Prescription drug abuse rates are rapidly increasing in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. makes up only 5 percent of the world’s population, yet it is responsible for the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. Abuse of prescription drugs occurs who the drug is taken in a manner other than its intended purpose such as to get high.
Prescription drug abuse can take over someone's life if help isn't found. It doesn’t have to be this way though. For those who are struggling with prescription drug abuse and addiction, help is only a phone call away.
Drug overdose deaths have acquired the status of an epidemic in the United States of America, and Colorado ranks 12th in the country as far as prescription drug abuse is concerned. In fact, on an average 35 Coloradans die every month due to prescription drug overdoses. In Colorado, 18 to 25-year-olds overdose on prescription painkillers twice as often as the rest of the population.
When it’s such an alarming scenario, the news of a vaccine for drug addiction might appear like godsend. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is working on a vaccine which might help in dealing with drug, opioid, heroin addiction and overdose deaths. The vaccine has already been tested on animals.
NIDA deputy director Dr. William Compton said, “The vaccine would produce an antibody response which would latch onto the drug of use…and because they’re large molecules they will not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier.”
Before moving on, it will be helpful to understand the way the drugs work. After entering the circulatory system, the drugs cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain which results in the high.
When the drugs can’t move from the circulatory system into the brain through the blood-brain barrier, Compton said the “intoxication reinforcement” would be stopped. And when the addicts can’t enjoy the high from drugs, there is less chance of abusing it.
Since 1970s, naloxone has been in use by police and first responders to reverse the effects of drug overdose. But according to a report in the Medill Reports Chicago, Compton said that “scientific solutions to prevent addiction are crucial.”
According to a report on addiction.com in 2015, researchers at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California have been working on a vaccination for heroin addiction. Though the study has been conducted on just rats, it offers a ray of hope for the problem of addiction. The researchers said if the experiment works, the vaccine could help in controlling addiction as it would prevent the craving for the drug.
“The vaccination has been shown to generate antibodies, which provide an immune response to heroin and its metabolites,” says Kim Janda, Ph.D., of the Janda Group at the Scripps Research Institute, and one of the primary researchers of the study.
The U.S. comprises nearly 5 percent of the world’s population, but it witnesses the consumption of 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of drug overdose deaths touched 47,055 in 2014 or about 125 Americans daily.
Along with opioid problem, the nation is also suffering from heroin addiction. The substance is getting more popular by the day. Over 914,000 heroin users were reported in 2014, which was up by 145 percent since 2007. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) said an estimated 23 percent of individuals who use heroin develop opioid addiction.
Looking at the enormity of the issue, the government is stepping up efforts to rein in the problem. President Barack Obama’s 2017 Budget, made public earlier in February, proposes $1 billion fund to be used over two years to help in the treatment for prescription drug abuse and heroin use.
At individual level, overcoming the problem of prescription drug addiction is not difficult. If you or your loved one is battling addiction, now is the time to act and lead a happy drug-free life. To seek expert guidance, contact the Colorado Prescription Abuse Helpline today and sail through the path of recovery. You can reach our expert via online chat or at 24/7 helpline number 866-922-5915.