The National Institute for Drug Abuse Is Working on a Serum That Will Make it Impossible to Get High

Last night's 60 Minutes featured an extensive interview with Nora Volkow, director of the National institute for Drug Abuse and Leon Trotsky's great granddaughter. The bulk of the segment is about how addiction is awful and how sad it was when Trotsky was murdered by Stalin's hit men. Toward the end of the segment, however, 60 Minutes got Volkow to talk about her end game: 

Narrator: Doctors did what they could, but Trotsky died a day later. He's buried in the family garden. Esteban Volkow went on to become a chemist who helped develop the birth control pill. Nora Volkow was born 15 years after Trotsky's death. Addicted, since childhood, to the pursuit of science.

Natalia Volkow: I think yes, we all have this sense of public service, social consciousness, responsibility towards not only yourself as individual, but for your society.

Narrator: The road from the house of ghosts in Mexico has taken Nora Volkow to a place of influence in Washington. She starts each day with a seven-mile run, getting a healthy dose of dopamine. And looking forward down the road, she sees a day when science might banish the curse of addiction.

Nora Volkow: A cure would be fantastic. And that means you get a medication like an antibiotic. I cure you.

Narrator: Volkow's labs and others around the country are working to develop vaccines to block drugs from entering the brain. The complexities are enormous, and progress is slow.

Nora Volkow: We're not there yet. But perhaps one day we may be. And in my brain, if you don't dare to think very ambitious things, you'll never be there.

End scene. 

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  • ||

    Hey, no problem, because I've been working on a "vaccine" to block the runner's high for a decade now.

  • R||

    I believe they already have something like that. they're called "Twinkies"; eat enough of them, and running no longer gets you high. It might get you low, though. Like, six feet below.

  • NeonCat||

    If (and that's a big if) she succeeds, then just as we currently see new drug analogues developed to get around various laws, we will see new drugs developed to get around her vaccines. The "designer drug" label bandied about in the early 90s will be more correct than ever.

  • Robert||

    No, if the effort succeeds, it will be so far down the pathways that it will block all pleasure from any experience. An anhedonia drug. Which will just be looked at as an interesting theoretic finding.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Didn't previous attempts to block drug receptors result in massive consumption of drugs by the test subjects in a vain attempt to get high?

    If that is the case, the only way to make it work would be to vaccinate people before they started using drugs. Somewhat Orwellian.

  • ||

    We have always been at war with Drugasia.

  • ||

    Didn't previous attempts to block drug receptors result in massive consumption of drugs by the test subjects in a vain attempt to get high?

    Yes, and many of those attempts with blocking drug receptor sites outright killed the test subjects.

  • DA||

    I'd wondered if this was the case after reading about the so-called "heroin vaccine" last week. I'm glad I was right, not that I wish for the death of addicts but because I get to put another notch in the folly of the drug war belt.

  • fish||

    Hey GM...wouldn't Narcan fall into this category?

  • ||

    No. Narcan is an antidote for opioid poisoning (read: overdose). I't not meant to prevent the euphoria associated that often accompanies opioid and partial agonist opioid drugs.

  • ||

  • Anacreon||

    There is another opioid antagonist, Naltrexone, which is long-acting and is used (mostly unsuccessfully) to treat opioid addicts. The mechanism of action is to interfere/prevent the euphoria of opiates.

    Problem is, one can overcome the blockade of Naltrexone if you do enough heroin, etc. Perhaps you use so much to overcome it to get high that you give yourself a lethal dose. Oops.

    Thus it really is only a sensible agent for people who are highly motivated not to use. Of course, highly motivated people probably don't need a drug which prevents them from using, or they can do well on methadone. The people who need a drug to prevent them from using are the ones who are at highest risk to OD trying to overcome Naltrexone.

  • fried wylie||

    many of those attempts with blocking drug receptor sites outright killed the test subjects

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  • nicole||

    If that is the case, the only way to make it work would be to vaccinate people before they started using drugs. Somewhat Orwellian.

    Sadly, I immediately assumed this was the strategy. After all, how many people would voluntarily get such a vaccine? So you gotta give it to the kids. Before they have a chance to know better or can do anything about it.

  • SIV||

    After all, how many people would voluntarily get such a vaccine?

    None?

  • Anacreon||

    Court-ordered, or people who would 'volunteer' to avoid jail. You are correct, very few who would be 'voluntary' in the pure sense.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It would be about as voluntary as having to take vaccines in order to enter school. No vaccine for drugs? No school.

    Because the government has your best interest at heart. They care so much they'd rather see you live a life without education than get high even once.

