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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

February, 1997


Planned Meetings



The NIDA Neuroscience Consortium and NIDA-B, the Molecular, Cellular and Chemical Neurobiology Research Review Subcommittee, are co-sponsoring a workshop on February 11, 1997 entitled "Knockouts and Transgenic Animals: Implications for Drug Abuse Research." Speakers and their topic are: Alcino Silva, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Gene targeting: novel window on learning and memory; Mark Mayford, Ph.D., UC San Diego, Regulated genetic control of synaptic plasticity: learning and memory; Rene Hen, Ph.D., Columbia, Targeting addictive behavior: the knockout approach; George Uhl, M.D., Ph.D., NIDA Intramural Research Program, Transgenic mice provide novel insights into cocaine, amphetamine, and morphine actions; and Eric Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., Yale, Understanding addiction: tools to manipulate genes in the brain. The aim of the workshop is to inform committee members, NIDA staff, and NIH staff about recent advances in transgenic technology and its application to drug abuse research. The workshop is scheduled to be held from 1:00 to 5:00 pm in the Potomac Room of the Parklawn Building.

On February 11-13, 1997, the NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research, in conjunction with several NIH Institutes, will convene a consensus development conference to address several questions about what is known about interventions to reduce behaviors related to HIV transmission. Several presentations will be made on interventions to reduce risks related to drug abuse, including outreach to out-of-treatment IDUs by Dr. Richard Needle, Chief, Community Research Branch, DEPR.

NIDA's Neuroscience Consortium has organized a workshop for high school teachers entitled "The Biology of Addiction: Your Brain on Drugs" to be held on March 17, 1997 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at the Natcher Auditorium on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. This workshop is being organized in recognition of Brain Awareness Week (March 17-23). The featured speaker will be NIDA Director, Dr. Alan Leshner. Dr. Leshner will discuss the latest research on biological mechanisms underlying drug abuse and addiction, and current strategies for its prevention and treatment. There will be opportunities for teachers to ask questions and engage in discussions with Dr. Leshner and other NIDA staff. In addition, free teaching materials will be available.

NIDA's Behavioral Science Working Group in conjunction with the American Psychological Society (APS) will be sponsoring an all-day satellite conference at the APS Convention entitled "Cognitive Science Research: More Than Thinking About Drug Abuse." The meeting will be held on May 23, 1997 at the Washington Hilton. Dr. Alan Leshner, NIDA Director, will open the meeting which will feature many distinguished cognitive scientists. There will be an emphasis on the role of cognitive science in understanding the problem of drug abuse and addiction. Invited speakers will focus on topics such as animal cognition, the effects of drugs of abuse on cognitive ability, information processing, social cognition, and cognitive aspects of drug treatment and therapy. The meeting will provide opportunities for active interchanges between speakers and attendees for discussing cognitive science and drug abuse issues. The meeting will be open to the public and APS Convention attendees.

To highlight scientific advances and research opportunities in the field of drug abuse research on AIDS, NIDA's Office on AIDS has worked closely with the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) to develop a number of AIDS-related symposia for the CPDD annual meeting in Nashville, June 14-19, 1997. In addition, the Office on AIDS sought to stimulate submission of AIDS-related abstracts to CPDD through mailings to NIDA grantees, participants in the 1995 Scottsdale CPDD Satellite Meeting, and attendees at neuroAIDS and neuroimmunology meetings sponsored by NIH. Over 35 abstracts were submitted for NIDA sponsorship to CPDD.


Publications



National Conference on Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research Highlights, NIH Publication #96-4106, NCADI #BKD928.
Highlights from the Conference held in July 1995. Discusses the extent of the problem, consequences, prevention, and treatment of marijuana abuse. Dispels myths and provides science-based information on the drug.

Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse: Community Epidemiology Work Group
June 1996: Volume I Highlights and Executive Summary, NIH Publication #96-4126,
NCADI #BKD211.
Summarizes the data discussed at the June 1996 meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group, which assessed recent drug abuse trends and pinpoints populations at risk in the U.S. and abroad.

Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse: Community Epidemiology Work Group
June 1996: Volume II: Proceedings, NIH Publication #96-4127.
Summarizes the data discussed at the June 1996 meeting of the Community Epidemiology Work Group, which assessed recent drug abuse trends and pinpoints populations at risk in the U.S. and abroad.

National Survey Results From the Monitoring the Future Study, 1975-1995, Volume I: Secondary School Students, NIH Publication #97-4139, NCADI #BKD213.
The two-volume monograph reports the results of the 21st national survey of drug use and related attitudes among American high school seniors, the 16th such survey of American college students, and the 5th such survey of 8th and 10th grade students.

Evaluating the Efficacy of HIV Prevention Among Drug Users: Models, Methods, and Measures. The Journal of Drug Issues, Summer 1996 (vol. 26, number 3), edited by E. Czajkosoki and Guest Editor, Merrill Singer, is devoted to the topic of evaluating the efficacy of HIV prevention among drug users: models, methods, and measures. Contributors to the special issue were all recent or current researchers participating in NIDA's Cooperative Agreement for AIDS Community-Based Outreach/Intervention Research Program. Guest Editor Merrill Singer and Richard H. Needle, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief, Community Research Branch, provide the introduction on "Preventing AIDS Among Drug Users: Evaluating Efficacy " which describes the history and objectives of NIDA's Cooperative Agreement program and points to its new directions toward a second wave of even more effective HIV prevention models.

Dr. Peter Cohen of MDD authored "Off-Label" Use of Prescription Drugs: Legal, Clinical, and Policy Considerations. European Journal of Anaesthesiology, In Press.

Cadet J.L., Sheng P., Epstein C., and Hirata H. Nitric Oxide and Superoxide Radicals as Mediators of Toxicity of Amphetamine Analogs. In: Free Radicals in Brain Physiology and Disorders. Academic Press, Chpt. 33, pp. 441-448, 1996.
Pushpa V. Thadani & Conference Participants. NIDA Conference Report on Cardiopulmonary Complications of "Crack" Cocaine Use: Clinical Manifestation and Pathophysiology, CHEST, 110, pp. 1072-1076, 1996.


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