A Heroin Vaccine… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Like many of you, I question vaccines and everything else we encounter.  We’re all so influenced by media and the “truth” they want us to believe, but that blanket trust we often give pharmaceutical companies is dangerous to say the least.

For many others, sleeves roll up at the mention of a vaccine.  And yes, many debilitating diseases have been eradicated or controlled because of these advances, but to what end?  I read about vaccines for pregnancy and most recently one for heroin addiction!  It allegedly won’t be ready for market for ten to fifteen years so hopefully in the next decade with worldwide Cannabis legalization measures what they are, the dire need for opioid treatment will weaken.

Pain seems to be the great equalizer and one of the few things that the medical and pharmaceutical industries are failing to conquer.  The reason we have an opioid epidemic is because there are few legal and openly prescribed alternatives.  Even being legally prescribed medical Cannabis takes too long for most of us.  Other gifts from mother nature like Kratom, Psilocybin, Mescaline, and MDMA could help with some kinds of pain but I doubt many mainstream researchers are putting much time into them.  

Currently, opioid addiction is treated with Methadone or Suboxone, both of which feel for many like a transfer of addiction.  Many begin with hopes of weaning completely off of both but are not really encouraged to do so by their Doctors.  No doubt!  For Doctors this change in a patient’s medication is merely a change in what they prescribe them-and prescribing is what it’s about.

As illustrated in the above-linked article, in theory this vaccine would keep heroin from entering the brain.  As such it may in the long-run result in fewer addicts but have we thought this through?  A lot of recent research and evidence points to this epidemic being less about the chemicals and more about the society we live in- not to mention that for many the habit feeds the addiction even when the product does not.  Chasing the Scream is an incredibly eye-opening book that references a period of time in Vancouver where the streets were clean of heroin and users were sold any filler that would pass.  They still purchased, still injected, still fed the need knowing full well after several days that very little drug was in it.

The evidence pointing to addiction as a disease of isolation is staggering.  Childhood traumas, mental illness, and abuse statistically lead to addiction.  When human relationships fail to fulfill our needs we will bond with whatever we find. Too often, it’s a drug.

In addition, what happens when someone having received the heroin vaccine has a traumatic injury or even a tooth extraction?  These both require serious pain medication.  Will researchers also create some other form of pain killer in the next decade to replace them?  Pain requires treatment.

And of course, I would be remiss not to mention the nefarious possibilities here.  What’s to stop the inevitable replication of this vaccine that will undoubtedly occur allowing it to be used as a way to deter dealers from abusing the product they push?  Or giving it to drug mules to protect them from the possibility of broken bags in transport?  My mind races with the ways that it could be abused.

In the next decade however, we Cannabis educators could push the pendulum in our favour by helping enough people in need of pain relief find that effective dose and mode of ingestion.  I’m hopeful of this.  As it stands though, Cannabis use is still seen in addiction treatment programs as a narcotic drug that must be avoided even if the patient has a condition treated by Cannabis.

A friend of mine, like so many of us, can’t eat until after her body receives cannabinoids.  Many of our endocannabinoid systems require this yet I’m learning that the mainstream addiction treatment programs view all Cannabis use as non-adherence to the abstinence program.  I guess they haven’t heard about the endocannabinoid system or how well Cannabis works as a companion medication to opioid replacement drugs.  

We should tell them!

Receptors craving these plant compounds exist in every part of the body, bones, and skin.  Feed that system, feed health and kill pain.  And for many of us, keep the pharmaceuticals to a minimum.