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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse
May, 2002

Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

February 4, 2002 - NIDA Hosts Conference in New York to Facilitate Closing the Gap Between Research and Clinical Practice. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), one of the National Institutes of Health, held the meeting, Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships to Enhance Drug Treatment, in New York. The conference provided an important opportunity for clinicians and researchers to examine cutting-edge scientific findings about drug abuse and addiction and their application to clinical practice. Coverage of this release appeared in, Newsday.

February 11, 2002 - Public Service Announcements and In The Mix Show Highlight the Dangers of Anabolic Steroids. Part of the angst of adolescence is concern about body image. In the quest for physical perfection and athletic performance America's young adults increasingly have turned to anabolic steroids, despite the serious side effects of these drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which began a public education program about abuse of anabolic steroids in April 2000, is now distributing public service announcements entitled "Game Plan" in English and Spanish to television stations across the country. The announcements are designed to educate teens, parents and others about the dangers of anabolic steroid abuse. The Institute also participated in the development of "Steroids: The Hard Truth," a special on anabolic steroid abuse among young people that aired on In the Mix, a national television show for teens on PBS.

March 13, 2002 - NIDA Takes Part in National Inhalants and Poison Awareness Week. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, participated in a press conference to kick-off the 10th Annual National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW), March 17 - 23, 2002. Dr. David Shurtleff, Acting Director, Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research, joined ONDCP Director John Walters; SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie; CSAT Director Westley Clark; CSAP Acting Director Elaine Parry; Partnership for a Drug Free America's President and CEO Stephen J. Pasierb; and Harvey Weiss, Executive Director of the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition (NIPC), the driving force behind NIPAW. Dr. Shurtleff spoke about NIDA's new research initiative, Inhalant Abuse: Supporting Broad-Based Research Approaches, designed to intensify its research efforts on the epidemiology, social, behavioral, cognitive, and neurobiological consequences of inhalant abuse, as well as treatment and prevention. To coincide with the 2002 NIPAW, NIDA has produced two informational post cards featuring graphics from the National Inhalant Prevention Coalition website, courtesy of GSD&M, and is distributing 12,500 copies of these free in surf, ski, and skate shops nationwide. These shops reach younger teen audiences. Coverage of this release appeared in, ABC News, Alive and Free,, Join Together Online and USA Today.

March 27, 2002 - Adolescent Depression and High Receptivity to Tobacco Ads May Lead to Teen Smoking. A NIDA-funded study by researchers at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reports that adolescent depression, combined with high receptivity to tobacco advertising, plays a powerful role in whether a teen smokes cigarettes. While research has demonstrated the effects of a number of factors on adolescent smoking behavior (including exposure to smoking by family and friends, high receptivity to tobacco advertising, and positive attitudes and beliefs about smoking), this is one of the first studies to examine how depression combines with these factors to influence the likelihood of smoking. Coverage of this release appeared in, Ascribe Newswire and Join Together Online.

March 27, 2002 - Study Assesses Impact of September 11th Events on Manhattan Residents. In the aftermath of the events of September 11th, researchers funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse assessed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression among Manhattan residents five to eight weeks after the attacks. The researchers, from the New York Academy of Medicine, found that 7.5 percent of the study's 1,008 participants reported symptoms of PTSD and 9.7 percent reported symptoms of depression. More than three percent of participants reported symptoms of both PTSD and depression. The New York findings are two to three times higher than the PTSD and depression rates reported by participants in a national mental health study conducted in the early 1990s. Coverage of this release appeared in, Newsday, Join Together Online, Post and Courier, American Health Line and Washington Times.

Articles of Interest

January 9-15, 2002, The Village Voice - "Prescription: Euphoria" - Interview with Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., and Jerry Frankenheim, Ph.D.

January 20, 2002, USA Today - "Date Rape Drug GHB Making Inroads in Nation's Club Scene" - Interview with Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.

January 29, 2002, The New York Times - "Marijuana's Effects: More Than Munchies" - Interview with Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.

February 10, 2002, The New York Times Magazine - "Drug Fix-Does Rehab Actually Work?" - Interview with Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D.

February 11, 2002, USA Today - "Ecstasy Grows as Danger to Teens" - Interview with Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

February 12, 2002, USA Today - "Teen Steroid Abuse Prompts New Round of TV Warnings" - Interview with Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

March 25, 2002, Workplace Substance Abuse Advisor - "NIDA Director Cool to Proposed Merger Being Studied in Congress" - Interview with Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

March 26, 2002, Newsday - "Post-9/11, Manhattanites are Drinking and Smoking More" - NIDA conference article.

March 28, 2002, Desert News (UT) - "Faith Healing: Spirituality Offers Help on Addictions" - Interview with Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

April 1, 2002, USA Today - "Scientific Accuracy, Entertainment Value" - PRISM Awards article, NIDA mentioned.

April 1, 2002, Popular Science - "Who's an Addict" - Interview with Roy Wise.

NIDA Exhibits Program

Meetings where NIDA exhibited publications and program announcements over the past several months are as follows:

January 24-26, 2002 NADCP 3rd Annual Juvenile Justice and Family Court Training Conference
February 14-19, 2002 American Association for the Advancement of Science
February 20-23, 2002 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
February 22, 2002 Women's Heart Day Health Fair
February 24-27, 2002 Council on Social Work Education
March 11-15, 2002 Brain Awareness Week
March 14-15, 2002 NIDA Blending Clinical Practice and Research
March 26-30, 2002 National Science Teachers Association
April 3-6, 2002 Lonnie E. Mitchell National HBCU Substance Abuse Conference
April 11-14, 2002 Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting
April 11-14, 2002 National Student Assistance Conference
April 20-24, 2002 Experimental Biology 2002
April 25-28, 2002 American Society of Addiction Medicine
May 18-23, 2002 American Psychiatric Association


NIDA's new high school science education curriculum "The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology Through the Study of Addiction" is now available. Developed in collaboration with the NIH Office of Science Education, the curriculum provides accurate research-based information on various aspects of drug abuse, including neurobiology, behavioral components, and treatment. The curriculum is designed as lessons for use in the science classroom. It consists of print materials, and an interactive CD-ROM.


Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DTR&D, was interviewed by Mr. John Schultz of the Kansas City Star regarding recruitment of drug dependent subjects in clinical trials.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Ms. Kitta McPherson of the New Jersey Star Ledger on two occasions. The first was to discuss the development of buprenorphine and the second was to discuss the neurobiology of addiction and potential interventions.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Ms. Susan Seibel of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette regarding new treatments for heroin addiction.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by the BBC on the development of treatments for addiction. He covered behavioral, pharmacological, and immunological treatment approaches.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented on future trends in pharmacotherapies for substance abuse disorders at an Addiction Studies Workshop for Journalists in Atlanta.

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