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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
February, 2001


Media and Education Activities

Awards

NIDA's 3-minute introduction for the addiction supplement to the NIH High School Curriculum won the Silver (second place) in the Mercury Awards; NIDA's PSA campaign, "Keep Your Brain Healthy. Don't Use Drugs," won Bronze (third place) in the Mercury Awards competition.

NIDA's Treatment Solutions video was a finalist in the behavioral diseases category of the 2000 FREDDIE Awards/International Health and Medical Media Awards, sponsored by Time Inc Health.

NIDA's Mind Over Matter was featured on HomeworkSpot.com, a new educational web site that simplifies the search for the best free online K-12 homework resources.


Press Releases

July 26, 2000 - Medication Reduces Metabolism of Nicotine, Decreasing Urge to Smoke. Researchers at the University of Toronto found that methoxsalen, a compound used to treat skin disorders, partially blocks the body's ability to break down nicotine and significantly improves the effectiveness of oral nicotine replacement in reducing a smoker's urge for nicotine. In addition, when smokers do light up, they take fewer and shorter puffs on each cigarette, the scientists say. Dr. Edward Sellers and colleagues at the University of Toronto describe the research in the July 2000 issue of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Coverage of this publication appeared in USA Today, USAToday.com, CNN.com, New Scientist, Join Together Online, Business Week, and Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly.

August 13, 2000 - Study Finds Acupuncture Shows Promise for Treating Cocaine Addiction. In the August 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers reported that cocaine-addicted patients who received a course of auricular acupuncture (acupuncture needles inserted into four specific points in the outer ear) were more likely to be free of cocaine during treatment than those not receiving acupuncture. Coverage of this publication appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, EurekAlert!, CNN.com, HealthSCOUT, MSNBC.com, ABCnews.com, Reuters Health, and other media outlets.

September 11, 2000 - New National Public Service Campaign Highlights How Drugs Damage the Brain. "Keep Your Brain Healthy. Don't Use Drugs." That's the message of a new, nationwide public service campaign launched by NIDA. The campaign, which features radio and television public service announcements in English and Spanish, is designed to help America's youth understand the risks associated with drug use. NIDA's partners in this public service campaign include Dr. Drew Pinsky, co-host of Loveline and drDrew.com; Major General Arthur T. Dean (ret.), CEO of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and Sue Rusche, Executive Director, National Families in Action. As a result of this launch, coverage appeared in USA Today, Reuters Health, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, The Eagle (American University Student Newspaper), and Newsday.com.

September 14, 2000 - Street Children and Drug Abuse: Social and Health Consequences. This media advisory announced an international working meeting to discuss and define a research agenda for addressing the social and health consequences of drug abuse by the world's street children. NIDA, the World Health Organization, and the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition co-sponsored the meeting, which was held September 17-19, 2000, in Los Angeles, CA. At this meeting, NIDA launched an updated research report that discusses recent studies on the use of inhalants among adolescents in the United States with the goal of alerting the public to the widespread use of inhalants and the dangers inherent in such use. As a result of this meeting, coverage appeared in Reuters Health.

September 15, 2000 - NewsScan: NIDA Addiction Research News. In this issue, research advances included the following: genes play increasing role in risk for tobacco use among women (Sept 2000 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry); new study highlights addictive potential of cocaine (September 5, 2000, issue of The Journal of Neuroscience); natural compound may offer new treatment for chronic pain (September 2000 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science); and nicotine may negatively affect nonsmokers (Psychopharmacology 152/3).

September 18, 2000 - NIDA Clinical Toolbox Provides the Latest Information about Drug Treatment Strategies: Comprehensive science-based materials to be distributed to all drug treatment programs nationwide. Nearly 12,000 drug treatment programs around the country received NIDA Clinical Toolbox: Science-Based Materials for Drug Abuse Counselors. The toolbox, packaged in a bright gray box with a large "Tx" on the front, is large enough to store all current NIDA drug treatment publications; it also has room for material that will result from future NIDA-sponsored research. As a result of this launch, coverage appeared in Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, Progress Notes, About.com, Yale Bulletin & Calendar, and Join Together Online.

