Dr. Tom Price, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, has said that a new anti-addiction vaccine is being developed to counter the menace of drugs. Calling it an exciting prospect, Price was enthusiastic that this could go a long way in fixing the drug addiction problem that has crippled the entire country.
The ever-growing dangers of addiction have left public health officials and law enforcement authorities in a dilemma. Researchers plan to generate antibodies from the body’s immune system to prevent the addiction-causing molecules from reaching the brain. This will prevent people addicted to a harmful substance from getting high and eradicate any compulsive-drug seeking behaviors or withdrawal symptoms related to addiction or dependence. Despite the innumerable challenges, the anti-addiction vaccine has been successfully tested on mice and non-human primates.
However, experts say that efforts to develop anti-addiction vaccines have met with limited success in the past. Since the 1970s failed attempts have been made in the U.S. to curb cocaine, nicotine and alcohol addiction. Besides, the top three opioid vaccines still haven’t been tested on human beings. In practical terms, such anti-addiction vaccines are years away from making it to the market shelves. Some of the possible drawbacks of anti-addiction vaccines are listed below:
- They don’t eliminate the craving for the drug. Instead, they only deal with the physical effects.
- Sometimes, higher doses can restore the desirable euphoric effects of the drug.
- Vaccines for one opioid cannot stop an addict getting high on another drug.
- Vaccines for heroin addiction require three initial doses and subsequent renewals.
- Such vaccines may not be appropriate for people battling terminal legitimate pain.
Today, the addiction crisis in the U.S. has grown into a full-blown nationwide epidemic, affecting millions of lives regardless of age, race and wealth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 52 million people over the age of 12 in the U.S. use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons in their lifetime in a given year. Sad but true, drugs now kill more Americans than cars, guns or even terror attacks.
Combating addiction by reforming habits
Every individual has the neurobiological potential to become an addict, and unfortunately, there is still a huge stigma attached to addiction. But, the good news is that even though the human brain is wired for addiction, there are many ways to combat the odds of a potential addiction. Some steps to beat addiction are:
- Exploring new options to break the barriers, which have been identified.
- Creating a solid support network of useful contacts to help in one’s efforts to change.
- Evaluating all the advantages and the possible obstacles to change.
- Making a contingency plan beforehand in the event of a relapse.
- Making plans to lead an addiction-free life without depending on any drug.
- Adding professionals such as a psychologist to one’s support network.
Leading a drug-free life
Substance use disorder (SUD) is one of the most critical public health problems afflicting America. There is an urgent need to raise awareness about the crisis. Americans need to know that individuals are not born with the intention to abuse drugs as they grow up, but once trapped in addiction, their ability to display self-control can be severely impaired. Besides, the damage to several vital organs and body functions is immense.
If any misconception or stigma associated with addiction has prevented you or your loved one from taking addiction treatment, contact Sovereign Health of San Clemente, California, which offers a variety of customized therapies to treat the afflicted individuals holistically. Experts at our advanced addiction treatment centers are trained to identify the underlying causes and prescribe customized treatment for addiction as well as group psychotherapy based on the patient’s requirements. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives for more information.