The very concept of a vaccine effective in treating compulsive use of substances – celebrated, not questioned by media – is symptom of the vacuum of thought and competence generating and worsening lethal crises

by Clark Miller

Published April 9, 2023

The headlines are quite exciting and hopeful. They are “SMART NEWS”

Headline Smithsonian Magazine

Now, researchers at the University of Houston say in a statement they have a potential solution that could be a “game-changer” in the fight against opioid overdoses: a new vaccine that blocks fentanyl from entering the brain. 

In a study published in Pharmaceutics, scientists tested their vaccine on 60 rats. The immunized animals could produce anti-fentanyl antibodies that stop the drug’s effects, allowing it to exit out of the body via the kidneys. This blocks the “high” caused by fentanyl, and it would theoretically make it easier for people to quit using the drug or avoid a relapse.

That makes total sense! 

Doesn’t it?

Someone whose compulsion to alter mood is powerful enough  to drive high-risk use of illicit fentanyl would have come to the point of being ready to quit and voluntarily been vaccinated. Then, for some inexplicable, unpredictable reason, felt the same need to alter mood again, to escape whatever psychic/emotional pain was driving the fentanyl use – to “relapse” – and would (perhaps forgetting they had been vaccinated?) use fentanyl, and . . .  Dang it! No relief, no high. Now they are a bit piqued, but completely stumped, and completely safe from problem, high-risk, potentially life-threatening use of a substance because although they knew just where to go for the fentanyl, they can’t, for the life of them, think of where to get heroin, or “subs” to mix with benzos, or some pills, or tranq, or alcohol or. . . 

See? It works, to avoid a relapse. 

[This is almost fun, isn’t it? Outing the absurd idiocy of it all? Not really, tho. That idiocy, over decades and decades and $billions and billions of public healthcare and research funds, has been quite lethal.] 

But ignore all of that I just wrote. I didn’t really mean it. And it was disrespectful to America’s top, trusted experts managing our public healthcare crises that have attacked America like a plague. Where would we be without their expertise and proven treatments and anti-addiction drugs? Hard to imagine. 

The last thing we should do is question a consensus of America’s top medical and public health experts and our watchdog media. 

And there is a consensus – 

“We’re at an exciting point, is where we are,” said Dr. Colin Haile, who’s leading a team of researchers at the University of Houston. “We’ve built a vaccine that can immunize an individual against Fentanyl.”

The vaccine works by generating antibodies against the powerful opioid and preventing it from entering the brain.

“If the drug does not get into the brain, there are no effects — there are no euphoric effects and no lethal effects as well,” said Dr. Haile.

See?  It’s exciting. 

Exciting to imagine America’s vulnerable, trapped in street economies of desperate use of opioids laced with whatever new, potentially lethal additive is in the supply, lining up to get the vaccine that will deprive them of the only relief they know from psychic pain and fear. 

Visualize it.


Do you see?  

If it ultimately proves to be effective, an opioid vaccine would be an “important and lifesaving option,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “We need as many effective tools as possible to accelerate our ability to prevent and treat opioid use disorder and overdose.”


Even more options from America’s top experts that are lifesaving. 

And to “accelerate” – that is, to speed up, to advance even more quickly the progress experts are making in their “ability to prevent and treat opioid use disorder and overdose”. That ability evident over past decades of our trust in their expert knowledge and effective use of $billions and billions in public healthcare funds.

That ability, now soon to be even accelerated, surely evident in some way and forms over past decades. Surely. 

No one conceivably would lie or deceive about something like that. 

“We believe these findings could have a significant impact on a very serious problem plaguing society for years—opioid misuse. Our vaccine is able to generate anti-fentanyl antibodies that bind to the consumed fentanyl and prevent it from entering the brain, allowing it to be eliminated out of the body via the kidneys. Thus, the individual will not feel the euphoric effects and can ‘get back on the wagon’ to sobriety,”


Like I said, it’s a plague, attacking America. Out of nowhere. Like a virus. Unexplainable. 

Back on the wagon to sobriety. Once vaccinated. The wagon so many are on nowadays with the accelerating treatments America’s medical experts are providing. 