September 19, 2000 - NIDA Launches Spanish PSAs at Latino Behavioral Health Institute Conference. "Manten Tu Cerebro Saludable. No Uses Drogas." ("Keep Your Brain Healthy. Don't Use Drugs.") This media advisory announced the launch of NIDA's Spanish PSAs at the 6th Annual Latino Behavioral Health Institute Conference on September 22, 2000, in Los Angeles, CA. These PSAs are targeted to parents and adolescents, and feature cutting-edge brain scans showing the effects of drugs on the human brain.

September 25, 2000 - Teens, Women, and Whites More Vulnerable Than Others to Becoming Nicotine-Dependent. An analysis of the data from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse interviews with 22,292 smokers showed that adolescents, women, and whites are particularly vulnerable to developing nicotine-dependence symptoms, according to researchers who published their findings in the September 2000 issue of Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Coverage of this publication appeared in Reuters Health, Join Together Online, EurekAlert!, and news.excite.com.

October 24, 2000 - Access to Substance Abuse Treatment for Medicaid Clients Improves with Oregon Model for Financing Treatment under Managed Care. Researchers at the Oregon Health Sciences University found that implementation of a capitated substance abuse benefit appeared to increase access to related services for state Medicaid clients in Oregon. The single benefit broadened the array of covered substance abuse treatment services formerly offered Medicaid patients, and improved integration of health care services among providers. The study appeared in the October 25 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

October 25, 2000 - NIDA Researchers Find That Animals Exposed to Marijuana's Active Component Will Self-Administer the Drug. Scientists at NIDA have demonstrated that laboratory animals will self-administer marijuana's psychoactive component, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), in doses equivalent to those used by humans who smoke the drug. Self-administration of drugs by animals, long considered a model of human drug-seeking behavior, is characteristic of virtually all addictive and abused drugs. Coverage of this publication appeared in The New York Times, MSNBC, LA Times, Associated Press, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, CNN, The Columbus Dispatch, Philadelphia Daily News, ABC News, Join Together Online, The San Francisco Examiner, and salon.com and in various news media outside the United States.

October 30, 2000 - National Meeting in Los Angeles to Focus Attention on Drug Addiction and Treatment. This media advisory announced two NIDA-sponsored meetings from October 30-November 2, 2000, in Los Angeles, CA. The larger meeting, "Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships to Enhance Drug Treatment," focused on catalyzing partnerships to facilitate moving drug addiction research into clinical practice. Prior to this meeting, NIDA convened its National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network investigators to discuss research and treatment advances that have evolved out of this program. As a result of these meetings, coverage appeared in Yahoo! Finance.

October 31, 2000 - National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network Expands: Network now includes 11 research centers and nearly 70 treatment programs. The National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network launched by NIDA with grants to six research facilities has been expanded to include an additional five regional research centers and a total of almost 70 community based treatment programs. The five newly funded centers each will receive a total of $11 million over five years. The total funding for all 11 components of the Clinical Trials Network is $121 million over five years. As a result of this press release, coverage appeared in Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly and Join Together Online.

November 1, 2000 - High Success Rates for Variety of Heroin Addiction Treatment Medications. A recent study has shown that levomethadyl acetate (LAAM), buprenorphine, and high doses of methadone (60-100 mg) were much more effective in treating heroin addiction than low-dose methadone maintenance (20 mg). LAAM and methadone are available for clinicians to prescribe. Buprenorphine is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration and is used only in research studies. This study appeared in the November 2 issue of New England Journal of Medicine. Coverage of this publication appeared in CNN, MSNBC, LA Times, USA Today, Join Together Online, and Fox News.

November 3, 2000 - Neuroscience at NIDA-A Series of Satellite Symposia-Will Highlight Current Neuroscience Research and Issues during Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting. NIDA sponsored a series of satellite symposia at Society of Neuroscience 2000, held throughout the society's annual meeting in New Orleans on November 4-9, 2000. The symposia highlight the latest in NIDA neuroscience research, NIDA research directions, and opportunities for minority research scholars at the agency. As a result of this meeting, coverage appeared in Yahoo! Finance.

