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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
February, 1995


Meetings/Conferences


NIDA Technical Reviews

A technical review entitled "Laboratory Behavioral Studies of Vulnerability to Drug Abuse" co-chaired by Dr. Cora Lee Wetherington of the Behavioral Sciences Research Branch, DBR, and Council member, Dr. John Falk was held August 2-3, 1994 in Bethesda, MD.


Other Meetings

Constituency Groups Meeting
NIDA's Office of Science Policy and Communications convened a one and a half day meeting of constituent organizations on November 21 and 22 at Westfield's Conference Center in Chantilly Virginia. The meeting, chaired by Dr. Alan Leshner and Mr. Richard Millstein, was convened for the Director to solicit advice on NIDA's research agenda from senior representatives of these groups. Dr. Leshner stated in his remarks that, " One of my top priorities as the new Director of NIDA is to obtain the advice of the users of our research." Some 36 organizations sent one or two representatives, in most cases the President and/or the Executive Director to this, the first in a series of meetings with constituent organizations. A report of the deliberations and recommendation is being prepared and should be finalized shortly.

Treatment Researchers Meeting
On October 24, 1994, Dr. Leshner, in conjunction with NIDA DCSR staff, convened a group of eminent treatment researchers to discuss new and innovative strategies that have shown promise, both within and outside the drug abuse and addiction field. The primary objective of these discussions was to generate creative ideas that could lead to quantum improvements in drug addiction treatment.

Prevention Researchers Meeting
On January 11, 1995, Dr. Leshner convened a meeting with prominent drug abuse prevention researchers to discuss innovative and exciting new approaches to drug abuse prevention that should be considered in future NIDA prevention research program development. The charge to the group was to explore uncharted, yet promising new research areas and propose novel and salient prevention theories to test, highly creative prevention interventions to assess, and challenging new research paradigms to pursue in future research.

AIDS Researchers Meeting
NIDA hosted a workshop on January 19, 1995 on its AIDS-related research. Participants included representatives of basic, clinical, and applied research as well as other NIH Institutes, the Office of AIDS Research, and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

The Role of Resilience in Drug Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, and Mental Illness
Although resilience to drug involvement is a critical phenomenon, it has received little attention in research and intervention efforts. To address some of the important issues surrounding resilience, on December 5 and 6, 1994, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in collaboration with the Center for Mental Health Services, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, jointly sponsored a conference on "The Role of Resilience in Drug Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, and Mental Illness". The meeting brought together researchers, educators, and practitioners in the field who considered the research and applied experiences related to different perspectives on resilience. The conference covered five separate areas: Models and Definitions of Resilience, Measurement of Resilience, What Resilience Predicts, Interventions in Resilience, and Applications of Resilience. Comprehensive literature reviews in these five separate areas were written and presented by experts and discussed by panels of experienced researchers and practitioners; the papers and discussions will be published in the next year.

Promising Prevention Program Models
NIDA sponsored a 1-day meeting on October 3, 1994, to increase awareness about three prevention program models and to provide an opportunity for prevention practitioners to dialogue with researchers, program administrators and program participants on implementation and evaluation issues. The more than 150 practitioners, who attended the forum, were also briefed on the new prevention research dissemination and application package and had an opportunity to participate in a community readiness exercise.

Drug Addiction Research and the Health of Women
A NIDA-sponsored conference entitled "Drug Addiction Research and the Health of Women", held September 12-14, 1994 in Tysons Corner, VA, was intended to assess the current state of scientific knowledge about addiction and women's health. In addition to showcasing what is known about women and drug abuse, NIDA hosted the conference to identify the many gender related issues that the field of drug abuse research needs to address to meet the health needs of women. For two and a half days, scientists and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines presented gender-related findings from epidemiologic, basic, clinical, and health services research studies and discussed the implications of these findings for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse, addiction, and related diseases such as HIV/AIDS among women.

Recent Special Populations Meetings
On January 18-19, 1995 NIDA's Special Populations Office convened meeting of research scholars, federal employees, and others to discuss strategies to improve drug abuse research training for ethnic minorities.

NIDA's Special Populations Office held a meeting of the African American workgroup (to discuss drug abuse research and research training concerns of African American populations) on Sept. 26-27, 1994.

NIDA cosponsored a meeting entitled "AIDS and African Americans: Community-based Approaches" part of their series, Black Survival 2000 at the University of Maryland (College Park), September 28-30, 1994.

On January 11-12, 1995 NIDA's Hispanic Drug Abuse and AIDS Research and Technology Transfer Workgroup met in Rockville, MD to develop an Action Plan for Policy Report Recommendations.

