We’re Getting Closer to Vaccines to Combat Drug Addiction

In the United States, 115 people die as the result of an opioid drug overdose every day. This statistic, gathered as part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) work to understand and combat the current epidemic of opioid drug abuse in America is even more startling when you compare it to figures from the last twenty years or so. In 2016, the number of deaths attributed to an overdose of a drug like heroin or prescription opioid painkillers was five times what it was in 1999.

One of the driving forces behind this epidemic has already been determined: medical professionals over-prescribing opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone, to patients, a practice that is not only completely legal but increasingly common. Many people begin taking the drug legally but become dependent on it. When the prescription runs out and they are no longer able to get it filled, they may try to obtain it illegally. They may be motivated to buy or steal medication to help combat their pain. Some patients end up taking illegal street drugs, like heroin, in an attempt to treat the withdrawals from the opioid medications they were initially prescribed.

Drug addiction is extremely difficult to treat. Addictions that begin as the result of taking legally-prescribed medication, often as a treatment for severe or chronic pain, are even more so. That’s one reason that researchers have been trying to find entirely new avenues for treating drug addiction.

A team of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute recently published their work on the development of a potential vaccine to treat heroin addiction. The idea behind it is fairly intuitive, and in fact, the basic concept has been known to researchers since at least the 1970s.

Like any immunization, an “antiheroin” vaccine would cause a person’s body to create the antibodies that bind to heroin in the blood. Then, it would prevent the drug from crossing the blood-brain barrier, which is what gives the user a high. The theory being that if the drug user no longer felt the effect of the drug, it would be far less likely that they’d relapse.

Other research teams are working on similar vaccines that could be used to treat people addicted to cocaine, or even as a potential treatment for cigarette smokers who are addicted to nicotine. Whether prescription opioid painkillers, heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, nicotine, or even alcohol, the need for new, innovative, ways to address addiction is severe. Given the sheer number of people addicted and dying each year as a result and the distressing lack of available options for treatment, the need for drastic intervention is clear.

“We’re looking for everything and anything,” R. Corey Waller, a practicing addiction specialist and chair of the legislative advocacy committee of the American Society of Addiction Medicine told Chemical and Engineering News “We don’t care if it’s voodoo, unicorns, or rainbows; we’ll take it.”

At present, the biggest challenge is finding the scientific magic that would allow these treatments to work in humans. While they have proven effective in lab animals, the results of the few human clinical trials to date have been disappointing. That was over a decade ago, though, and the failure of those trials gave researchers valuable insight into what needed to be revamped.

It’s only a matter of time before they’ll be able to try again, but those who specialize in substance abuse treatment remain cautiously optimistic. They know, perhaps better than anyone else other than the addicts themselves, just how hard it is to treat drug addiction. “The vaccines seem very promising, and they’re novel, providing a different mechanism to prevent substance abuse,” Kelly E. Dunn, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavior Science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told Chemical and Engineering News. “But there is still a lot of work to do.”

The post We’re Getting Closer to Vaccines to Combat Drug Addiction appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

How to Delete Instead of Archive Your Emails on iPhone

Email inboxes fill up quickly, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the ever-increasing pile of unopened messages in your inbox. That’s why it’s so helpful to be able to check your email on your iPhone; even a few minutes of deleting emails here and there can make a big difference.  If you’ve connected your Gmail account to the iOS mail app on your iPhone you may have noticed that the option to delete isn’t offered by the iOS mail app. Instead, you’re given three choices: Mark, Move, or Archive. Where do archived emails go? Choosing archive means the email will be moved out of your inbox and sent to an archive folder, but it’s still available if you want to open or re-read it later. So many emails don’t even need to be read a first time, though, much less archived! It’s time to learn how to delete google emails on iPhone, rather than archiving them. Inbox zero, here we come! 

Related: My Mail App Icon Disappeared from My iPhone Home Screen. How Do I Get It Back? (UPDATED FOR IOS 11) 

How to Delete Instead of Archive Your Emails on iPhone

First you’ll need to get to your Gmail inbox in the iOS Mail app, then you can go about deleting unwanted emails. (You can also select only emails sent to your Google address while in All Inboxes) As you’re about to see, this tip applies to me and my inbox in a very real way. Try not to faint.

  • Open your Mail app.
  • Tap on your Gmail inbox.

  • Tap Edit at the top of the screen, a blank circle appears to the left of each message, tap to check the ones you’d like to delete.
  • 3D Touch the Archive button at the bottom right of the screen. (This simply means firmly press your finger on the button rather than tapping it.)

  • Tap the “Trash Selected Messages” option.

Congratulations! You can now go about the process of deleting unwanted emails from your Gmail inbox, rather than Archiving them. Hopefully, you don’t have as many to delete as I do!

Top image credit: quangmooo / Shutterstock.com

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‘Evoland 2’ Is Coming to Mobile After All, Releases February 28th for iOS

Playdigious and Shiro Games are bringing Evoland 2 to iOS and Apple TV after all. Little under two years ago, we were told the follow up to Evoland [$ 4.99] would not be making its way to iOS for a few reasons. We found it odd at the time and are glad to see the publisher and developer have both changed their mind here. Evoland 2 was built on the Haxe engine that the team found hard to work with for mobile. It also took a lot of effort to get the controls working well for touch screens. Watch the mobile announcement trailer below:

The Evoland franchise has over a million copies sold and to celebrate the upcoming release of Evoland 2, the original game is down to its lowest price ever of $ 0.99. If you’re in a region with lower regional pricing, it is even lower than the equivalent of a dollar right now. The game also just got iPhone X support if you’ve wanted to relive how RPGs changed over the years on the most powerful portable available right now.

Evoland 2 has controller support on iOS and is optimized for iPhone X from the get go. I’m glad they changed their mind and actually got Evoland 2 running on not just mobile but Apple TV as well. You can sign up to be notified for news about it here. Evoland 2 releases on the App Store on February 28th. Here’s the forum thread for the original Evoland if you want to see what people have been saying about it.

TouchArcade

Ampler returns with three improved e-bikes for daily commuters

Ampler Bikes is the plucky electric bicycle startup founded by a trio of childhood friends in Estonia. The company has shipped more than 800 smart bikes to 21 countries since the conclusion of its successful Indiegogo campaign in 2016, according to Ampler’s founders. Now they’re back with three new pedal-assist models that incorporate customer feedback to improve the overall commuting experience. The Curt, Stout, and Stellar models are all handmade in Tallinn with an estimated range of 70 km (43.5 miles) on a single charge from a integrated 336Wh battery and 250 watt rear motor.

The sporty Ampler Curt with deep rims and straight handlebars is my favorite model, available in both single- and 10-speed versions with an optional Gates Carbon…

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