Monday, May 27, 2013

Why a Heroin Vaccine Isn’t a Fix-It

The White Noise  
This post is part of a collaborative narrative series composed of my writing and Chris Arnade’s photos exploring issues of addiction, poverty, prostitution and urban anthropology in Hunts Point, Bronx. For more on the series, look here.

Heroin addiction, a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by excessive drug taking and seeking, requires constant psychotherapeutic and pharmacotherapeutic interventions to minimize the potential for further abuse.

The current study presents evidence of effective and continuous sequestration of brain-permeable constituents of heroin in the bloodstream following vaccination. The result is efficient blockade of heroin activity in treated rats, preventing various features of drugs of abuse: heroin reward, drug-induced reinstatement of drug seeking, and reescalation of compulsive heroin self-administration following abstinence in dependent rats.

Thus, our vaccine represents a promising adjunct therapy for heroin addiction, providing continuous heroin antagonism, requiring minimal medical monitoring and patient compliance. ¹.

In a house of drugs, there’s not that much light. That might not surprise you. Electricity’s stolen from next door, and next visit, there won’t be any. For today, a hooded desk lamp sits in the doorway connecting the main room to a bedroom, and down the hall a door’s a quarter of the way open, where light inside sends misshapen geometry onto the hallway’s ceiling.

For the rest of the story:

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