  • ||

    People like this woman scare the shit out of me. If she could wave a magic wand and take all the risk (and therefore enjoyment) out of life and condemn everyone to a joyless but safe existence, she would do it in a heartbeat and expect us all to thank her afterward.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There is nothing wrong with Natalia that a pick-axe to the skull wouldn't cure.

  • ||

    Let's put her on disulfram and give her lots screwdrivers. Popov vodka should suffice.

  • Anacreon||

    Hey GM, did you know there is a Korsakoff's brand Vodka? Wonder what that might lead to.

  • ||

    I wonder if she goes to Mexico often?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, she is a top-level bureaucrat in the drug wars. I'm sure she takes advantage of junkets to Cancun.

    I shall make a sacrifice to the gods of Poetic Justice.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I just hope she inherited the hair. She certainly deserves to.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Enough About Palin||

    Them are some creepy looking women.

  • ||

    Nora Volkow: Two paths to the future

    And both are paved with good intentions.

  • ||

    I've got her thank you right here.

  • TELLMOFF||

    Our rulers will put this drug into the water supply.

  • ||

    One drug to rule them all.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She's in danger of putting herself and a whole industry out of work.

  • ||

    This is actually a Tintin plot. Prof. Calculus invents a pill that makes whiskey undrinkable, then uses it on Capt. Haddock and a mestizo militia.

    And Spielberg can't make the Charles Lindbergh biopic because it's too politically incorrect.

  • ||

    Prof. Calculus invented disulfram?

  • DA||

    Stop acting the goat...everyone knows that he also invented the first rocket ship capable of a lunar landing. And a sound based device that can level entire cities!

  • AlmightyJB||

    So how about a dopamine helmet that constantly drips dopamine directly into your brain so then you wouldnt need drugs.

  • ||

    That, my friend, lies the way to schizophrenia.

  • Anacreon||

    But you could put people on haldol decanoate injections to prevent the dopamine from working for a month at a time, like a vaccine against the dopamine, and then .. oh yeah, we already have that. And it causes horrible dysfiguring long-term neurologic side effects.

  • Old Mexican||

    Next you know, people like that woman will want to release a gas onto the atmosphere and the air processors purported to reduce or eliminate the animalistic-agressive impulses in humans, with the goal of achieving the perfect society...

    You know how that ends...

  • Wilt Chamberlain||

    That reminds me of this story for some reason.
    http://creepypasta.wikia.com/w.....Experiment

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    It worked for 90% of the population IIRC. Just has a few kinks to work out that's all.

  • ||

    If by worked you mean that they stop doing anything at all and just died. The 10% that survived were the Reavers.

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    Like I said just a few kinks to work out. And it did eliminate the agressive impulses in those 90%.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well Football, basketball, hockey, and racing would suck. Baseball might make a comeback though.

  • Evil Otto||

    It was 0.1% that became Reavers actually.

  • ||

    A fate too horrible to mention - it turns an entire planet into Slipknot fans!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I thought that was Warty's High School yearbook photo.

  • Evil Otto||

    How the fuck were they able to manage and maintain spaceships when they're totally consumed by aggression? I mean, maybe there are a few of them at the beginning that are experts at space travel, but I find it hard to believe they engage in a massive training program to make their fellow Reavers useful.

    And how are there still so many of them alive after 10 years? Are there Reaver doctors, Reaver midwives, Reaver daycare for all the little tikes?

  • AuH2O||

    The thing about these people that piss me off is their version of getting high- clean living shit like running- is of course moral and ethical and should never ever be banned.

    Or if they enjoy a nice glass of wine, that is totally different than the guy who enjoys a joint.

    Fuck her, and fuck her commie granddaddy. How'd that work out for millions of Russians?

  • Proprietist||

    To Trotsky's credit, he was virulently opposed to Stalinism. He was an awful person/politician, but he could have potentially saved millions of Russians had he succeeded at replacing Lenin over Stalin.

  • Madler||

    His beef with Stalin was that Stalin was too weak. Of course, he said that from the comfort of exile, so we can't say how the USSR would've turned out if he had taken over from Lenin instead of Stalin. Lenin's NEP was essentially the same thing Deng Xiaoping instituted in China 60 years later, so if Trotsky had continued with that, then the USSR would've converted to capitalism pretty quickly.

    Either way, it's just speculation.

  • Proprietist||

    He was opposed to Stalin's totalitarianism, and supported at least the semblance of democracy.

  • Virginian||

    Allegedly.

    Sorry, I've never bought into the counterfactual where Trotsky makes the USSR semi decent.

    The problem is with Communism. It doesn't matter who you are, communism will always fail when applied on any level past an actual commune.

