New research from a team of scientists at the University of Houston aims to create a vaccine to block the powerful opioid fentanyl, which is the top cause of overdose deaths in America. The vaccine is meant for people who already struggle with opioid addiction and hope to break the cycle. For fentanyl addicts, Medication-Assisted Treatment is considered the gold standard of care. However, a “vaccine” of this type could be a game-changer for preventing relapse from opioid use disorder.
Fentanyl is now responsible for the majority of overdose deaths in America. The drug, 50 to 100 times stronger than opioids, is often added to other drugs such as cocaine or Oxy. Some users die because they have no tolerance for opioids. Nearly 150 people die a day from fentanyl overdoses.