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New Research Shows How Meth Addiction Could Decrease

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Meth addiction is a serious threat in society.  It is the most common drug that patients turn to drug rehabilitation treatment programs for in California, while the west coast is known for frequent methamphetamine abuse.  Now that scientists have taken the first steps to uncovering a vaccine to block methamphetamine in the body’s nervous system, it could be a completely new ball game for addicts and give hope for those suffering specifically from a meth addiction.

Meth Addiction: Nature of the Beast

Methamphetamine is a dangerous stimulant that is a worldwide problem.  Also called speed, crank, and meth, the drug is similar to cocaine but 50 times more potent.  People tend to stay awake for days and sometimes weeks at a time.  Meth addiction can cause psychosis and lead addicts to mental diseases instantaneously.  Since meth is made from man made materials, it is commonly made in basements and kitchens throughout the country in “secret meth labs,” making virtually anywhere a danger to society due to explosion.  The worst part isn’t even how hazardous the manufacturing of meth can be, but rather how addictive the drug really is.  A person can become hooked to the drug by using it from the first time.  This is why officials have wanted to get a handle on the drug for many years and creating vaccine for meth addiction could do just that, proving beyond beneficial.

Meth Vaccine

It was a scientific team at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla that originally had a goal of creating a vaccination that would target the illegal substance methamphetamine in particular once administered and prevent it from spreading throughout the rest of the body.  These scientists set out to do so by conducting a study on rats, where they used a compound referred to as MH6 on the meth-induced rodents.  They noticed that when high on methamphetamine, the rats would have an increased amount of energy and high body temperature.  These results that typically would have occurred when they were on meth were blocked when MH6 was in their system.  After this, research was able to conclude that MH6 prevented meth from getting to the nervous system.  Michael Taffe, a researcher on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders at the Scripps Research Institute was quick to say, “This is an early stage study but its results are comparable to those for other drug vaccines that have gone to clinical trials.”  The drug is still in the works and many more trials will have to be done on animals before humans.  Taffe continued, “The vaccine is not as long lasting as the researchers would like – the effects last weeks, not years – and they still have other questions that need to be answered.”

Is A Vaccine A Cure All?

Taffe went on to add “it’s looking promising” that the tested rats may show reduced drug cravings when vaccinated, however it’s still “early on in the process” to tell for sure.  Even if this vaccination was definite and hitting shelves, say, tomorrow, there are questions of heated debate that would quickly turn up.  Would babies be suggested or even urged to get the vaccine at birth, if it was proven to last decades or a lifetime?  Would rehabilitation centers offer this as a method of treatment?  Would this truly guarantee that the meth addiction would be curbed and the addict would not resort to attempt to achieve the high despite knowing it was impossible to achieve?  These are going to be controversial and varying answers that only time will be able to answer.  One thing is clear, however.  A vaccine may be a great preventative measure, but there is no cure for the disease of addiction.  It may help a meth addict with cravings and blocking the high, but it doesn’t stop them from buying the drug, administering the drug, the behaviors that go along with addiction, or the thinking problem with the addict’s self.  The drug is but a symptom of the disease of addiction.

Meth addiction is a serious disease, but recovery is possible to attain.  Life without the use of meth, other drugs, and/or alcohol is achievable.  The Watershed is a leading treatment facility that understands what the difficult process you are going through and has a compassionate staff to tackle matters with you step by step along the way.  Call today  at 1-800-439-5959 to start the new life you have been waiting for.




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