  • Killazontherun||

    The way he ran the army, I'm pretty certain he vocally supported democracy the same way Castro claims he supports democracy.

  • Enough About Palin||

    She sure's got a pretty mouth.

  • ||

    Is that Trotsky's head shot from his brief run as the lead in the Menshevik Internationalist Playhouse's production of "Eraserhead: The Musical"?

  • Enough About Palin||

    Oh, I thought that pic was the grand daughter

  • ||

    My god, an Eraserhead musical would be amazing beyond any capacity for rational thought. Someone needs to call David Lynch

  • Hugh Akston||

    I've got his phone number:

    310-4-donut-F-dwarf-penis-Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue"-5

  • ||

    That's amazing! I have the same combination on my luggage!

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    This won't affect my endorphine rush from peppers, right? Right?

  • Hyperion||

    Ugh, why can't these progressive luddites just go away already?, miserable wretched creatures that they be.

    The thing that makes people like this who spend their entire life obsessed with what other people are doing, busy body annoying fuckheads, is that people who are smarter than them and possess an enormous amount of greed lack of morals, will turn this into more conyism. This is how it works:

    1. Sick minded progressisve busy body goes on a crusade to help people

    2. Greedy and slimy person sees this as a business opportunity. In this case, marketing this virtuous new wonder drug.

    3. Politicians get involved and write new laws to mandate forced use of virtuous new wonder drug onto society.

    Right there is pretty much everything that is wrong with society today, brought to you by the progressive fucktards.

  • juris imprudent||

    Sick minded progressisve busy body goes on a crusade to help people

    These are the ones that C.S. Lewis warned you about.

  • Madler||

    It's Nora, not Natalia, to begin with.

    Second of all, the way this has been presented here is worthy of the worst kind of narrative-manipulating mainstream journalism.

    Dr. Volkow has absolutely no interest in stopping people from doing drugs of they're okay with it. Her research focuses specifically on addiction as a disease. There are people whose lives are destroyed by it. There are people who would gladly receive such a vaccine.

    Libertarians are supposed to be the smart, data-driven, reality-focused ones. Try to keep that in mind next time you get the urge to engage in ignorant, irresponsible smears like this. You make libertarians look stupid and you make enemies of people who agree with you.

  • ||

    U mad, bro?

  • Madler||

    Yeah, I'm mad. It's black-helicopter conspiracy theory bullshit like this that gives libertarians a bad name.

  • SugarFree||

    Thank Jeebus you are here to protect us from ourselves. Just like the brave folks from the National Institute for Drug Abuse.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Libertarians are supposed to be the smart, data-driven, reality-focused ones. Try to keep that in mind next time you get the urge to engage in ignorant, irresponsible smears like this.

    First time here?

  • Enough About Palin||

    Dr. Volkow has absolutely no interest in stopping people from doing drugs of they're okay with it. Her research focuses specifically on addiction fatal car accidents as a disease. There are people whose lives are destroyed by it.

  • Madler||

    You don't think there are people who are addicted to drugs and don't want to be?

  • SIV||

    Not really

  • Evil Otto||

    You're insane.

  • robc||

    If they didnt want to be, they would stop using.

  • robc||

    You don't think there are people who are addicted to drugs and don't want to be?

    Paging Dr. Szasz. Dr. Szasz to the white courtesy phone.

  • ||

    Libertarians are supposed to be the smart, data-driven, reality-focused ones.

    *chuckle* Welcome to TEAM GOLD!

  • ||

    Hey, I like that. And since Team Red/Blue -> Meat Be Ruled...

    Team Gold -> Metal God

  • robc||

    Libertarians are supposed to be the smart, data-driven, reality-focused ones.

    Fuck that shit. Im smart enough to avoid that. That reeks of utilitarianism.

    And my views on that are well known around here.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Why so serious?

  • ||

    I agree with you. A cure for addiction would be wonderful.

  • Anomalous||

    From what I've seen of NIDA research, this won't happen any time soon.

  • Hyperion||

    Hopefully, never. This is a bad, bad, bad idea. It WILL, not maybe, WILL turn into another crony industry like drug testing, and most people who will use this drug will be forced to use it by the court, not people who want to use it. Fuck that.

  • SIV||

    There's too many moneys that need push-bar cocaine IVs.

  • Madler||

    Not only that, but guilty by association? Really? Is that something a movement associated with Ron Paul wants to start doing? No, it's not. Again, libertarians are the ones who >don't< engage in guilt by association. We're the smart ones, remember? We know the data, we read the court opinions, we know the reality behind the slanted media takes that everyone on teams Red and Blue feeds off of.

