Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cocaine Vaccine's Effectiveness Depends on Dosage

I have an article about the new cocain vaccine forthcoming in the Rutgers Journal of Law and Urban Policy, and I follow the news stories about it avidly (I've also had the opportunity to meet and correspond with Thomas Kosten at Yale, the lead researcher on the vaccine's development). The cocain vaccine involves a series of inoculation shots that render the body immune to cocaine - ingesting it produces no effects (the user gets no "high" from it, and also cannot overdose), and the body flushes it out of the system. Developed as a treatment tool, it poses interesting policy questions as a possible condition of parole (because so many felons have a drug history), a condition of welfare payments (to ensure the recipients do not spend their welfare checks on crack or cocaine), or other things (admission into private colleges, employment as an air traffic controller, participation in profession sports, etc.). I'd be happy to forward a draft to those who are interested, and would love to correspond with others researching in the same area.