National Institute on Drug Abuse
Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
NIDA Director, Dr. Alan Leshner, traveled to Istanbul in November to
present two lectures at the Third International Bakirköy Days
hosted by Bakirköy State Hospital for Psychiatric and Neurological
Diseases. The topics of his presentations were "Neuroscientific
Advances in Drug Abuse" and "The Health Impact of Drug
Abuse." Dr. Leshner also held research discussions with staff of
Bakirköy's Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment and Research Center.
The 1996-97 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows in Drug Abuse made their annual orientation
visit to NIDA on December 6. NIDA program staff Drs. Roger Brown, DBR, Betty
Tai, MDD, Bennett Fletcher, DCSR, James Colliver, Richard Needle and William
Bukowski, all of DEPR, and Lula Beatty, Office of Special Populations, made
presentations on their respective research program portfolios to provide
the Humphrey Fellows with an introduction to the broad range of drug abuse
research being conducted by NIDA. The Fellows remarked on the value of this
information in planning their program affiliations and in developing research
plans for implementation on return to their home countries.
NIDA and several other NIH institutes hosted a delegation from the Georgian
Republic for meetings organized by the Fogarty International Center. The
Georgians report a growing problem with drug abuse by youth in their country
and are interested in collaboration on drug abuse research, particularly
methadone maintenance treatment and HIV prevention strategies. Delegation
member Dr. Gela Lezhava, Director of the Georgian Research Institute on
Addiction and former Minister of Health, met with several division directors
and visited the Intramural Research Program in Baltimore.
NIDA's International Program sponsored an international satellite meeting
on "Building International Research in Drug Abuse," at
the June 1996 CPDD meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This meeting, supported
by the U.S. Department of State, provided an opportunity for drug abuse
researchers from around the world to share their research and to explore
potential areas for collaboration. Dr. Joseph Frascella, DCSR, participated
in candidate selection for the meeting and served as a moderator for the
research presentations session at the meeting. Proceedings of the meeting
have recently been prepared and distributed to participants; additional
copies are available through the NIDA International Program. Building on
the success of 1996, there will be a second international satellite meeting
in Nashville in June 1997.
The International Program now has an International Home Page available within
the Home Page. Information on NIDA's goals for the further development
of international drug abuse research and information dissemination are contained
at this site, as well as material on the NIDA/INVEST and the NIDA/Hubert
H. Humphrey Training Fellowships. The International Home Page also contains
up-to-date details on International Meetings, NIDA travel awards available
to international scientists and copies of the three most recent INVEST Letters.
The International Program and Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research
coordinated NIDA's substantial contribution to the U.S.-Mexico White Paper
being developed for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in preparation
for high level meetings with Mexican government officials and for future
bilateral collaboration in drug abuse demand reduction activities. The paper
includes reports on epidemiological trends in the United States, findings
of prevention and treatment interventions specifically applicable to Hispanic
culture and language, and NIDA and NIH international research opportunities
available to Mexican scientists and policy makers in drug abuse.
Dr. Frank Tims, DCSR, was an invited participant and speaker in a symposium
on "Drug Abuse and the Criminal Justice System: A Creative Partnership
for Change," in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Tims presented a paper entitled
"Costs and Cost Benefits of Treatment." The symposium was
jointly sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association and the Portage Programs
Dr. Tims also was an invited speaker at the 3rd International Congress
of the Worldwide Hungarian Medical Academy in Pecs, Hungary during July.
He spoke on "Contemporary Drug Issues."
In September, Dr. Yng-Shiuh Sheu, DCSR, assisted the Psychotropic and Narcotic
Drugs Unit, Mental Health, World Health Organization and its Expert Committee
on Drug Dependence in preparing medical and scientific reviews on seven
psychoactive substances. These substances were reviewed by WHO because they
were being considered for international control under the 1961 Single Convention
and 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Compounds reviewed by the
Expert Committee in October, 1996 were alprazolam, diazepam, ephedrine,
nicotine (gum, patches, nasal spray, and inhaler), remifentanil, dihydroetorphine,
Drs. Robert Battjes and Jack Blaine, DCSR, represented NIDA at the Steering
Committee Meeting of the WHO/NIH Joint Project on the Assessment and Classification
of Disablements on December 10th-11th in Rockville, MD. The Steering
Committee reviewed progress on the work of this cooperative agreement including
the data analysis and publications being prepared from the recently completed
Substance Use Disorders Reliability and Validity Study as well as the development
of disablement assessment instruments and the planned cross-cultural applicability
research study on disablement.