Boston Museum of Science Exhibit
NIDA, the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School, and the Boston Museum of Science, hosted the opening of a new museum exhibit, "Changing Your Mind: Drugs in the Brain" on November 29, 1994. Dr. Alan Leshner spoke on the importance of these types of exhibits in serving to enlighten the public about addiction and drug abuse as a public health problem and to teach our children about science. The museum project, part of NIDA's Science Education Program, was developed with primary funding from a NIDA Science Education Drug Abuse Partnership Award from the Office of Science Policy and Communications. After a stay of approximately one year at the Boston Museum, the exhibit will be available to travel throughout the United States.

Family-Focused Therapy Meeting
On January 12 and 13, 1995, the Treatment Research Branch, Division of Clinical and Services Research, held a meeting on family-focused behavioral therapy development. Experienced clinical investigators in this area reviewed accomplishments of past NIDA-supported studies and suggested future research initiatives. The meeting was co-chaired by Drs. Elizabeth Rahdert and Jack Blaine.

Stage 1 Behavioral Therapy Development Program Research Projects
Drs. Lisa Onken and Jack Blaine chaired a meeting of the Principal Investigators of NIDA and NIMH-funded "Stage 1" behavioral therapy research projects on January 24 and 25. Stage 1 projects involve the development, manualization, and pilot testing of new and innovative behavioral therapies. The goal of the meeting was to further clarify and define Stage 1 and to exchange ideas in order to maximize the productivity of existing Stage 1 research projects. The PIs at the meeting are essentially "pioneers" in that they are the first ever to receive Federal support for early behavioral therapy development projects. One of the purposes of this meeting was to provide direction and structure for the evolving behavioral therapy research field.


Dr. Timothy P. Condon, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, was invited to address the Research Training Committee of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Condon discussed with the Committee NIDA's research training opportunities and novel ways to increase the training of psychiatrists in drug abuse research.

In December, 1994, Dorynne Czechowicz, M.D., DCSR presented data from the recently completed MTQAS Phase I field trial at the State Systems Development Conference in Seattle, Washington and met with 10 state methadone authorities in collaboration with CSAT to address ways in which performance based outcome data can be integrated into existing quality assurance systems to improve the quality of care in narcotic addiction treatment programs.

Dr. Dorynne Czechowicz and Dr. Jag Khalsa presented a workshop on NIDA's research programs on Medical/Health Consequences and Prescription Drug Use/Abuse, respectively, at a recent AMERSA meeting, October 1994, Washington, DC.

Dr. Lula Beatty moderated a session on Substance Abuse Disorders, at the "Second Annual conference on Psychopathology, Psychopharmacology, Substance Abuse and Culture" in Los Angeles, October 20, 1995.

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a session on, "Future Directions in Drug Abuse Research on Underserved Populations" at the "Second Annual Conference on Psychopathology, Psychopharmacology, Substance Abuse and Culture" in Los Angeles, October 20, 1995.

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a session on "African Americans and Drug Abuse: Research Needs", at North Carolina Central University, October 26, 1994, for MARC students and others.

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a session on Drug Abuse Research Needs in African American Communities and Research Opportunities at NIDA, for the Association of Black Psychologists, DC chapter, November 30, 1994.

Dr. Lula Beatty presented a session on Drug Abuse Research Opportunities at NIDA for psychiatry staff, Howard University Hospital, November 30, 1994.

Dr. Lula Beatty served on the African American Women and Family Life panel and gave a presentation entitled "Family and Love in the Lives of African American Women" at the 1st conference of African American Women's Research Institute, Howard University, November 18, 1994.

George Uhl, Acting Scientific Director and Chief of the Molecular Neurobiology Branch, was invited to speak at the Wellcome Trust meeting on Substance Abuse near London, UK; at the Japanese Society for Neuropharmacology in Okayama, Japan; the Movement Disorders Society in Orlando, FL; the Society for Neuroscience in Miami Beach, FL; at Osaka, Okayama, Virginia Commonwealth, and Johns Hopkins Universities; and at Dupont-Merck and Guilford Pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Uhl worked with the CPDD to establish a half-day symposium and dinner celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Addiction Research Center. The predecessor of NIDA's Division of Intramural Research opened in Lexington, KY in May, 1935.

David A. Gorelick, M.D., Ph.D., DIR, ARC presented psychiatry grand-rounds at West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, and George Washington University.

Jonathan Katz, Chief of the Psychobiology Section, Behavioral Pharmacology Branch at the Addiction Research Center, was invited to present a paper entitled: "Behavioral Pharmacology of Cocaine and Treatments for Cocaine Abuse" at the Symposium on Addictive Behavior held as part of the Annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Science Weekend Program, 1994.

