“Every time heroin addicts shoot up, they’re taking their lives in their hands. That’s not just because heroin itself is dangerous; increasingly, the drug is combined with fentanyl, a synthetic drug often used in conjunction with anesthesia.
Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, which also makes it more lethal—the drug is fueling a public health crisis in New Orleans and has caused thousands of overdoses in Chicago, New England, and Canada. For those that try to quit the habit, the path to recovery is littered with failure; 40 to 60 percent of people seeking treatment for drug addiction relapse, often within the first year.
But what if a recovering addict could physically no longer get high? A treatment that makes an addict immune to a drug’s effects would decrease the motivation to seek the drug.
That could be possible with drug vaccines, treatments that train the immune system to attack drug molecules before they affect the brain. Scientists have been experimenting with vaccines for various drugs for years; last month, researchers published a study about an experimental fentanyl vaccine, the first of its kind. And while vaccines can’t be the only treatment for the opioid epidemic, they might be one of the few options that can truly help addicts recover—if the vaccines can make it to the clinic.”
Source: TheDailyBeast.com – March 18, 2016
See related article – Fentanyl: Uses, Effects and Health Risks – 3/22/16 available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308156.php