Can a vaccine cure America’s heroin epidemic? - Sovereign Health Group
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The United States is battling a severe heroin crisis. It is a full-blown epidemic that threatens the achievements of modern medicine, leaving public health officials and law enforcement authorities in a dilemma. Experts wonder if such a major drug crisis could have a chemical answer. Recently, researchers in California claimed to have discovered a treatment to nullify the pleasure-inducing effects of heroin on the brain. They have developed a vaccine capable of blocking the narcotic effects of the drug in monkeys and mice.

The researchers are hopeful that the proposed human clinical trials could yield promising results. The whole idea behind the efforts is to come up with a vaccine, a single shot of which could cancel the mind-altering effects of heroin for several weeks at a stretch. Behavioral psychologists believe that a vaccine can work by eliminating expectancy, especially when the user becomes aware that taking the drug would no longer produce the same high. Therefore, the odds of staying away from the drug become higher.

However, critics feel that vaccines can help only those who would like to break free from the clutches of the drug, or else nothing can stop them from continued drug use. Several medical organizations have described addiction as a complicated disease of the brain and body. Therefore, just like other diseases, even, addiction can be inherited. In such a case, there could be a possibility of the vaccine inhibiting the effects of the drug, rather than stimulating immunity to addictive behaviors.

Heroin cheaper than opioid painkillers

Mexican and Colombian heroin rules the roost in the American drug market. Mexican drug trafficking organizations smuggle colossal quantities of heroin and other deadly substances into the U.S. through the 2,000 mile-long southern borders, which stretch all the way from San Diego in California to Brownsville in Texas.

Experts attribute the surge in cross-border drug trafficking to the growing demand for drugs among all sections of the American society, which pushed smugglers to invent ingenious means to bring their commodities into U.S. cities for huge profits. The rise in heroin use became all the more dangerous when Mexican drug cartels started inundating American markets with cost-effective and deadly heroin, which was easier to procure than prescription opioids.

Largely, those hooked on opioid painkillers end up abusing heroin because it is cheaper and easily available. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin use has more than doubled among young American, aged 18-25, in the past decade. Besides being an easy-to-get drug, there are other reasons that drive young people toward heroin. Some of the reasons are:

  • Pressure from peers: Young adults and teenagers often come across people using different types of drugs. This kind of company can make them experiment with any one of these substances, and any easy-to-get drug eventually ends up as the drug of choice.
  • Prompt satiation: Drugs like heroin produce effects instantaneously to trigger early euphoric pleasurable sensations, which could be misinterpreted by many unwary individuals as a shortcut to happiness.
  • Lack of information: One of the most common causes of both opioid as well as heroin abuse is the dearth of information about the harmful consequences of drug use. Most novices depend on their acquaintances or friends who act as self-professed experts on a variety of drugs.
  • Medicating one’s worries away: Adolescence and youth is mostly laden with obstacles, and owing to the unavailability of a healthy medium or a trusted confidant to vent out frustrations, cheap drugs like heroin can become an easy route to escape.
  • Impact of popular media: Research shows a large number of teens feel that movies and TV shows package drugs as an attractive to-do goal, which does immense harm to young minds. Moreover, imitating their favorite movie star or singer who are into drugs can also lead to addiction.

Heroin addiction is treatable

The opioid epidemic that has claimed thousands of victims nationwide has, in fact, paved the way for heroin to become the drug of choice for numerous gullible Americans. Studies show millions of Americans fall prey to heroin addiction faster than they might ever realize, as the lethal white powder makes inroads into newer neighborhoods of U.S. cities. The only way to break free from the shackles of the drug is to undergo a customized heroin detox program at a reputed heroin addiction treatment center in California to combat the devastating effects of the drug.

Sovereign Health understands the misery of someone who is unable to put an end to the use of deadly drugs despite being aware of their damaging effects. Our customized recovery programs at Sovereign Health of San Clemente are designed to offer holistic treatment. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to heroin, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about our state-of-the-art heroin treatment centers spread across California.

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