Drug and alcohol addiction costs the United States more than $100 billion a year. Neither law enforcement nor therapy has been able to adequately combat this problem, so it continues to grow. Some researchers are taking a new approach: Instead of looking at addiction as lack of self-control or escape, why not see it as a chronic, reoccurring disease? Research substantiates that there are fundamental biological processes at work in the brain of a drug user. Long-term changes occur there, predisposing the addict to drug cravings and relapses. Medications may offer the means for drug addicts to not only kick the habit, but also stay clean.1
|Adaptedfrom figure by K. Janda|
Monoclonal antibodies prevent cocaine from crossing the blood-brain barrier, thereby blocking the stimulant effects induced by the drug. This may prove useful in treating long-term addicts who are prone to relapse. This type of vaccination may be effective...
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