Children to get jabs against drug addiction

Zenobia 7.20.zenobia at
Mon Jul 26 12:33:16 EST 2004

How does this actually work?

Can someone direct me to a link with a clear explanation of
what's going on. Or suggest a paper that a person with a 20-year
old biochemistry degree could understand.

The explanation here is a bit sketchy, to say the least.

On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 13:06:29 +0100, Phil Stovell
<phil at> wrote:

>Children to get jabs against drug addiction
>Ministers consider vaccination scheme. Heroin, cocaine and nicotine targeted
>By Sophie Goodchild and Steve Bloomfield
>25 July 2004
>A radical scheme to vaccinate children against future drug addiction is being
>considered by ministers, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
>Under the plans, doctors would immunise children at risk of becoming smokers or
>drug users with an injection. The scheme could operate in a similar way to the
>current nationwide measles, mumps and rubella vaccination programme.
>Childhood immunisation would provide adults with protection from the euphoria
>that is experienced by users, making drugs such as heroin and cocaine pointless
>to take. Such vaccinations are being developed by pharmaceutical companies and
>are due to hit the market within two years.
>The Department of Trade and Industry has set up a special project to
>investigate ways of using new scientific breakthroughs to combat drug and
>nicotine addiction.
>A national anti-drug immunisation scheme is one of the proposals being put
>forward by the Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs project, an expert committee
>of scientists appointed by the Government earlier this year.
>Professor David Nutt, a leading government drugs adviser who sits on the
>committee, told the IoS that anti-drug vaccines for children are likely to be
>among the panel's recommendations when it reports next March.
>Professor Nutt, head of psychopharmacology at the University of Bristol and a
>senior member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said: "People
>could be vaccinated against drugs at birth as you are against measles. You
>could say cocaine is more dangerous than measles, for example. It is important
>that there is a debate on this issue. This is a huge topic - addiction and
>smoking are major causes of premature death."
>According to the Government's own figures, the cost of drug addiction - through
>related crime and health problems - to the economy is £12bn a year. There is a
>strong incentive for the Government to find new ways to halt spiralling
>addiction. Last week, the IoS revealed that cocaine use had trebled in Britain
>with increasing numbers of users switching to highly addictive crack cocaine.
>Scientists are already conducting trials for drugs that can be used by doctors
>to vaccinate against cocaine, heroin and nicotine addiction.
>Xenova, the British biotechnology firm, has carried out trials on an
>anti-cocaine vaccine which showed that 58 per cent of patients remained
>cocaine-free after three months.
>Meanwhile, experts at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California,
>have developed a super-virus, harmless to humans, which produces proteins that
>can block or reduce the effects of cocaine.
>The team at Scripps tested the virus on rats by injecting it into their noses
>twice a day for three days.
>On the fourth day, the rats were given a shot of cocaine. The researchers found
>that cocaine had more effect on the rats not injected with the virus than those
>that were. Scientists hope that the virus will help stop the cravings
>experienced by cocaine users for the drug by blocking the pleasure they
>normally associate with cocaine. This anti-drug medication is expected to be
>available to users within the next two years in the form of a nasal spray.
>Proposals to introduce a national anti-drug vaccination programme have been
>given a cautious welcome by MPs and experts.
>Ian Gibson, head of the Commons Science and Technology Committee, said the
>Government would have to carry out public consultation. "There is no reason to
>think this would not be a starter or beneficial," said Dr Gibson, Labour MP for
>Norwich North. "But ... proper consultation with the public needs to happen
>well in advance."
>David Hinchliffe, chairman of the Commons Health Committee and Labour MP for
>Wakefield, said: "This could have a huge impact on society in terms of
>preventing damage to others and dealing with addicts. [But] the ethical
>perspective does need to be looked at closely."
>The National Treatment Agency, which manages drug-addiction programmes,
>welcomed any new ways of treating addiction but said there was no "magic

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