Drug addiction and rampant abuse of narcotics is a major problem affecting young people worldwide, and cocaine is one of the most addictive and devastating among these since US alone reports thousands of deaths due to use of cocaine.
Drug related conflicts over the years have resulted in lakhs of deaths as addiction among young people fuels a demand for cocaine and heroine among other substances. This has created a necessity for coming up with ways to counter dependency.
While various campaigns are being backed by governments across the world to raise awareness against drugs and rehabilitation of youth already addicted to cocaine, researchers in Brazil have just moved a step closer to developing a vaccine to combat this crisis.
Professor Angelo de Fatima, of the Organic Chemistry department at the Federal University of Minas Gerais said, "We are developing a molecule to stimulate the production of antibodies by the immune system against cocaine. These antibodies bind to the cocaine, preventing it from reaching the brain and reducing the drug's euphoric effects, which is what will lead users to lose interest in its use. "
As the vaccine in Brazil has been under development for two years and is now being tested on animals, a similar effort is also underway in the US.
Although cocaine consumption has been rising across the world, in Brazil it still stands at four times the global average.