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Testing of cocaine vaccine leads to uncertain conclusions

Category: Drug Screening

Currently, scientists are making progress on several different vaccines meant to curb cocaine addiction. However, the recent clinical test of one such vaccine has suggested that the proposed "cure" can be as dangerous as it is promising.

The preventive counteragent known as TA-CD works by changing the body's chemistry to prevent cocaine from entering the brain, thus taking away the high associated with the drug, according to the Washington Post.

"After the vaccine, doing cocaine was a very disappointing experience for [the addicted trial participants]," said lead researcher Thomas Kosten.

Unfortunately, the study found that TA-CD did not stop the cravings, leading participants to take as much as 10 times the amount of cocaine as usual in an effort to get high, according to Popular Science. Several addicts even reported going broke attempting to receive a high while participating in the trial.

Of the 58 study participants who received the vaccine, only 11 were able to refrain from using cocaine for more than half of the trial. Although testing continues, it seems that TA-CD can only "blunt" the effects of cocaine on the brain.

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