Here comes the wagon. Bring out your dead. OMG! Where did that dark thought come from? NOT that wagon! Please ignore that. 

Headline Sci Tech Daily

A new vaccine has been developed that targets the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl that could block its ability to enter the brain, thus eliminating the drug’s “high.” The breakthrough discovery could have major implications for the nation’s opioid epidemic by becoming a relapse prevention agent for people trying to quit using opioids.

Do you see?

Accelerated – “has been developed”, we have the vaccine! 

No wonder American media are celebrating and assuring us of a “breakthrough“. 

And it makes total sense. Once that “high” from fentanyl is no longer possible, no relapse, no options for getting that “high” from dangerous substance use. 

Headline Medscape

The vaccine prevents fentanyl from entering the brain. “Thus, the individual will not feel the euphoric effects and can ‘get back on the wagon’ to sobriety,” lead investigator Colin Haile, MD, PhD, with University of Houston in Texas and founding member of the UH Drug Discovery Institute, said in a news release. The study was published online October 26 in the journal Pharmaceutics.

“The anti-fentanyl antibodies were specific to fentanyl and a fentanyl derivative and did not cross-react with other opioids, such as morphine. That means a vaccinated person would still be able to be treated for pain relief with other opioids,” said Haile.

specific to fentanyl and a fentanyl derivative and did not cross-react with other opioids

Do you see? 

See how thoughtfulness, intelligence, and ethical commitment to patient care  and public well-being are driving this research and use of public healthcare funds to pay for it all? 

The vaccine for fentanyl, as it solves the opioid crisis along with American Medicine’s other proven approaches, will not interfere with your doctor hooking you up with opioids for your common chronic pain, or your use of any other opioids. Because it’s the fentanyl – that’s the problem. Everybody knows that.

And not interfere with other opioids on the street now or in the perpetual illicit pipeline 

Like tranq dope in emerging fentanyl cocktails – 

The Narcan-resistant combinations increasing present on the street in San Francisco and in Philadelphia, being used to return to desired effects of the heroin less available now –  

. . . may be the result of increasing demand for xylazine among people who use drugs in Philadelphia and/or changes in the illicit drug market as drug seizure data indicate that xylazine is increasing in polydrug samples. Indeed, focus groups with people who use drugs in Philadelphia have suggested that the addition of xylazine to fentanyl “makes you feel like you’re doing dope (heroin) in the old days (before it was replaced by fentanyl)” when the euphoric effects lasted longer. Users have suggested that xylazine gives them ‘the nod’ that heroin provided prior to the replacement of fentanyl in the drug supply. In Puerto Rico, xylazine use has been associated with use of ‘speedballs’, the combined use of heroin and cocaine.2 3 In semistructured interviews, Puerto Rican drug users indicated that the addition of cocaine to heroin and xylazine combinations was used to balance the ‘down’ of heroin and xylazine.4 Among 2019 decedents with positive detections for xylazine and an opioid in Philadelphia, 53% also had positive detections for cocaine, which may indicate speedball use locally (table 1).

Importantly, our results show that evidence of injection was more prevalent among decedents with xylazine and heroin and/or fentanyl detections. Despite limited literature on the health effects of chronic xylazine use, regular injection of xylazine has been associated with skin ulcers, abscesses and lesions in Puerto Rico.2 3 Semistructured interviews with people who use xylazine in Puerto Rico revealed that regular use of xylazine leads to skin ulcers.4 As skin ulcers are painful, people may continually inject at the site of the ulcer to alleviate the pain as xylazine is a potent α2-adrenergic agonist that mediates via central α2-receptors, which decreases perception of painful stimuli.1 People may self-treat the wound by draining or lancing it, which can exacerbate negative outcomes.8 While Philadelphia has seen a rise in skin and soft tissue infections relating to injection drug use, it is not yet clear whether or not this is due to increased presence of xylazine in the drug supply.9

Huh. That sounds more complicated than a fentanyl problem. Guess there will be lots of vaccines for users to take. 

