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Fentanyl Vaccine Breakthrough – Potential “Game Changer” for Opioid Epidemic (scitechdaily.com)
22 points by bubblehack3r 9 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments

1. Patient’s life is so chaotic and devoid of meaning that they seek out powerful drugs to live in an alternate reality despite the fact that it’s slowly killing them.

2. Society says “Oh no, you are suffering, let us help you”.

3. Instead of fixing society’s ills that caused this person’s suffering (too hard right now), society says “Hey you know that medicine you take all the time? We’ll inject you with this and then it won’t work any more. Now you can enjoy reality!”

4. The doctors leave and the patient is once again alone. Patient kills themselves.

5. No more suffering! Society solved the problem!

I agree.

At the same time, I can see this as being a useful tool for saving lives.

It's funny I'm seeing this actually. I'm actually on kratom right now, I bought some earlier today. I didn't really want to, I don't want to be on kratom because it's opiod like and expensive and can cause dependence. But I was getting so down that I was seriously worried I was going to kill myself, so I took it as an antidepressant.

I suffer from treatment resistant depression. Part of it is genetic (depression runs in my family) and I'm sure a lot of it is environmental (being minor attracted in our current society fills me with feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness) After trying a bunch of different SSRIs and SNRIs, I finally found a treatment that worked: Ketamine. I went to a clinic and got infusions, then was given take-home troches. It was amazing. Every time I started to get depressed (every few weeks), I would take a troche and abort that cycle of depression. My friends couldn't believe it. That combined with self-practiced CBT has really helped.

However I recently moved and no clinic in my area will offer prescription ketamine due to concerns about abuse. Okay, whatever...I could go in and get infusions. But every infusion costs ~$500 per session. Ketamine is prescribed off-label for depression, so insurance does not cover it. That's because nobody has funded the clinical trials necessary for the FDA to approve ketamine for depression. Despite the fact that everybody knows it's one of the best treatments for depression, it's generic, so drug companies have no profit incentive. There's esketmaine, but I've heard mixed reviews and popular opinion seems to point that it isn't nearly as effective.

I wonder how many millions and millions of people, including people who are using opiods as an antidepressant, would benefit if some group (maybe the government) would just pay to get ketamine on-label for depression, and thus covered by insurance. I feel like that would do more to lower opioid abuse than a million high school DARE presentations...

Your username is utterly unacceptable. Children should not be sexualized and you’ve gone even further than that by sexually objectifying them. Do not continue down this path. Turn around. Go back. Fix what you need to fix. The self-loathing and worthlessness you feel right now is unfortunate but it’s an accurate assessment. You need to improve because your current state is unacceptable.

What’s interesting though is that it doesn’t prevent morphine from working, so they could still abuse opiates, it’s just more expensive.


1. Some people want to do cocaine or ecstasy a couple of times a year.

2. They don’t die from a fentanyl overdose.

3. Success!

I accept that use case but I don’t think “safer recreational drug use” is the heroic victory that the researchers or the scientific press were hoping for.

Preventing people from accidentally dying from overdose seems like a pretty worthy goal.

I feel like the recreation cocaine/Molly user base is much higher and preventable deaths there are much easier to well… prevent.

So a person takes enough to die while chasing the high … (that they can no longer get)

Vaccines to save us from ourselves ? I’m not sure about this one.

Why tackle the effect when we need to address the root causation ? Why is a person abusing opiates to begin with and how can we help them without enabling them further?

there is no need for fentanyl vaccine. Junkies who chase high will just switch to something else and OD themselves.

The psychological dependency on drugs should be treated, but this is much harder problem tightly coupled with larger societal problems. I would love to read research on differences in drug problems in countries with less societal stress and more happiness vs more stress and less happiness.

In the end fentanyl is simply a painkiller, people choose to get high to run away from their life problems. In the mind of patient, the risk of getting OD and becoming drug addict is a better decision, rather than facing grim reality of their daily life and future prospects.

While I agree with the sentiment behind your post, especially regarding reexamining our society, I think you're coming off as a little overly cynical.

