Researchers develop vaccine to fight opioid misuse, addiction

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Immunizations for the flu, smallpox and polio are essential in protecting against dangerous diseases. Now, widespread opioid addiction has pushed researchers to develop a vaccine against the effects of overdose and misuse.

According to results presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), researchers are developing a vaccine against the growing threat of opioid addiction. The vaccine was developed to prevent opioid receptors in the body from attaching to antibodies, a method that involved the linking together of the opioid molecules which are normally too small to block.

"There is an urgent need to discover effective medications to treat substance use disorders. Increasingly, drug users are turning to opioids and powerful synthetic versions of these drugs that can sometimes be as much as 100 times more potent than heroin," said Kim D. Janda, PhD, head of the vaccine research team.

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