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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2009



Planned Meetings

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will participate in a number of sessions at the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, Maryland, February 9-12, 2009. NIDA Deputy Director, Dr. Timothy P. Condon, will participate in a plenary session. Also, two workshops will be conducted: one on the topic of Translating Research Findings to the Field: How Mass Media Prevention Findings Can Inform Practice, and the other on The Real Inside Scoop on What Teens Want to Know About Drug Abuse, which will discuss some of the interesting findings from NIDA's Drug Facts Chat Day, a youth-friendly online chat between NIDA scientists and teens first held in October 2007, and repeated in 2008.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is organizing a program at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May 16-21, 2009. A number of NIDA staff and NIDA researchers will participate in several symposia and workshops at the upcoming meeting on a wide range of topics such as, Diversion of Prescription Stimulants; Imaging Insight: Basic Definitions, Measures, and Relevance to Psychopathology; Older Adults and the Neurobiology of Substance Abuse; Clinical Challenges Identifying and Treating Unpresented Co-morbidity; Integrating Treatment for Substance Use and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders in Patients with Co-Occurring Conditions; and Genetic Vulnerabilities for Drug Abuse and Co-Morbid Mental Health Disorders. This program will build on previous tracks NIDA has been conducting at the APA Annual meeting since 1998.

NIDA is organizing a program at this year's American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, August 6-9, 2009. A number of NIDA staff throughout the Institute are involved in organizing symposia on a wide range of topics. NIDA will also co-sponsor an Early Career Investigator Poster Session with APA's Divisions 28 and 50 and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as part of the two Divisions' Social Hour.

NIDA and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) will co-sponsor a gathering of experts at its Headquarters in the Neurosciences Building, in the Spring of 2009, entitled "Caffeine: Is the Next Problem Already Brewing?", which will explore the prevalence, patterns of use and the potential deleterious (and/or beneficial) health effects of caffeine, particularly in younger people. The ultimate goal of the symposium is to identify some of the most pressing research questions that need to be addressed in order to assess the latent or emerging threats to public health posed by new beverage recipes with unprecedented high concentrations of caffeine or that combine caffeine with other substances like nicotine or alcohol.

Dr. Harold Gordon of DCNBR organized a symposium titled Sleep Disturbances and Circadian Disruptions Affecting, and Affected by, Addiction to Drugs which will be held as part of the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting to be held in May, 2009 in San Francisco. The meeting is sponsored by the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC). The purposes of the meeting are to learn 1) sleep physiology and recognize how it is altered by abused drugs and how to identify signs and symptoms of drug-abuse-related insomnia and cognitive deficits, 2) that disruptions by cocaine in normal circadian clock function increase risk for depression and bipolar disorder, among others, 3) the reciprocal interactions between sleep and the immune system in substance dependence, and 4) treatment issues related to sleep disturbances in cocaine and opiate dependents.

Dr. Steven Grant of DCNBR organized a workshop titled Imaging Insight: Basic Definitions, Measures, and Relevance to Psychopathology which will be held as part of the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting to be held in May, 2009 in San Francisco. The meeting is sponsored by the Office of Science Policy and Communications (OSPC). This workshop will combine presentations from basic cognitive, neuropsychological and clinical investigators on the definition and measurement of insight. The panel will address the following basic questions: What is insight? How is it defined/measured? Are there individual differences (e.g., age, sex) in insight? What is its relevance to psychopathology (especially to disorders of impulse control)? What are the underlying neurobiological substrates of impaired insight in these disorders? Evidence for newly developed behavioral and functional neuroimaging measures as potential biomarkers of impaired insight will be presented.

Dr. Joni Rutter, DBNBR, and Dr. Minda Lynch, DBNBR, will co-chair a symposium at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Meeting in San Francisco, May, 2009. The symposium, Genetic Vulnerabilities for Drug Abuse and Co-Morbid Mental Health Disorders will feature presentations from Harriet de Wit, Ph.D., Caryn Lerman, Ph.D., Teresa R. Franklin, Ph.D., Howard J. Edenberg, Ph.D. and Joel Gelernter, M.D.

Drs. Cora Lee Wetherington, DBNBR, and Wendy Lynch, University of Virginia, co-organized and will co-chair the symposium, Biological Basis of Sex Differences in Drug Abuse: A Translational Perspective, at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, May 16-21, 2009 in San Francisco, CA. Presenters will be Wendy Lynch, Ph.D. (University of Virginia), Jill Becker, Ph.D. (University of Michigan), Karen Berman, M.D. (NIMH), Marc Potenza, M.D., Ph.D. (Yale University School of Medicine), and Larry Cahill, Ph.D. (UC Irvine).

Dr. Allison Hoffman organized an upcoming symposium at the World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, March 2009. The symposium, The Future of Smoking Cessation Treatment will feature presentations by Drs. Taylor Hays, Dorothy Hatsukami, Marcus Munafo and Rachel Tyndale, and will be moderated by Dr. Cindy Miner, OSPC.

Dr. Allison Hoffman organized an upcoming symposium at the World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, March 2009. The symposium, Smoking and Co-Morbid Diseases will feature presentations by Drs. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Janice Blalock, Eden Evins, and Judith Brook, and will be moderated by Dr. Cindy Miner, OSPC.

As a Team Leader the NIH Roadmap Science of Behavior Change initiative, Lisa Onken of DCNBR is organizing a preliminary Planning Meeting to inform a trans-NIH effort on the science of behavior change. The Planning Meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 17 and 18, 2009 (place to be determined).

The next National CTN Steering Committee Meetings is planned for March 24-26, 2009 in Bethesda, MD.

A Mini Symposium entitled HIV Risk Prevention in the CTN has been accepted for presentation at the 2009 CPDD meeting June 20-25, 2009 in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Raul Mandler will chair this event.

A NIDA-OSPC supported symposium entitled Integrating Treatment for Substance Use and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders in Patients with Co-occurring Conditions has been accepted for presentation at the 2009 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting May 16-21, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Dr. Udi Ghitza will chair this event. At the conclusion of this symposium, participants should have increased knowledge of: (1) prevalence of co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) in both civilian and returning veteran populations, (2) psychotherapy treatment programs developed for patients with co-occurring SUD and PTSD, (3) pharmacotherapy treatment programs for these patients, (4) challenges and opportunities for advancing an integrated medical care approach concurrently treating functional impairments associated with each disorder.

A NIDA-OSPC supported meeting entitled Narrowing Research-Practice Divide in Evidence-Based Medicine with Adoption of Electronic Health Record Systems: Present and Future Directions will be held in Bethesda, Maryland in July 2009. Dr. Udi Ghitza will co-chair this event. This meeting is designed to explore the potential health and financial benefits of adoption of electronic health record systems (EHR) in behavioral health treatment and primary care settings, the current status of EHR implementation in health care settings, and future prospects, including opportunities and challenges to the adoption of interoperable EHR that have the potential to narrow the research-practice divide in evidence-based medicine.


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



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