National Institute on Drug Abuse
Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug
Media and Education Activities
February 13, 1997: Notification that NIH Would Hold a Workshop February
19-20, 1997 at Natcher Conference Center Auditorium to Answer Questions
on Medical Research on Marijuana. Presentations were made by scientists
on the existing medical and scientific literature on the therapeutic utility
of marijuana. The review group's conclusions will assist the NIH Director
in considering actions NIH could take to fund research on the therapeutic
potential of marijuana for patients with specific illnesses.
March 6, 1997: New Research-Based Guide Now Available To Help Prevent
Teen Drug Use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse released on March 6,
1997 the first research-based guide to preventing young people from using
drugs. The guide is entitled, "Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children
and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide".
March 10, 1997: Dallas Town Meeting to Promote Understanding and Dispel
Myths About Drug Abuse and Addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse,
National Institutes of Health (NIDA), held a community Town Meeting in Dallas
on March 24, 1997. The purpose of the Town Meeting was to discuss the problem
of drug abuse in the State of Texas and in the Dallas area, and consider
how the results of research could be used to improve the response to the
March 14: Workshop to Arm Teachers With the Latest Research on Drug Addiction.
Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addressed
teachers from high schools in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area during
Brain Awareness Week. In the workshop entitled, "The Biology of Addiction:
Your Brain on Drugs", Dr. Leshner discussed the latest research on
drug abuse and addiction and current strategies for effectively treating
and preventing drug addiction.
April 4, 1997: Genetic Basis Indicated for Abuse of Marijuana. Dr. Michael
Lyons, Dr. Ming Tsuang, and their colleagues at Harvard Medical School in
Boston have found that whether an individual has positive or negative sensations
after smoking marijuana is heavily influenced by heredity. This study, funded
by NIDA, was published in the April 1997 issue of the international medical
Other Press Activities
Parade Magazine Article - On February 9, 1997, "Secrets of the Brain",
an article by Earl Ubell, was published in Parade Magazine which featured
a section on drug addiction and quotes from NIDA Director, Dr. Alan Leshner.
Press Interest in the Dallas Town Meeting - While in Dallas, Dr. Leshner
conducted several interviews with local television, radio and print media.
Dr. Leshner was interviewed extensively by the Editorial staff of the Dallas
Morning News, an interview that resulted in two editorials in the paper.
Journalists Workshop - Several NIDA staff made presentations to a group
of journalists participating in a University of Maryland, Knight Center
media workshop. Over 30 journalists from print media in large and small
cities spent one day (out of a 5-day "War on Drugs" Workshop)
at the Division of Intramural Research learning about various areas of research
on drug abuse and addiction and touring the new brain imaging center.
CSAP Media Workshops - NIDA Press Officers, Mona Brown and Sheryl Massaro,
made several presentations during CSAP's media workshops for state prevention
practitioners (primarily NPN members). The workshops were held in Kansas
City, MO and Baltimore, MD. The presentations dealt with updates on NIDA's
media and public education activities, handling sensitive and controversial
issues, and media spokespersons training.
ABC's March on Drugs - During the month of March, ABC television made
a special emphasis/focus on drug abuse, particularly among youth. Throughout
the month, much of NIDA's research and information was made available to
writers and producers. Dr. Leshner and several other NIDA grantees were
interviewed for ABC Prime Time Live's segment on teen marijuana use.
Bill Moyers' PBS Special on Addiction and Recovery - On March 26, Bill
Moyers and Public Affairs Television interviewed Dr. Leshner and filmed
his research-based presentation to and question/answer session with middle
school children at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Maryland. The
Moyers team is in the production phase of a 4-hour exploration of addiction
and recovery, premiering in late March 1998. The special will cover the
science of addiction as well as prevention and treatment issues and will
be working with NIDA and NIDA grantees throughout production.
- Pride Conference
- March 6-8, 1997
- Atlanta GA
- Dallas Town Meeting
- March 24, 1997
- Dallas, TX
- Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS)
- March 26-29, 1997
- Houston, TX
- Society for Research in Child Development
- April 3-6, 1997
- Washington, D.C.
- National Methadone Conference
- April 13-16, 1997
- Chicago, IL
- International Congress of Behavioral Medicine (ICBM)
- April 16-19, 1997
- San Francisco, CA
- American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
- April 17-20
- San Diego, CA
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