evidence the child wants/needs something like that- but again one cannot take short term studies of cocaine abusers and translate that into either efficacy or health risks or potential issues in children as they grow up. Many meds and vaccines have and do cause risks (sparkles, in response to your "why wouldn't I?" type question/comment, this is also a big part of it with the pharma industry's past mistakes--) that were not seen when they were put on the market- this recent swine flu thing is an example- remember last time gov't-endorsed or -required vaccination was put into place, i believe in the 70's, it was for a huge fear-mongering "swine flu pandemic" that never materialized- and resulted, from problems with the vaccine, many otherwise healthy young people were afflicted with Guillain Barre syndrome- more were harmed by the shot than the illness it was supposed to keep people safe from. That is worrisome, and I do NOT trust big pharma and the government necessarily has our best interests at heart.

    The previous point, about this potentially having negative implications for everything from insurance companies willingness to pay for medical expenses to reduced government funding for research and rehabilitation- it is possible, although a scary thought, since they often do put a lot of stock into something seemingly simple like this yet which is infinitely more complex, medically and ethically. However, I think the very very limited use and potential of this would circumvent that, since it is at best a limited tool. I am glad they are researching this though, for addicts who might welcome access to something like this as a treatment adjunct.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!