This vaccine seems to be a promising tool to preventing people in treatment (or people who come across fentanyl by accident) from overdosing. In principle at least, that seems like a positive thing for me. It's not a silver bullet, but what is? Addiction is a hard problem...

> The psychological dependency on drugs should be treated

Current addiction treatments tend to approach the problem from multiple directions, but in the end it has to be a decision from the affected person.

If this vaccine actually works it can give them a leg up while they explore the underlying psychological problems that led them to substance addiction in the first place.

This doesnt mention that fentanyl is used widely in anesthesia and emergency medicine (weirdly enough, its the safest opiate in this setting). Not sure doctors want to just give this away.

It does touch on that point:

> The anti-fentanyl antibodies were specific to fentanyl and a fentanyl derivative and did not cross-react with other opioids, such as morphine. That means a vaccinated person would still be able to be treated for pain relief with other opioids

The idea is to remove the fentanyl's effect while keeping the effect of other opioids that are harder to get. The issue with fentanyl isn't the drug use itself, it's the fact that it's too potent for the level of carelessness of your typical dealer/junkie. They can still get high on heroin with a lesser risk of dying.

Actual fentanyl is used widely in medical settings though. I had a surgery last week and received it quite a few times during anesthesia and after. I received Morphine a number of times during the recovery as well, but presumably there is a reason they chose to use the former during surgery & early recovery.

My understanding is that fentanyl is safer because the amount needed to overdose is 10x what's given in a medical setting while other opiates are 2x. These numbers are made up but something like that

> which is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Consumption of about 2 milligrams of fentanyl (the size of two grains of rice) is likely to be fatal depending on a person’s size.

I don't understand why they keep bringing this up when they talk about fentanyl. Vitamin D doses are measured in micrograms. The daily recommended dose is 10 micrograms. Can you accidentally ingest 2 milligrams of Vitamin D? Unlikely; the pills with the maximum dose are listed at 5000 IU, which translates to 0.125 mg. You'd need to swallow 16 such pills, and that requires quite a deliberate act.

> I don't understand why they keep bringing this up when they talk about fentanyl.

Because when the lethal dose is 2 mg, it's very easy for a careless dealer to make a bad mix and kill their customers. Fentanyl is cheap so you can cut everything with it to make it "stronger", but then you have some end user that usually consumes weaker stuff getting a deadly dose of fentanyl by accident.

Well, I'm obviously not an expert, but can't the (illegal lab) producers just deliver fentanyl in low concentrations? Just like Vitamin D? I imagine the dealers don't want their customers to die. Why do they need to have pure Fentanyl anywhere? Why don't labs just mix Fentanyl with starch, let's say, in a 1:1000 ratio? My guess is that actually that's exactly what they do, it would be really a rookie mistake to not do that. And all those fentanyl deaths are not because fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, they are just old fashioned overdoses - people who used to shoot often, took a break, lost their tolerance, and then used again at the dose they couldn't tolerate anymore.

Everyone involved in the supply chain has a motivation to dilute their product to make more money. There aren’t any standards on who dilutes the product, or by how much, nor is there any guarantee the dilution is done in a reliable way. Thus, end users get a product and don’t have any real idea what it contains or how pure it is.

Because this is a major cause of overdoses. When the potency is that high, and you have sketchy clandestine labs and criminal gangs cutting other drugs with it, the amount of fentanyl becomes a (very dangerous) unknown. People cutting fentanyl into other drugs are not known for a doing a laboratory job of mixing it.

This sounds like a vodka vaccine for some addicted to vodka. Odds are they will just switch to whiskey or something else.

The bigger issue is someone who enjoys vodka, but ends up with a lethal dose of something like fentanyl added without their permission to make it stronger to the point where they OD after a single shot. Obviously this doesn't happen in drinks, but rather, with cocaine and its ilk.

To me at least this sure seems to be a bizarre use of the word: Vaccine.

Given that it works through anti-bodies it doesn't seem that odd?

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