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New cocaine vaccine may better block drug's high

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A study on enhancements to a current cocaine vaccine shows promise in blocking the drug’s “high.” A press release from Duke Health says a new ingredient added to a cocaine vaccine appears to enhance the vaccine’s ability to block the drug’s high. The vaccine is administered via nasal drops and helps the body’s immune system to create antibody responses against cocaine. Senior author of the study Herman Staats is a professor at Duke’s Department of Pathology. He says antibody responses that block the activity of the drug could prevent the feeling of euphoria the drug typically gives, allowing a user to better remain in treatment programs. The vaccine’s new formulation has so far only been tested with mice.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.