    Lastly, Dr. Volkow's research is world famous. Two seconds of research on the interwebs could've provided you with the inkling of background that would've prevented you from embarrassing yourself with this disgusting attack.

  • Enough About Palin||

    So Madler, what does the ler stand for?

  • Madler||

    Hah, good one. Not mad in general, just at this embarrassing piece.

  • Old Mexican||

    Nora Volkow: A cure would be fantastic. And that means you get a medication like an antibiotic. I cure you.


    Yes, "fantastic" would be the proper word here - etymologically speaking.

  • RPR2||

    what an icepickable face

  • Hyperion||

    At first, I thought she was that crazy prohibition lady that carried around a hatchet, especially with the archaic looking photo and hair and all. Molly Hatchet, was that her? No, that was a band.. hmmm, can't think of her name, but she was another mentally ill progressive out on a crusade to save all of us heathens from ourselves.

  • ||

    Carrie Nation.

  • Voros McCracken||

    He got an icepick, that made his ears burn.

  • ||

    Literal mind control. Fuck that shit.

  • Evil Otto||

    Just wait till we have a vaccine against glibness.

  • Madler||

    Ha! Hours later and the moron who transcribed this still hasn't fixed the name.

  • Mizchief||

    "We're not there yet. But perhaps one day we may be. And in my brain, if you don't dare to think very ambitious things, you'll never be there."

    If only there was some kind of substance you could take that would expand your creativity so that you could prevent such drugs from entering your brain.

  • wef||

    We're not there yet. But perhaps one day we may be. And in my brain, if you don't dare to think very ambitious things, you'll never be there. 

    When I think of a Trotsky brain · god help me · I think of icepicks.

  • Drake||

    This comment thread went full-retard. So research into curing addiction = anti-drug prohibition? Paranoid much?

    I've known enough addicts to hope that better cures are developed.

  • ||

    Agreed.

  • ||

    Yeah, talk about overreaction to a potential tool.

  • John C. Randolph||

    So, totalitarianism runs in families?

    -jcr

  • Just Dropping By||

    Seeeing her name, I can't help but think of how the Volkov family were the "big bads" of season 4 of Chuck.

  • ||

    I am going to poop on the party and say this is a good thing. It's not about taking away human pleasure, it's about helping people beat addictions.

    Which aren't fun or pleasurable in the long run.

    Heck, maybe if people could get un-addicted more easily, society wouldn't need to rely on shunning or prohibition to deal with drug addicts. It would become just another curable sickness.

  • Drake||

    ^^^^ Yes! ^^^^

    The real damage to society of drugs and alcohol isn't a fun night. It's the 5% or whatever, who can't handle the stuff and / or become addicted.

    A cure from addiction = elimination of the biggest reason for Prohibition.

  • ||

    I think a lot of you guys are overreacting. All she's talking about is a way to block addiction. I know I'd sure like to be able to, say, drink alcohol without getting drunk. It'd still taste like shit, but I'd certainly be more willing to try it. All she's talking about is creating a tool, it's up to people to decide how to use it. Are there risks that interfering jerks would try to make something like that mandatory? Sure, but that's no reason not to develop something as potentially useful as this. Really though, I'll be satisfied as long as they can come out with those anti-cancer trait genetic-code-rewriting pills.

    Second of all, the way this has been presented here is worthy of the worst kind of narrative-manipulating mainstream journalism.

    Madler? You're overreacting too. The article isn't "narrative-manipulating", IT IS THE NARRATIVE ITSELF, along with a short introduction. It doesn't even go into any commentary about it, let alone any commentary that being able to block addiction or drugs is decidedly "evil" or anything. Get off your moralistic high horse.

  • Madler||

    Right. You can pretend that that wasn't the intended message, but look at the dittoheads in the comments - they got the message loud and clear.

  • ||

    Sure, because THEY'RE the ones who wrote the article, right? Just like the commenters on EVERY website; even those websites with a majority of commenters that DISAGREE with the article in question are surely IN CAHOOTS with the article writer. Paranoid much? I mostly definitely CAN say that wasn't the "intended message" because there obviously WASN'T an intended message. Article ommenters /=/ article writer. Like I said, get off your moralistic high horse and stop pretending the article says something it doesn't. I can't read minds, but it seems like you just want an excuse to bash Reason, even if you have to make up one.

  • dentedego||

    Great to hear about that. Well, the high dose really affects a lot on drug cases. I think the serum once tested, then if its uses in rehab programs then it will really wrathful.
    Dentedego.com is really great supporting network in the world that helps a lot.

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