We receive a number of vaccines when we’re young to prevent diseases like polio, chickenpox, and measles. Within the next 10 years, researchers hope to develop vaccines to prevent more types of illness — everything from STDs to malaria to cancer. Here are the diseases we may one day be able to prevent thanks to advancing medicine.
Like other opioids, heroin quickly binds to receptors in your brain located in areas involved in feeling pain and pleasure and controlling your heart rate. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, long-term heroin use can damage your kidneys, liver, and lungs, as well as alter your brain. The drug is also highly addictive, and people build up tolerance over time, increasing their overdose risk.
According to Live Science, a vaccine to prevent heroine addiction would train the immune system to resist the drug molecules as if they were a virus. Defending the body against this new threat, antibodies would block heroin from entering your system — eliminating the “high” the drug produces. Researchers hope this could discourage users from overusing heroin for these purposes.