Researchers may have found an answer in treating cocaine overdose cases.
Scientists from Scripps Research Institute believe they have found a vaccine that could prevent overdoses, specifically those involving cocaine.
They conducted research to see if it would work on other drugs, but so far it only seems to have a positive effect on cocaine patients.
Once administered, it prevents the drug from reaching the brain and causing harm. If trials continue to prove successful, this medication could also be used to treat those in recovery.
The effects of the vaccine are realized for several weeks after the patient receives the inoculation, thus the person feels no effects from the cocaine. Often a person returns to abuse of the drug after an overdose but this vaccine could prevent them from doing so.
In the U.S. alone, more than 400,000 people seek medical care as a result of cocaine overdose every year and approximately 5,000 die after having too much of the drug in their system.
If this vaccine can truly lower those statistics, then the number of lives it could impact would be amazing. Not only would it drastically affect the drug abusers themselves, but also their loved ones who may have struggled with them in their quest to get clean.
This vaccine is just one answer in helping people get their lives back from the hold drugs have had on them. If they are given a second chance at life in a case when otherwise they may not have survived the overdose, this could be their wakeup call to seek help and follow through with it.
While sometimes it may be difficult to get treatment on their own, they are fortunate that there soon may be medication to help them get started on the path to living a drug-free life.