Sari Izenwasser, a Senior Staff Fellow in the Psychobiology Section, was invited to present a seminar entitled: "Neurochemical Mechanisms of Tolerance and Sensitization to Cocaine." Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Maryland at Baltimore.

Dr. Edythe London participated in round-table discussions at the Wellcome Frontiers Meeting on "The Biological, Social and Clinical Bases of Drug Addiction" in Broadway, England, Sept. 16-21, 1994.

Dr. Edythe London presented lectures on brain imaging in studies of substance abuse at University of Maryland, Towson State University, and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Edythe London presented a lecture entitled, "Functional Assessment of Opiate Actions by Brain Imaging" at the eleventh annual Einstein Symposium in Psychiatry entitled "Opiate Addiction and its Treatment: Impact of Science on Clinical Practice, New York, NY, Nov. 4, 1994.

Drs. Bruce Vaupel and Edythe London attended a NIDA Technical Review on "The Role of Glutamatergic Systems in the Development of Opiate Addiction", Gaithersburg, MD, Oct. 17-18, 1994. Dr. Vaupel presented findings from NDAS on the use of inhibitors of nitric oxide to antagonize the opioid withdrawal syndrome. Dr. London served as a discussant of the clinical implications of the presented research for the treatment of opiate addiction.

Dr. Edythe London presented a lecture entitled, "Positron Emission Tomography in Studies of Substance Abuse" to the German Society for Research on Drugs and Addiction, Frankfurt, Germany, Dec. 2-4, 1994.

Drs. Steven Grant and Edythe London attended the American College on Neuropsychopharmacology held in San Juan, PR, Dec. 12-16, 1994, where they presented recent findings of a study aimed at mapping the neuroanatomical substrates of cocaine craving in human volunteers, using PET scanning.

Drs. Rao S. Rapaka (NIDA), Nora Chiang (NIDA) and Billy Martin (Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA) organized a symposium entitled "Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Drugs of Abuse" on November 4-5, 1994, in San Diego, CA. It is expected that proceedings of the meeting will be published as a NIDA Research Monograph.

Dr. Charles Grudzinskas, and Dr. Frank Vocci, of the Medications Development Division, attended the Third Annual State Systems Development Conference in Seattle Washington December 6-8, 1994, where they conducted a workshop discussing the role of pharmacotherapeutic interventions in drug abuse treatment, and describing medications currently approved or under development. Mr. Joel Egertson joined Drs. Grudzinskas and Vocci in meetings with state officials, and staff of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), to discuss issues of how to expand the use of current and future medications.

On September 23, 1994, Mr. Robert Walsh, Dr. Lynda Erinoff and Dr. Frank Vocci co-hosted a group of neurologists and neurosurgeons in a workshop discussing neurological measures and standardization of ataxia for a draft protocol of the compound, ibogaine.

On December 12, 1994, Drs. Christine Ollo and Barbara Schwartz of the NIDA/VA unit at the D.C. Veterans Administration Medical Center and Dr. Frank Vocci co-hosted a workshop discussing neuropsychological and cognitive measures to be incorporated into a draft Phase I protocol for ibogaine.

NIDA's Medications Development Division (MDD) hosted a meeting with the Italian pharmaceutical company "Pharmacia" on Jan 31, 1995 to discuss its Cocaine Treatment Discovery Program and request submission of potential candidate compounds for testing.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented at an advisory meeting of a CSAT workshop on opiate addiction treatment improvement on November 29, 1994.

Dr. Bennett Fletcher was a panel speaker on "Financing of Drug Abuse Treatment: Impact on Service Delivery", at the CSAT State Systems Development Program meeting, in Seattle, WA, held December 6-8, 1994.

Dr. Peter Delany participated in a Therapeutic Communities of America Planning Conference on Substance Abuse and Youth, held January 4-6, 1995.

Dr. Peter Delany made a presentation to the American Corrections Association on "Developing a Working Relationship Between NIDA and the Corrections Community," on January 14, 1994.

Dr. Frank Tims chaired a panel on NIDA's Health Services Research portfolio at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, November 1-4, 1994.

Ms. Carol Cowell co-presented a paper, "Dynamic Measures of Drug Treatment System Capacity" at the Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, November 1-4, 1994.

Dr. Bennett Fletcher chaired a panel on "Mediators of Client Change in Substance Abuse Treatment," at the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association, November 2-6, 1994.

Dr. Elizabeth Rahdert presented a paper entitled "Reliability and Validity Evidence for the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT)," at the October 1994 meeting of the American Public Health Association held in Washington, D.C. Reported results were from a NIDA-supported validation study that demonstrated the psychometric properties of the POSIT, a drug-related multi-problem screening tool designed specifically for use with adolescents, 12-19 years of age.

