The antibodies bind the cocaine and prevent it from acting on the brain, so even though the drug may be ingested, the person will not get high. This has been shown to prevent relapses among addicts and help people to recover from this addiction. The protection is not permanent; as with some other vaccines, boosters would be needed to maintain "immunity" to cocaine. The controversy that is now ensuing centers around the idea that parents may decide it is worthwhile to vaccinate their children against cocaine--to prevent the initial high and hence any possible addiction. Unfortunately we don't have vaccines for all the possible drugs their children may encounter. It's interesting to contemplate, though. What if?
Cocaine is the second most commonly abused drug after alcohol and the average age of a cocaine user is 42. Most cocaine addicts are treated by physicians or psychiatrists in drug rehabilitation centers. Due to the high relapse rate associated with current therapies, Kosten said, there is a clear need for an effective treatment to be used alongside a behavioral program.