Scientists may have created a vaccine against cocaine addiction: shots that changes the body’s chemistry so that the drug can’t enter the brain and provide a high, reports the Washington Post. The vaccine, called TA-CD, could be dangerous; some addicts in a study of the vaccine started doing massive amounts of cocaine in hopes of overcoming its effects, said researcher Thomas Kosten. The study was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in October.
Like disease vaccines, TA-CD stimulates a person’s immune system to produce antibodies. About a quarter of those who received the vaccine did not make sufficient antibodies at all; it isn’t clear why. “That’s the million-dollar question,” said Margaret Haney, a professor of clinical neuroscience at Columbia University Medical Center, who is researching the cocaine vaccine.