At the 1994 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in Washington, DC, the week of October 30-November 3, Dr. James Colliver, DEPR, presented a paper entitled "Factors Associated with Discontinuation of Marijuana and Cocaine Use"; Andrea Kopstein, DEPR, presented a paper entitled "The Association Between Drug Use and Aggressive and Violent Behaviors"; Arthur Hughes, DEPR, presented "Trends in the Number of Drug-Related Emergency Room Episodes"; Marc Brodsky, DEPR, presented "Relative Risk of Drug Use and Dependence;" and Elizabeth Lambert, DEPR, gave a presentation entitled "The Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area Drug Study (DC*MADS): Overview and Challenges." Ms. Lambert also participated in a poster presentation entitled "Comparison of Illicit Drug Use Among the Homeless and the Household Populations in the Washington, D.C. MSA, 1991".

Andrea Kopstein and Dr. William Bukoski participated in a December 14, 1994 meeting designed to develop new recommendations for goals and objectives for the 1995 Drug Control Strategy. At this meeting, sponsored by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, participants also reviewed last year's long-term goals and two-year objectives.

On November 29, 1994 Arthur Hughes presented findings from the National Pregnancy and Health Survey at the NCADI In-Service Training Seminar.

On December 20, 1994 Andrea Kopstein presented findings from the 1994 Monitoring the Future Study at the NCADI In-Service Training Seminar.

On September 21, 1994 Arthur Hughes presented findings on NIDA's survey research at the Louisiana State Epidemiology Workgroup in New Orleans.

Nick Kozel, DEPR, chaired the semi-annual meeting of NIDA's Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG) which was held on December 13-16 in New Orleans.

Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H., served as a panelist at the Kaiser Science Committee meeting, "HIV Prevention: Looking Back, Looking Ahead," sponsored by the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California in San Francisco on October 6-7, 1994.

Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H., gave a presentation on NIDA's prevention research in a session entitled "Prevention Research: Meeting the Challenges," at the NIAID/NIH Conference on Advances in AIDS Vaccine Development in Reston, Virginia, on November 10, 1994.

Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H. served as a discussant on a panel entitled "Contributions of Anthropological Research to Successful HIV/AIDS Interventions" at the American Anthropological Association Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on December 2, 1994.

Dr. Needle was also a panelist in a Conference workshop session on Federal funding, sponsored by the AIDS and Anthropology Research Group.

Peter Hartsock, Ph.D., DEPR, and Don Vereen, M.D., M.P.H., OD, represented NIDA at the White House Conference, "Meeting the Challenge: Health, Safety, and Food for America," on November 21-22, 1994. During the conference, emphasis was given to the significance of epidemiology and prevention for understanding and reducing substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and violence.

Peter Hartsock, Ph.D., represented NIDA at the Seniors Meeting of the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Council on December 8, 1994. The meeting focused on preparation of the biennial report to Congress on Arctic research accomplishments and new initiatives, which include establishment of a State Epidemiologic Work Group (SEWG) in Alaska.

Peter Hartsock, Ph.D., represented NIDA at the second meeting of the New Mexico SEWG, Las Cruces, New Mexico on October 24-25, 1994. The purpose of the meeting was to solidify the SEWG process begun under NIDA auspices in New Mexico last July and to develop a New Mexico-Mexico border surveillance and research capability for drug abuse and related correlates, including HIV/AIDS and violence. Special representation and assistance at the meeting came from the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Association.

Helen Cesari, M.Sc., DEPR, served as a panelist on "Training Guidelines on Women and Minorities in Research" during the extramural training sessions on inclusion guidelines, conducted by the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health on September 28, 1994.

Elizabeth Lambert, M.Sc., DEPR, represented NIDA at the Maryland SEWG at the University of Maryland in College Park on November 4, 1994. The semiannual Maryland SEWG has expanded so that every county in Maryland is now represented; the SEWG agenda includes topics of special interest to Marylanders, such as alcohol and drug use among shock trauma patients admitted to the University of Maryland's Shock Trauma Center and longitudinal research on psychoactive drug use in specific counties.

Arnold Mills, M.S.W., DEPR, served as a panelist in the Nationwide Evaluation of TASC Programs Workshop at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology, in Miami, Florida November 8-12, 1994. Among others, panelists included NIDA grantees Duane McBride, Ph.D. and James Inciardi, Ph.D.

Dr. Lana Harrison and Andrea Kopstein coauthored a paper entitled "A Twenty Year Perspective on Adolescent Drug Use" which was presented at the American Society of Criminology meeting.


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