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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Cocaine vaccination a real possibility?

By Melissa Bell
cocaine
In Mexico City, the military has a museum used to train officials, diplomats and cadets about the war on drugs. Samples of various drugs including cocaine are labeled in a glass case. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

A literal cocaine buzz killer may have been discovered by a group of doctors in California and New York.

A medical study published in the Molecular Therapy journal reports that an anti-cocaine vaccine may help reverse cocaine addiction. The doctors combined a cocaine-like molecule with part of the common cold virus, the science blog io9 reports. It works like many vaccines by triggering the immune system to kick out the unwanted cocaine molecule. Normally, the body does not respond hostilely to cocaine, but the vaccine would make the body attack and kill cocaine before it can reach the brain's pleasure center.

The vaccine was tested on mice and successfully worked to destroy any cocaine that entered their bodies. Taking the kick out of cocaine may help ween addicts off their dependency.

By Melissa Bell  | January 7, 2011; 11:00 AM ET
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