Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Meth Vaccine

November 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Meth Vaccine

Meth Vaccine

Meth Vaccine

Meth is one the most commonly abused drugs worldwide. Meth (methamphetamine) is a highly addictive drug, affecting approximately 25 million people globally. Over 400,000 people in the U.S. are currently using meth and in some states, such as California, meth makes up the most primary drug abuse treatment admissions. There is no treatment for meth addiction. The reason for this is because meth has certain qualities that make it much more addictive than any other drug.

Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine acts on dopamine receptors in the brain. It stimulates the receptor to release a rush of dopamine which stimulates brain cells, increasing mood and energy. Dopamine is closely related to the reward centers in the brain, which is why meth use has such a high incidence of dependence and addiction.  Methamphetamine has also been shown to have a neurotoxic effect on dopamine neurons over time, inducing Parkinson’s-like symptoms in long term users.

Why do we need a meth vaccine?

In order to stop meth from creating a “high” in the user and take away the actual motivation to use meth, anti-drug antibodies must stop the drug molecules from getting to the brain. The structure of the methamphetamine molecule is simple which causes it to go unnoticed within the immune system. Since meth and its main metabolite, amphetamine, linger when they enter the nervous system, a little bit of meth is going to have a big effect. The most obvious long-term effects of meth are a gruesome physical aging and deteriation that occurs with holes in ones face, decaying teeth, and blotchy skin. Meth addiction is a hard addiction to kick with many addicts starting in their teens. Most current treatment for meth addiction includes detox, multi-disciplinary therapies, and 12 step programs.

So what is the meth vaccine?

The meth vaccine has been successfully tested on animals and could be the first specific treatment for those people with a meth addiction. If this vaccine is tested and proven successful in humans too, it will give people with meth addiction a hopeful future.

Six possible meth vaccines have been developed. This was done two years ago. The leading active component of each vaccine was a chemical combination of the meth molecule and an antibody-provoking carrier molecule.

The tests of the meth vaccine were done in mice and the results showed that three of the vaccines could potentially create a powerful antibody reaction meth. These three meth vaccines are what allowed the team of scientists to discover the one, designated MH6, which worked the best at preventing to effects of meth which are:

  • An increase in physical activity
  • A loss of the normal ability to regulate body temperature

The MH6 vaccine-the meth vaccine, was tested in more depth by using different environments and set ups. The scientists continued finding the same results. The meth vaccine prevented body temperature from rising and a sudden burst of energy. What the meth vaccine does is keep more of the meth in the bloodstream instead of it getting into the nervous system, an indication of a strong antibody response.

Along with the MH6 vaccine, another meth vaccine showed promising results from separate tests. This meth vaccine was an antibody-based treatment. By using this method, the meth high is stopped by growing anti-meth antibodies in cells using standard biotechnology methods and then injected into the animal in a concentrated dose. Although the downfall to the meth vaccine is that it does not last that long. With MH6, meth vaccine, 4 doses lasted about 12 weeks. After some modifications though the meth vaccine may be able to last a longer amount of time. Another downfall to the meth vaccine is that it is going to have to be cheap for addicts. Addicts don’t usually have health insurance nor do they have a ton of money so the vaccine would have to be affordable for people for months on end per their dose.

Either way the meth vaccine is the newest step towards helping those suffering from addiction in any way shape or form.

5 responses to “Meth Vaccine”

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