While it is possible to overcome a fentanyl dependence, there are still many who struggle and end up relapsing. However, researchers at the University of Houston have set out to change that, and are looking to help those who may be struggling.
A group of researchers from the University are developing a vaccine that could block fentanyl, a known synthetic opioid, from entering into the brain. Blocking the opioid from the brain could potentially help to prevent overdoses, and eliminate the drugs 'high'. It could also help to prevent relapses and further addiction, a problem that effects an estimated 80% of users.
The researchers found that the vaccine did not cause any adverse side effects during their initial lab studies, yet another encouraging sign. Therese Kosten, director of the Developmental, Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience program at the University, labelled the vaccine as a potential 'game changer'.
Talking to media publication Freethink, lead author Colin Haile noted that the vaccine 'prevents fentanyl overdose in rats, and we anticipate we will have the same effect in humans.”