November 7, 2000 - Researchers Link Adolescent Cigarette Smoking with Anxiety Disorders during Early Adulthood. Scientists supported by the National Institute of Mental Health and NIDA have documented that chronic cigarette smoking during adolescence may increase the likelihood that these teens will develop a variety of anxiety disorders in early adulthood. These disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces). The research appeared in the November 8 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association. As a result of this press release, coverage appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, and Fox News.

November 15, 2000 - Walking A Good Path 2001 Calendar: American Indian Organizations and NIDA Produce Free, Science-based Calendar on Drug Abuse and Addiction. In an effort to raise awareness about the health risks of drug abuse and addiction, as well as prevention and treatment, American Indian experts and organizations nationwide collaborated with NIDA to create an intergenerational year 2001 calendar, "Walking A Good Path." As a result coverage appeared in Yahoo! Finance.

December 2000 - NewsScan: NIDA Addiction Research News. In this issue, research advances included the following: gender differences may affect substance abuse treatment retention (October 2000 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research); craving for cocaine involves same brain sites as other cravings (November 2000 issue of American Journal of Psychiatry); and NIDA funds innovative research facility to enhance social workers' involvement in substance abuse treatment research. Coverage of these publications appeared in Join Together Online and Yahoo! Finance.

December 14, 2000 - 2000 Monitoring the Future Survey Released: Moderating Trend Among Teen Drug Use Continues. Overall use of illicit drugs among teenagers remained unchanged from last year, according to the 26th annual Monitoring the Future Survey released by the Department of Health and Human Services. The 2000 Monitoring the Future Survey, conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and funded by NIDA, surveyed over 45,000 students in 435 schools across the nation about lifetime use, past year use, past month use, daily use of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. As a result of the survey, coverage appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), The Record (Bergen County, NJ), The Palm Beach Post, and Associated Press.


Opinion Pieces

August 14, 2000, New York Magazine-Letter to the Editor by Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"The X-Files" (Responding to the article, "E-commerce," which chronicles the widespread use of the drug ecstasy)

August 29, 2000, Newark Star-Ledger-Article by Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Ecstasy Can Lead to Agony for Drug's Users"

September 2000, New York State Bar Association Journal-Article by Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Treatment Option for Drug Offenders is Consistent with Research Findings"

November 21, 2000, New York Resident-Article by Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Ecstasy: The Complete Story"


Articles of Interest

July 31, 2000, HealthSCOUT-Interview of Steven Gust, Ph.D.-"Joints for Your Joints"

August 2, 2000, The Orlando Sentinel-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Ecstasy is Hardly a Pleasure"

August 7, 2000, ABC News.com-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"A Shot in the Arm: A Tobacco Vaccine in Rats Lowers Blood Levels of Nicotine"

August 8, 2000, Reuters Health-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Anti-smokers Gird in Chicago for New Products, Ads"

August 13, 2000, Newsday (New York, NY)-Interview of Stephen Heishman, Ph.D.-"Drug Problem: When Pain-Killers Kill More Than Pain"

August 21, 2000, The Washington Post-Interview of Frank Vocci, Ph.D.-"A Not-Quite-Legal Lifeline"

August 22, 2000, Newsday (New York, NY)-Interview of Wallace Pickworth, Ph.D.-"In the War on Smoking, It's Best to Use All the Ammo"

August 24, 2000, HealthSCOUT-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Drug Use a Family Affair"

August 24, 2000, USA Today-Interview of Barry Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.-"Mixed Signals on Stroke Therapy"

August 26, 2000, The Washington Post-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Maryland Mobilizes Against Use of Ecstasy"

August 28, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"When Parents Are a Part of the Drug Problem"

August 28, 2000, The Detroit News-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Club Drug Becomes Suburban Sensation"

