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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2005



Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

September 28, 2004 - NIDA Research Identifies Factors Related to Inhalant Abuse, Addiction.
A recent study showed that young people who have been treated for mental health problems, have a history of foster care, or who already abuse other drugs, have an increased risk of abusing or becoming dependent on inhalants. In addition, adolescents who first begin using inhalants at an early age are more likely to become dependent upon them. The study by Dr. Li-Tzy Wu and her colleagues was published in the October 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

September 30, 2004 - NIDA NewsScan #33

  • Hostility Personality Trait Predicts Brain Metabolic Response to Nicotine
  • PET Scans Show Cocaine Addicts Have Generalized Decrease in D2 Receptors Throughout Striatum
  • In Treating Co-Occurring Disorders, Target Both Depression and Substance Abuse
  • Long-Lasting Craving for Cocaine
  • Study Finds Communities Will Provide Support for MI Programs
  • Complex Genetics Tied to High Cost of Brain Disorders; Majority of Costs Related to Addiction
  • NIDA Grantees Receive AACE Award

October 13, 2004 - NIH Announces New Funding for Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced new funding for the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers' (TTURC) initiative, which originally awarded grants to seven research centers in 1999. This new investment, totaling almost $12 million, will be funded over the next five years by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

October 15, 2004 - NIDA Sponsors Mini-Convention in Conjunction With Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting in San Diego.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sponsored the mini-convention, Frontiers in Addiction Research, on October 22, 2004, in conjunction with the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN), in San Diego. Frontiers in Addiction Research brought together outstanding scientists from a wide array of research disciplines to share advances and discuss future directions in the neuroscience of drug abuse and addiction. The symposium, which coincided with NIDA's 30th anniversary, included 20 speakers and 72 poster presentations.

November 1, 2004 - NIDA Study Finds High School Program Yields Health Benefits for Female Athletes.
New research that focuses on a health promotion program supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), shows the program decreased the abuse of stimulant medications and other substances believed to enhance body image or performance among female high school athletes, while encouraging healthy behaviors. The study, led by Drs. Diane Elliot and Linn Goldberg at Oregon Health & Science University, was published in the November 2004 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

November 8, 2004 - NIDA Researchers Develop New Genetic Strain of Mice To Study Nicotine Addiction.
A team of investigators, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has created a strain of mice that scientists can use to study nicotine addiction and its associated behaviors. This research, led by Dr. Henry Lester of the California Institute of Technology, and his colleagues at the Institute of Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado, was published in the November 5, 2004, issue of the journal Science.

November 17, 2004 - NIDA Joins Forces With Perlegen To Research Nicotine Addiction.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has awarded a $2.1 million contract to Perlegen Sciences, Inc., to investigate the human genome for DNA variations and candidate genes associated with nicotine addiction. "This partnership, which combines NIDA support and cutting-edge private-sector technology, will help us better understand the significance of genetic influences in smoking," says NIDA Director, Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "As we learn more about genetic influences on nicotine addiction and treatment response, we will be able to individually tailor the treatments for people who are addicted to this powerful drug."

December 8, 2004 - NIDA Study Offers New Clues About Connection Between Cocaine Abuse, Thinking, and Decision-making.
New research, funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), shows that chronic cocaine abuse is directly related to dysfunction in areas of the brain involved in higher thought and decision-making. The scientists who performed the study suggest that the resulting cognitive deficits may help explain why abusers persist in using the drug or return to it after a period of abstinence. The study, published in the December 8, 2004, issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, was conducted by Dr. Robert Hester of Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and Dr. Hugh Garavan of Trinity College and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

December 21, 2004 - Teen Drug Use Declines 2003-2004 - But Concerns Remain About Inhalants and Painkillers.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, results from the annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey indicate an almost 7 percent decline of any illicit drug use in the past month by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders combined, from 2003 to 2004. Trend analysis from 2001 to 2004 revealed a 17 percent cumulative decline in drug use, and an 18 percent cumulative drop in marijuana past month use. "These positive findings demonstrate the commitment by many, including researchers, federal agencies, states, parents, teachers, local communities, and teens themselves, to work together to reduce drug use among our youth," HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson said. "We need to continue our efforts to educate parents and teens about the consequences of drug abuse."

Dr Frank Vocci was interviewed by Browyn Sloan on the methamphetamine epidemic in Cambodia.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Ms. Alla Katsnelson of Nature Medicine regarding the cocaine vaccine.

Dr. Frank Vocci. was interviewed by Ms. Shannon Kile for a story on therapeutic vaccines that was posted at www.betterhumans.com

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Ms. Arline Kaplan of Psychiatric Times for an article on analgesic drug abuse and new analgesic development.

Dr. Marilyn Huestis was invited by the Office of the National Drug Control Policy to participate in a media roundtable in New York in October on the effects of marijuana use in adolescents.

Articles of Interest

October 5, 2004, The Wall Street Journal—"Vaccine to Combat Addictions Shows Promise"—Interview with Frank Vocci, Ph.D.

November 2004, Addiction Professional—"The Future of Addiction Services: It's in the Science"—Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

November/December 2004, Psychology Today—"Pay Attention to This"—Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

January 2005, Readers Digest—"Virtual Cures for Real-World Phobias"—Interview with Dave Thomas, Ph.D.

Educational Activities

"Brain Power! The NIDA Junior Scientist Program" for grades K-1 is now available both in hard copy and on line. The curriculum is designed for classroom use and includes a teacher's guide, a parent newsletter, a video, and a poster. It includes five modules which examine what it means to be a scientist, as well as what the brain is and how to keep it healthy and protect it.

Conferences/Exhibits

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America -- January 11-13, 2005

Winter Conference on Brain Research -- January 22-28, 2005

American Association for the Advancement of Science 171st Annual Meeting -- February 17-21, 2005

Council on Social Work Education and National Gerontological Social Work Joint Conference -- February 26-March 1, 2005


Index

Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings

Publications

Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

In Memoriam



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