A new vaccine could be the answer for many alcoholics looking to quit. A new vaccine developed in Chile uses a terrible hangover as a way to help people stop drinking.
The new treatment, which was developed by scientists at the University of Chile works by sending a signal to the liver that tells it not to process alcohol. This not only means the person drinking would stop processing alcohol, it also means the liver will not metabolise the hangover causing chemical called acetaldehyde. That means when a person who is vaccinated has so much as one drink, they immediately develop a truly horrendous hangover.
Some of the specific effects include severe nausea, elevated heartbeat, and general discomfort.
What makes this so important is the fact that this new vaccine is both long lasting and irreversible. Current tests show it works for between 6 months and a year. Once someone has been given a dose, there is now way to counteract the process, the person will simply have to wait for the drug to wear off.
Currently the drug is being tested in mice but human trials are set to start this November.
While it is not a cure for alcoholism, it could be a very helpful tool in treating one of the symptoms. Alcoholism often has an underlying cause such as depression or other social problems which means that this vaccine could be paired with more conventional treatment.
The idea for the vaccine is came after scientists found that certain groups of people have a mutation that hampers their ability to process alcohol. The treatment simply replicates that process providing a very unpleasant hangover for anyone who decides to drink while vaccinated.
Currently there are drugs that work in the same way as this new injection. The difference is in the delivery and effective time. The current drugs are all pills which wear off quickly. This means alcoholics can simply choose to stop taking the medication and begin drinking.
If the new vaccine is approved for human consumption, it could make a global impact and help people everywhere who are struggling with alcohol dependency.