August 29, 2000, The Tennessean-Interview of Frank Vocci, Ph.D.-"Controversial Cure"

September 2000, Matrix: The Magazine for Leaders-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Club Drugs Go to College"

September 2000, Science & Vie-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Activité Cérébrale Altérée"

September 2000, Monitor on Psychology-Interview of Meyer Glantz, Ph.D.-"Earning Certification in Substance Abuse"

September 1, 2000, Salon.com-Interview of Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D.-"Chemical Ravings"

September 19, 2000, CNN.com-Interview with Jacques Normand, Ph.D.-"Quitting Cigarettes for Two"

September 25, 2000, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"SAMHSA Bill Plays Politics with 10 to 12 Million Lives"

October 2000, The Economics of Neuroscience-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"The TEN Interview"

October 10, 2000, Salon.com-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"The Drug War's Tweedledee"

October 20, 2000, Join Together Online-Interview of Frank Vocci, Ph.D.-"Buprenorphine Legislation Hailed as Treatment Breakthrough"

October 30, 2000, HealthSCOUT-Interview of Stephen Heishman, Ph.D.-"Pot Use Up Sharply at Colleges"

November 13, 2000, Time (Asian Edition)-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"The Lure of Ecstasy"

November 18, 2000, Associated Press-Interview of Steven Gust, Ph.D.-"Is Marijuana Really Medicine? At Last It's Being Put to the Test"

November 30, 2000, CBS 48 Hours-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-Show about ecstasy aired on CBS and MTV; Dr. Leshner also participated in a website chat following the airing

November/December 2000, The Journal of Addiction and Mental Health-Interview of Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D. and Beverly Jackson-"The Addict as TV Entertainment: Hollywood Recognizes Substance Abuse as Storytelling Gold Mine"

December 11, 2000, Time-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-"Downey's Downfall"

December 11, 2000, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Weekly-Interview of Jack Stein, Ph.D.-"Federal Approval of Buprenorphine Expected Next Month"

December 13, 2000, Today Show-Interview of Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.-Story about Robert Downey; Dr. Leshner addressed topics of addiction and treatment

January 11, 2001, CBS Health Watch-Interview of Jerry Frankenheim, Ph.D.-" ‘Party Drug' Has Deadly Effects Even Without Alcohol"


NIDA Exhibits Program

Meetings where NIDA exhibited publications and program announcements over the past several months are as follows:

September 9-10, 2000 Black Family Reunion
September 15, 2000 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
September 18, 2000 Yale CTN Meeting
September 20-22, 2000 Latino Behavioral Health Institute
October 4, 2000 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
October 12-15, 2000 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans
October 21, 2000 An Exposition of Health Resources from NIH To Its Neighbors
October 22-25, 2000 National TASC: 7th Conference on Drugs and Crime
October 24-28, 2000 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
November 1-2, 2000 Blending Clinical Practice and Research
November 1-4, 2000 National Association of Social Workers
November 4-7, 2000 14th Annual Conference on Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
November 4-9, 2000 Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference
November 9-11, 2000 American Indian Science & Engineering Society
December 6-9, 2000 Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
December 7-10, 2000 American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry
January 11-13, 2001 National Association of Drug Court Professionals


Training and Other Activities

A two-day CTN training session was held for Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Motivational Interviewing in Albuquerque, NM on August 17-18, 2000. Representatives from all of the nodes participating in these protocols attended the meetings.

There was a two-day CTN training session for the Buprenorphine/Naloxone protocols on September 7-8, 2000, in Los Angeles, CA. Members from all of the participating sites attended the meetings.

A two-day CTN training session was held October 10-11, 2000, on the Motivational Incentives protocols. The meeting was held in Baltimore, MD, and included members from all sites across the CTN participating in the two protocols.

Two training sessions were held on the ASI-Lite, a common assessment battery instrument to be used throughout the CTN. The first meeting was held in Philadelphia on December 7-8, 2000, and the second meeting was held in Portland, OR on December 14-15, 2000. Attendees from all of the nodes came to these training sessions.


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