Like for this emerging synthetic opioid  – 

And for these new synthetic opioids – 

Nitazenes are the next generation of synthetic opioids . . . until the following generation appears. 

A synthetic opioid up to 40 times more powerful than fentanyl is scrambling the public health response to the addiction crisis in a growing number of U.S. cities.

The big picture: Nitazine comes in powder, pill and liquid form and requires time-consuming lab work to trace. Often laced into substances that users think is fentanyl or heroin, it’s potentially lethal or can cause a more severe onset of withdrawal symptoms.

. . . The bottom line: New, more dangerous drugs could be entering the U.S. supply at a pace labs and clinicians aren’t equipped to keep up with, said Steven Passik, Millennium Health’s head of clinical data programs.

That almost sounds discouraging, daunting.

It shouldn’t be! 

Because we are so much farther along, so much closer to a vaccine to end the opioid problem, that the recent excitement and elevated expectations about an emerging vaccine for fentanyl is  . . .  in effect a moot point. 

That’s because – thanks to public healthcare funding – the research that promised and by now must be at the point of providing a usable vaccine for opioids in general was begun years ago and after the same lab had already pioneered a vaccine to protect against nicotine addiction – nearly a decade ago.

You didn’t know that?

It must be out there somewhere, in America’s mainstream news. Something so profoundly important as success leading to being on the doorstep of workable, generalized vaccines for opioids and nicotine?

The news that there will soon be no reason to have any concern about problem nicotine use by traditional cigarettes or electronic devices, or to be concerned about so-called “opioid use disorder”, OUD. 

And the news that enormous savings in use of public healthcare funds can be realized by immediately stopping unnecessary funding for unnecessary, redundant research. 

Just take a look. 

[From a previous post]

Here’s another medical researcher who looks happy. Why wouldn’t he?

He’s on the verge of developing a new vaccine that will likely solve the opioid problem, will be the new gold standard medical treatment.

“Our hope is that the vaccine, consisting of one shot and two boosters, will help recipients develop antibodies against opioids. It will alleviate the symptom of the high generated by the brain.”

Zhang and his team have been awarded a two-year $3,091,192 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse. If the proposed milestones of the first two years are met, the grant will be expanded to a five-year award totaling $8,783,147.

That was 4 years or so ago, the research progressing and funded. It must be the case – must be true – that there are some preliminary trials, results, (indications?) that the vaccine has some effectiveness for OUD.

Of course there must. 

And that progress, evidence for that progress – on research funded with public healthcare funds – would have been explored, examined, researched as part of any reporting or analysis of current claims and awards of public healthcare funds for additional work on vaccines. 

Of course it would, would have to be. 

That American watchdog Media reporting is out there somewhere, no doubt accessible by an online search. 

It is, right? 

hand holding bag of nitazene

Same with the reporting and analysis on that publically-funded research on the vaccine against nicotine use. 


Research so promising that it was close to patent application nearly 10 years ago. 

A Virginia Tech professor is working on a vaccine that could help smokers conquer their nicotine addiction, making many smoking-related diseases and deaths relics of the 21st century.

Mike Zhang, a professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was recently awarded $2.4 million by the National Institutes of Health to develop the vaccine and test it on mice.

Zhang said the nicotine vaccine could ultimately be developed as a patch or nasal spray. Within several days of inoculation, patients would cease to experience the physiological pleasure that nicotine elicits in the brain.

So, the same principles and biological and medical rationales for positive outcomes as for the new research.

That means – because we know we can trust America’s top experts and authorities in research, medicine and public health – that we are on the doorstep of conquering and eliminating or at least managing and protecting Americans from America’s increasingly lethal substance use crises. 

That can’t be doubted. It goes without saying. 

And yet, 

parts of all the exciting and promising news seem to pose, well a bit of a mind-frack, are just . . . confusing, unclear. 

It’s just that . . .  we already know that American Medicine has and is using to save lives a proven, life-saving drug that is, in fact, an anti-addiction drug, curing opioid use disorder when it is administered to the diseased brain, just as other medical treatments cure, for example “diabetes, heart disease and emphysema”.  That’s from America’s very top medical and public health expert.

