Addiction Vaccines Are Coming, But Not for Cannabis

Despite countless attempts made to incarcerate, rehabilitate and resuscitate our way out of our nation’s addiction crisis, all efforts have ultimately proven to be futile. A new solution being explored by researchers could hold promise for those struggling with substance addiction — but not for those with “cannabis use” disorders.

The opioid epidemic killed more than 560,000 people between 1999 and 2015 — drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.  In 2015, accidental overdose killed 52,404 people; 20,101 of them died because of prescription pain killers, with 12,990 dying from heroin.

But researchers say they may have a new trick up their sleeves when it comes to helping people with addiction issues — injecting them with vaccines designed to eliminate their urge to abuse drugs.

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Science Says: Why Are Opioids So Addictive?

Pleasure. Craving. Withdrawal.

When opioids act on the brain, they trigger the same processes that give people feelings of pleasure from activities like eating, but they do it far more intensely.

Opioids also make some brain cells pump out a chemical messenger called dopamine, which encourages more drug use. Over time, that can produce craving that continues even long after someone stops using opioids, which can lead to relapse.

Read more at High Times

CDC Finds Opioid Epidemic Worse Than We Thought

The devastation associated with the opioid epidemic in the United States has been largely underestimated, according to the latest report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Federal health officials now say there are far more than 91 people dying everyday as a result of a vicious dance with opioids. The CDC’s latest exploration into the subject shows there have been some gross miscalculations with respect to the mortality rates associated with opioid overdose, all of which stems from cases being cataloged under a separate cause of death.

“In early spring, the Minnesota Department of Health was notified of an unexplained death: a middle-aged man who died suddenly at home,” Dr. Victoria Hall, a CDC field researcher, told CNN. Although the autopsy revealed the man had both pneumonia and high levels of opioids in his system, “on the death certificate, it only listed the pneumonia and made no mention of opioids,” she added.

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4 Things to Know about Anti-Addiction Vaccines

Drug addiction is a massive menace that has resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives across the globe. Drugs like heroin, cocaine and crack affect the functioning of the brain, temporarily giving it a feeling of joyous bliss or euphoria. The neurotransmitters and receptors associated with pleasure are activated by these drugs, giving users the intense feeling of happiness.

But, this feeling cannot be sustained by the brain for long, and it tries to normalize things by increasing the receptor activity required to give the ecstasy. This reaction of the brain triggers what we call “drug tolerance” in users, who respond by increasing dosage to get the same results.

Vaccines are being developed to block the entry of drug molecules into the brain and prevent the “high” response in users, thus making drugs less rewarding. Here are a few things you need to know about a vaccine that has been in the making for several years but is now nearing the human trial phase.

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The Federal Government Is Cheating Young Addicts Out of Treatment

Adolescents suffering from the often-deadly grips of opioid addiction are not receiving the same level of treatment as their adult counterparts, according to the latest study from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Researchers say that while 26 percent of adult heroin addicts in the United States were given medication-assisted treatment back in 2013, in the form of methadone or suboxone, only two percent of the adolescent population received the same opportunity.

Sadly, this lack of attention to the young drug addict also takes place when it comes to cases involving prescription painkillers.

Read more at High Times