Scientists Have Come Up With a ‘Vaccine’ Against Designer Drugs

Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have just published the results of a study done on a special kind of vaccine in the journal Angewandte Chemie. This vaccine does not guard against a virus. Instead, it blocks the effects of synthetic designer drugs.

Source: Scientists Have Come Up With a ‘Vaccine’ Against Designer Drugs

I know a few who’ve lost loved ones to fentanyl overdoses, so similar to the ability to reverse heroin overdoses – this can be divisive.

Scientists Have Hacked Yeast to Produce Narcotics

Yeast, that magical microorganism that provideth bread and beer, can now make narcotics, too. In a much-anticipated update, a team of scientists from Stanford University has engineered a strain of common brewer’s yeast to turn simple sugars into opioid drugs.

Source: Scientists Have Hacked Yeast to Produce Narcotics

I was glad to see the article addressed my concern – that illegal drug manufacture would benefit.  But the yield is claimed to be so low, it’s only a proof of concept at this point.  But now there’s reason to investigate if the yield can be improved.  The article did not cover what the resources needed were for this, to help determine if it is a better means of producing medications.  There is opioid overdose reversal medication – this article covers how it came to be, and the social implications

Ladies!!! The CDC Says to Dial Back the Opioids!!!

The federal health authorities reported Thursday that nearly one-third of women of reproductive age had had an opioid painkiller prescription filled every year from 2008 to 2012. Experts said the practice carried considerable risks for birth defects.

Source: High Rates of Opioid Prescriptions Among Women Raise Birth Defect Fears

Fun fact: The side effect of constipation is almost worse than the pain!

They stress in pharmacy training to inform the patient how long it takes between swallowing the pill and feeling the effects (Time of Onset). Some drugs can kick in in minutes, while others can take 30 minutes if not longer. And most importantly, doubling the dose will not reduce the time of onset. There are lots of cases of patients who, not feeling any relief after one Tylenol tablet (Time to Onset: 30-60 min) and being inpatient, ended up taking one pill after another until they are in full blown liver failure.

Related: Sharp Rise in Women’s Deaths From Overdose of Painkillers

How Scientists Gained the Ability to Reverse Heroin Overdoses

Naloxone can reverse an otherwise fatal heroin overdose within minutes. Carrie Arnold meets the doctors who put this remarkable drug in the hands of the police, families and addicts—and saved thousands of lives.

…it as one of the few defences against the epidemic of overdoses that was killing people across America. Cheap and relatively pure heroin had recently become easier to obtain, but that wasn’t the only cause. A few years earlier, physicians had begun to change the way they prescribed opioid painkillers. These drugs can be highly addictive; one physician I talked to called them “heroin in pill form”. Yet between 1991 and 2013, prescriptions for opioid painkillers jumped from 76 million to 207 million per year, partly because physicians became more willing to prescribe the drugs to patients with chronic pain. Some of these patients found themselves hooked. And then, instead of sticking with these relatively expensive prescription narcotics, some began injecting heroin, for the better high and lower cost. America’s prescription opioid and heroin epidemics were merging into a single monster, one with tentacles that seemed to be everywhere, slowly strangling young and old.

Source: How Scientists Gained the Ability to Reverse Overdoses

It’s an involved, interesting and balanced article.  It addresses the concerns that reversing an overdose enables addicts, and how the drug works (receptor antagonist).

Did you know that heroin was originally a trademark?  Like hoover and xerox, trademark names that became so commonplace the branding lost significance.