Dr. Jack Blaine, DCSR, participated as a research collaborator in the investigators
meeting held in Antalya, Turkey on September 28-October 1 from the Substance
Use Disorders Reliability and Validity Study being conducted as part of
the WHO/NIH Joint Project on the Assessment and Classification of Disablements.
While in Turkey, Dr. Blaine visited the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment
and Research Center (AMATEM), of the Bakirköy State Hospital for Psychiatric
and Neurological Diseases in Istanbul on October 2-4. He made a presentation
on treatment of heroin addiction and met with clinical and research staff
at AMATEM to provide technical assistance in treatment of drug addiction
and to explore opportunities for binational research cooperation.
Dr. Richard Needle, Chief, Community Research Branch, DEPR, participated
in the Fifth Annual HIV Epidemiology Research Meeting sponsored by Health
Canada in Toronto during December. Dr. Needle met with Canadian and other
international researchers to discuss cross-cutting issues associated with
the epidemiology of HIV, current Canadian research prevention and intervention
efforts, and future research directions, including opportunities for collaborative
Dr. Peter Hartsock, Community Research Branch, DEPR, in collaboration with
colleagues at NIAID, the Fogarty Center, and the Russian Institute of Pure
Biochemicals, organized the first U.S.-Russian Conference on Emerging and
Reemerging Infectious Diseases (EREIDs), which was held in St. Petersburg,
Russia, Dec. 8-11, 1996. The purpose of the conference was to stimulate
U.S.-Russian cooperative research efforts in EREIDs. The conference was
supported by the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) of
the former Soviet Union. NIH contributed $1 million through the Fogarty
Center to the CRDF, with additional financial support from the NIH Office
of AIDS Research, as did the Russian Ministry of Science and Technology
and the Russian Ministry of Health.
Arthur Hughes, ERB/DEPR presented a paper entitled "The Epidemiology
and Social Context of Amphetamines, MDMA, and other Psychostimulant Use
in the United States" at the WHO Meeting on Amphetamines, MDMA
and Other Psychostimulants, held November 12-15, 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr. James Colliver, DEPR, represented NIDA at the semiannual meeting of
the Pompidou Group of substance abuse epidemiologists November 25 and 26
at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. He presented information
on recent drug use trends in the United States and on the activities of
the International Drug Abuse Epidemiologic Work Group. The Pompidou group
includes representatives from cities in nations in the European Union, eastern
bloc countries of the former Soviet Union, and selected other locations.
On December 12, 1996, Dr. James Colliver was interviewed on World Net Television's
Dialogue program which focused on the methods of measuring drug use. World
Net TV is part of the U.S. Information Agency, and its programming is transmitted
by satellite to viewers in 140 countries. The show was broadcast live in
Spanish and English, and questions came from panelists in Peru, Paraguay,
Dr. Derrick S. Binns visited the Division of Clinical and Services Research
and the Prevention Research Branch, DEPR on November 6, 1996. Dr. Binns
is a clinical psychologist with the National Drug Commission of Bermuda.
On September 12, 1996 nine individuals from Brazil, Belize, Honduras, Bahamas,
Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Jamaica, and Honduras were briefed by DEPR
staff Nicholas Kozel and Dr. Larry Seitz on the latest results in prevention
Dr. Peter Cohen, MDD made a presentation entitled "Science and Law
as Alternative Approaches to Reality" to the Department of Anaesthetics,
Manchester Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom, November 1996.
Dr. Peter Cohen, MDD made a presentation entitled "Personal
Injury/Medical Negligence: An American Perspective" to a group
of private practice attorneys in the United Kingdom, November 1996.
Dr. Alexis Thompson, IRP, presented papers entitled, "Characterization
of Striatal Dopamine in the Mouse Using Conventional and Quantitative Microdialysis
Methods," and "Effects of Psychostimulants on Striatal Dopamine
in Mice Using Quantitative Microdialysis" at the 7th International
Conference on In Vivo Methods, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, October 1996.
Dr. Steven R. Goldberg, IRP, presented a talk on "Methamphetamine
Administration and Associated Neurotoxicity" as an invited symposium
participant at the 11th Meeting of the Society for Neurochemistry, Groningen,
The Netherlands in July, 1996.
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