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Vaccine Could Cut Heroin Addiction 382

JumperCable writes "Scientists at Mexico's National Institute of Psychiatry are working on a vaccine that makes the body resistant to the effects of heroin, so users would no longer get a rush of pleasure. The researchers say they have successfully tested the vaccine on mice and are preparing to test it on humans. Mice given the vaccine showed a huge drop in heroin consumption. 'It would be a vaccine for people who are serious addicts, who have not had success with other treatments and decide to use this application to get away from drugs.'"
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Vaccine Could Cut Heroin Addiction

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  • by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:41AM (#39147137)
    How about (assuming it's safe) we forcibly administer it to anyone caught committing a crime while addicted to heroin?
  • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:44AM (#39147177)

    It'll be a long time before we can be sure it's safe.

    However, it could be offered as a way to cut their sentence, or as part of their rehab. I'd fully support them having the option.

  • by pedantic bore ( 740196 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:44AM (#39147189)

    What if, in addition to the pleasure due to heroin, it also diminishes other sorts of pleasure?

    This sounds like it could be a small slice of hell.

  • other opiates? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by liamevo ( 1358257 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:44AM (#39147191)

    Does this also stop the effects of other opiates?

  • by Wansu ( 846 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @10:55AM (#39147361)

    "I used to be a heroin addict, Now I'm a methadone addict."

    Yep. Methadone has all the addictive qualities without all the pleasing euphoria. A recent post on /. says it's killing people, both the use of methadone and withdrawal from it.

    There's no telling what side effects this vaccine will have, assuming it works as intended.

  • by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @11:55AM (#39148099)
    I was careful to qualify my controversial suggestion by restricting it to (a) if the vaccine were known to be safe, and (b) application to criminals under the influence of heroin. By "criminals" I mean people who commit serious offenses, and I'm not just talking about heroin possession, which would be sort of a circular legal argument.

    My vices have nothing to do with commission of serious crimes against others, therefore your examination is based on a false equivalence. Conversely, people who commit serious crimes against others forfeit many of their natural human rights -- we lock them in cages and take away their freedom. Safely taking away their heroin addiction could in many cases be a lesser violation of their natural rights than a prison sentence, and in the opinion of probably most of society, would in fact be doing them a favor.
  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @12:18PM (#39148409) Journal

    I've been a herion addict and was on methadone and the Buprenorphine trials we had here for a bit. I was an herion addict for about 10 years, let it control my life, homeless and all that crap. Got on methadone on and off for some years, did the Bupernorphine trials, got back on methadone again.

    Even though I wanted to quit using dope, i would always end up back because want wasn't enough. While I was on methadone last, I got to talk to a shrink, and after a bit, found out I was dyslexic and ADHD and other fun stuff that I should of found out before my mid 30's. It was getting help for my ADHD and dyslexia that made it so I was finally able to say Fuck you to herion, and even methadone. I volunteerly lowed my dose till it was down to nothing, and stopped going to the stupid ass methadone clinic. By that time, I hated it and the people that went there and mostly the policies they have there.

    Making it so people can't feel the high of doing Herion is going to make them do other drugs so they can feel something. Plane and simple. I knew a girl who'd OD because she had one of those thingies they put in your stomache so you can't get high. She kept trying and you want to know whats up with her now? She talks to herself. Mentally, she's gone. Kept trying to get high. She didn't die from it, but she's no longer the person she was.

    You want to get herion addicts to stop? You need to find the reason why they are a heroin addict and fix those. Me? I was confused, I didn't understand people and people didn't seem to understand me. Stress and frustration were my enemies, and they didn't matter if I was high. Unfortunetly, being a herion addict means you don't get high as much as you get well.

    Anyways, I think this is the wrong approach big time. But it doesn't surprise me, people don't understand addiction, and that is why a lot of people get addicted to stuff.


  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Friday February 24, 2012 @01:39PM (#39149625)
    I am referring to the Clockwork Orange movie where the "cure" to violence addiction had the side effect of turning off the pleasure music. will taming one part of the mind disable other parts in some subtle fashion. Maybe its not coincidence that many artists are bipolar: extreme creatively may be a mental outlier.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @02:09PM (#39150117)

    This can't be safe. It's literally impossible.

    Rather, this is cruel and unusual punishment, and is prohibited by the US constitution and international law. It in fact is much more of a violation of human rights than locking someone in a prison cell. That's assuming you can even find a victim to make this worthy of punishment.

    You (yes, every one of you) synthesize and use opiates every day, in the form of opioid peptides (dynorphin, enkephalin, endomorphin). You may even eat things that block enkephalinase, making these opioid substances last longer. They are critical to proper somatic function, and have been described thoroughly as such in the literature.

    Heroin (diacetylmorphine) and other strong opiates (synthetic and naturally derived) are used every day in palliative care to alleviate intolerable, intractable, suicide-provoking pain for the terminally ill.

    Do you actually support forcing someone to take this substance, thus ensuring they'll meet their end years later screaming in agony and begging for death? Do you support forcibly and permanently defeating a person's own pain modulation system? Are you against human dignity in general, or just not thinking things through?

    This isn't a vaccine, because vaccines (i) actually have a health benefit; (ii) don't cause permanent and substantial psychological changes; and (iii) are generally recognized as safe.

    Freedom from forced psychotropic modification is a fundamental human right. Humans have a god-given right to possess and use the opiate receptors in their brain.

    You have no right to force *anyone* to do this, ever. Doing so would put you on the same level as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, or the WWII atrocities.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 24, 2012 @04:50PM (#39152291)

    I'm a long time heroin user. I have used for the past 16 years on and of and have always managed to earn enough to pay for my habit even if I have had to work 3 jobs.

    Due to being short of work currently (hours in a shop and 3 or 4 local pc repairs a week) I am currently on a suboxone prescription instead of using as I refuse to steal, beg or borrow for my habit. I have used methadone in the past and it is awful evil stuff. You get a buzz but it's not as good as a heroin buzz yet the withdrawals from methadone are the worst thing ever. I can easily take the pain of heroin withdrawal but methadone is far worse and withdrawals can last a month.

    Until recently I was surviving on opium tea made from poppy heads that I ordered from an online dried flower/craft shop. The withdrawals from poppy tea are also far worse than heroin withdrawal.

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