Researchers at Yale University have been testing a vaccine against cocaine addiction. The vaccine works by binding onto cocaine in the bloodstream and preventing it from reaching the brain cells where it produces its pleasurable effect. A total of 115 cocaine- and opiate-dependent people took part in the study. The participants received five injections of either the vaccine or a placebo over a 12-week period. Those participants who finished the study with a high level of antibodies produced significantly more cocaine-free urine samples than those who had lower levels of the antibodies or who had received a placebo. The proportion of participants who reduced their cocaine use by half was 53% among those treated with the active vaccine compared to only 23% among those treated with a placebo.
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