Alcoholism Vaccine

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Alcoholism Vaccine
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 1:53pm

Scientists in Chile are going to be starting preclinical trials for the world's first ever alcoholism vaccination.  The vaccine works for about six months, and gives the feeling of a hangover with just a mouthful of alcohol.  You can read more about the vaccine at this link:

This is a pretty interesting concept, but wondering think it raises some questions.  Could courts mandate that a person with several DUIs get the vaccine over a period of time?  Could a parent get it for their underage teen if they are worried they are going out and partying without their knowledge?  I think it has a lot of benefits, do you think it's a good idea? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sat, 04-06-2013 - 4:36pm

Even if the vaccine stopped someone from drinking, it might not help with other addictive disorders.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Sun, 02-10-2013 - 7:17am

I really hope this vaccine works.  I am allergic to alcohol and within minutes of a sip of beer, wine or any hard liquors, I would get a nasty migraine and then just throw up!  I guess it's been a good thing.  It took me a while to realize I was allergic ~ I thought everyone got hangovers and, well, I was not the brightest teen. 

I have high hopes for this vaccine and for all the many people who have trouble with alcohol.  If the vaccine works like my body, the vaccinated person will be repulsed at the thought of beer, wine, etc. 

Something for us to follow...because whatever I've got really, really works!

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 12:43pm

The commentors of the article bring up quite a few valid points, a) this isn't a "vaccine":

Vaccines are given BEFORE someone gets sick and are meant to prevent illness by causing the body to start creating antibodies. There will never be a vaccine for alcoholism because alcoholism does not work that way. This is just a shot that functions as a behavioral modification devise.

As mentioned, you can preemptively give it to a teenager in hopes that if they do drink in the next 6 months it will invoke a reaction, but that's about it.  Second, they already have a medication on the market that does the same thing only in pill form.  If an alcoholic wants help and wants to take it, they will, if they don't, they won't, just as with the shot.  I'd like to see the statistics of how well things like this work without any sort of group/family support, behavior modification and counseling, sort of like smoking and the long term outcome of going cold turkey.    And as for courts mandating a medication, what happens if they don't have health insurance, or can't afford the vaccine or medication, will they then hold them in contempt and send them to jail, which they would have done in the first place, or will the tax payers pay for this medication also?  Or are we going to add it into the bill requiring us all to have health insurance that health insurance companies cover it?  I'm sorry, I think IMO that just crosses the line by requiring people to take a medication.  They can require breathalizers on cars to unlock it, they can do other things to help prevent them from driving, but if they want to do it, it doesn't matter how many checks and balances you put into place, they are going to do it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2012
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 4:44pm

Interesting concept for sure.

Being that my children have the "alcoholism gene", I think it skipped me as I have low interest in alcohol, I would have loved this for my son who is now in AA, or my godson, who is also in AA - or my one adult daughter who we all believe is an alcoholic but won't admit it.

It would have been good for me when I was a rebellious teen, probably would have avoided the almost alcohol poisoning when I was 15.

Would I use it on my kids? Not sure, if I thought they had a problem, it would be something I might consider. When they become adults, unfortunately there is nothing we can do but share our concerns, advice and experiences.

For those who have had a DUI, absolutely, that would be a good deterrent in my opinion.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Thu, 01-31-2013 - 3:03pm

Seems like a good idea to me!  I don't know about mandating the vaccine, but it is an interesting concept.  I wonder if it would help alcoholics on their first steps to recovery?


Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.~ Dr Seuss