It didn’t need to be from any authority, or even stated, because the miraculous effectiveness of buprenorphine (Suboxone)  has been without doubt, a universal medical, media and public health consensus over decades, established. All that needs to happen is that more of the cure be dispensed to the diseased brains. And it is inconceivable that, offered the simple option of taking a dose of the anti-addition medication each day and faced with the severe life-threatening, health, and other risks and consequences of OUD, everyone needing the medication will of course use it when available. Who wouldn’t? 


And it’s a medication so effective and safe that kids should be getting it more – 

So it’s just a matter of getting the medication to them, as is being done for example, in St. Louis and Rhode Island and in West Virginia, and in Maine, and Delaware

But . . . that’s where it gets mind-boggling, confusing for someone who isn’t an expert. 

With the universal expert consensus that proven, life-saving, anti-addiction drug “bupe” has everything going for it and only needs to be more available in order to end the opioid crisis, why the urgent advisories by the same experts for new public funding for novel cures? Why not just stick with the known cure? And why relax safety standards on the higher-risk MAT opioid that bupe replaced, methadone

See? It’s confusing. 

But the most confusing part, by far

is this – 

That with steadily increasing provision of the proven anti-addiction drugs buprenorphine and methadone whose life-saving effects are due to their use reducing and eliminating high-risk drug use – dispensed and administered to more and more diseased brains over past decades and years – pre-pandemic, through the pandemic, now post-pandemic, the demonstrable, established outcomes have been: 

– steadily surging increases in high-risk opioid use measured by non-fatal opioid overdoses

– steadily surging increases in high-risk opioid use measured by injection-related disease

– steadily increasing deaths tied to high-risk opioid use 

individual being placed into ambulance

Confusing it seems, but not really, because we know that none of that is really true. 

Cannot be true. 

Must be wrong. 

Because the expert/media consensus that establishes that just the opposite is true is no less solid, no less grounded in evidence and research, no less supported than consensus Americans have trusted for other non-medical conditions affecting their health and well-being , for example, 

– that opioids are safe and effective for the non-medical condition of common chronic pain

– that SSRI antidepressants are safe and effective for the non-medical condition of depression

Okay, that’s enough. 

Enough satire, sarcasm, snark. I simply was not able to write this post straight, as if the material should or could be treated as reasonable, as serious, as expressions of adult ideas and discourse. 

But let’s try this, to close the post by stepping away from the lethal absurdity of American expert/media consensus. 

In an America where a free press, a watchdog press, journalism that is investigative and holds institutions and centers of power to account no longer exist, what we can hope for at best is the outlier, the renegade real journalist willing to abstain from the rewards of corporate media career to engage in the task of actual journalism.

Journalist: Tell me why you entered the clinical trial and are taking the vaccine for fentanyl. 

Vaccinated opioid user: To end my addiction to fentanyl – it blocks the effects

Journalist: If you use fentanyl? It blocks the effects?

Vaccinated user: Yes. 

Journalist: Why would you need it help block the effects?

Vaccinated user: If I took it, used fentanyl.

Journalist: Why would you take it now, fentanyl?

Vaccinated user: Because I need it man!  I’m an addict.

Journalist: The vaccine doesn’t do anything for your compulsion to use the drug to gain the effects, the relief,  your need for that?

Vaccinated user: Of course not.

Journalist: Why would you take fentanyl at all knowing that? Knowing that you won’t get any of the desired effects?

Vaccinated user: Okay . . .  I wouldn’t, I’d take any one of the dozens of other types of dope I can get and have used to get high.

Journalist: Right, so what did it help with, the vaccine? It seems the vaccine only works if it fails – so why are you taking it?

Vaccinated user: Hey, quit fuckin with me man! they’re the experts, they’re doctors! They’re smart. I got this disease of the brain and they’re treating me for it. What else can I do, for a fuckin disease of the brain? 

The next interviews, by this imaginary, actual journalist, would be with the medical and public health experts, the politicians controlling dispersal of public healthcare funds, the research institutions and researchers, the corporate media messaging and celebrating America’s expert consensus on treatment and prevention for increasingly lethal epidemics. 

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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