Children to get jabs against drug addiction

David Longley David at
Mon Jul 26 14:08:05 EST 2004

When I first read this, I thought it was a bad joke. After looking 
through the following link:


and the abstract:


I thought it might be time to start campaigning for responsibility in 
neuroscience if I didn't already think that a lost cause. How long 
before we hear of mutating phages which triggered immune responses to 
DA, NE and E with cataclysmic consequences?

In article <bgfag013fcm59mn7djv8l5mtvchlghilqk at>, Zenobia 
<7.20.zenobia at> writes
>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 
>>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

David Longley

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