Dr. Thomas Kosten on the cocaine vaccine

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Imagine if you could take a pill to cure your addiction. Paradoxical as that may sound, scientists are looking for pathways that could lead to drugs that will help fight the disease.

Psychiatrist Thomas Kosten at Baylor University has been working on a vaccine that takes the high out of cocaine by stimulating the body’s production of antibodies to the drug. The antibodies attach to the cocaine in the bloodstream trapping it there. So long as the cocaine does not pass into the brain, it is rendered impotent. No high, no reason to smoke or snort.

Some addicts in the study used cocaine after the vaccine had time to take effect and produce the requisite antibodies. The amount of cocaine in their system was about ten times more than anyone had seen in a living human. And they felt nothing. So the vaccine is an effective blocker.

PBS News Hour

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