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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1999


Meetings/Conferences


"Neurotrophic Factors: Tools for Modifying the Brain" was held at Lister Hill Auditorium, NIH campus, January 6-7, 1999. The meeting, organized by Dr. Nancy Pilotte, DBR, focused on the newly appreciated novel growth factors, the neurotrophins, which can serve to promote neural growth, and their possible role in brains chronically exposed to drugs of abuse.

NIDA's Behavioral Science Working Group co-hosted, with the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, a special plenary symposium titled "Highlighting New Investigators in Nicotine and Tobacco Research" at the annual meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in San Diego, California on Saturday March 6, 1999. Participants were: Stephen Heishman, NIDA; Jack Henningfield, Pinney Associates and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Neil Grunberg, The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Dorothy Hatsukami, University of Minnesota; Maxine Stitzer, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and, Jaylan S. Turkkan, NIDA. New investigators that were highlighted in the symposium were: Beth C. Bock, Brown University School of Medicine; Jon D. Kassel, University of Illinois at Chicago; and James W. Shaw, The University of Arizona. This symposium is one of seven national events sponsored by the Behavioral Science Working Group titled "Early Career Pathways: Opportunities for Behavioral Researchers". Upcoming symposia will be at meetings of the American Psychological Society, CPDD, Society for Prevention Research, AIDS Impact, and the Society for Neuroscience.

On March 9, 1999, NIDA and the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) held an event in Beverly Hills, CA during which the Third Annual PRISM Awards were presented, spotlighting outstanding efforts of the entertainment industry to accurately depict drug use and addiction in entertainment products.

This year, NIDA staff took on the responsibility of coordinating the NIH neuroscience event during Brain Awareness Week. "Neuroimaging: Glimpses into the Working Brain" took place on March 16, 1999, with a morning scientific session and an evening presentation geared to the general public. Eleven Institutes at NIH were cosponsors of the event.

A technical assistance meeting of grantees funded under the NIH Consortium on Domestic Violence administered by NIDA (Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR) was held April 26-27, 1999, in Washington, DC, to discuss progress, findings, and problems in this type of research. Other investigators with studies on violence against women and within the family funded by participating Institutes were also invited. Dr. Bernie Auchter, NIJ, chaired the meeting.

Buprenorphine: A New Option for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction for the Practicing Physician was held on April 30, 1999 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York, New York, in conjunction with the annual Medical-Scientific Conference of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. This NIDA/ASAM day-long symposium was co-chaired by Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, Medication Development Division in NIDA, and Dr. Donald Wesson, Chair of the ASAM Medications Development Committee. This meeting was planned by Drs. Tai, Blaine, and Czechowicz and NIDA's Treatment Research Workgroup. The symposium presented scientific information on the pharmacology and mechanism of action of buprenorphine; results from clinical trials of buprenorphine and from studies integrating this pharmacotherapy with a behavioral therapy to maximize treatment effectivness; and addressed issues related to the treatment of women, polydrug abusers, and individuals with medical and/or psychiatric comorbidity. Research on office-based treatment for opioid addiction was also presented and discussed.

NIDA held a Town Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia entitled "Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction: Myths versus Reality" on May 6, 1999. NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner and NIDA researchers discussed ways that state policy makers, organizations, schools and communities can utilize the latest scientific research to assess state and local drug problems and tailor programs to meet these needs. As part of publicity/outreach for the May 5-6 Town Meeting in Atlanta, NIDA articles and information were featured in the April 27th edition of the City Hall Newspaper, City Beat, and 60,000 copies were distributed in the Atlanta area.

The Medications Development Division, in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration, the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse sponsored a meeting on April 28-29, 1999 to discuss efficacy endpoints and outcomes for pharmacological treatments for cocaine, alcohol, and nicotine dependence.

Mr. Richard A. Millstein, NIDA Deputy Director, served on an expert panel that provided advice to the University of Delaware Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies on its RWJ award to develop an illicit drug surveillance system, April 8-9, 1999, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Richard Millstein attended the annual meeting of the Council on Foundations and sessions of Grantmakers in Health, Funders Against AIDS, and children and family interest groups to begin to explore potential NIDA-community-foundation collaborative activities, April 18-21, 1999, New Orleans, LA.

On April 27, 1999, accompanied by Ms. Ana Anders, NIDA Senior Advisor on Special Populations, Mr. Richard Millstein held a followup meeting with Dr. Carlos Ugarte, Coordinator of the NIH Hispanic Communications Initiative, NIH Office of the Director, to share NIDA activities and interests and to consider further developmental activities. As a next step Mr. Millstein has invited Dr. Ugarte to meet with NIDA senior staff on May 27, 1999.

Mr. Richard Millstein presented "The Science of Addiction: Research and Public Health Perspectives" at the University of Maryland School of Law Conference on "Substance Abuse, Families and the Courts: Legal and Public Health Challenges," May 14, 1999, Baltimore, MD.

On January 11, 1999, Lula Beatty presented a session on drug abuse research opportunities for participants in the NIH Extramural Associates Program.

On January 13, 1999, Lula Beatty conducted a faculty development seminar on research development for the School of Arts and Sciences at Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland.

On March 15, 1999, Lula Beatty presented a class lecture to foreign service majors on Drug Abuse and Minority Youth at Georgetown University.

On March 17, 1999, Lula Beatty presented the inaugural lecture, "Preventing Drug Abuse in Black Youth," for the Henry Cornwell Distinguished Lecture Series at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania.

As a liaison from the Division of Women, American Psychological Association (APA), Lula Beatty attended the meeting of the Committee on Women during the APA's governance board meetings held March 20-22, 1999. She made a presentation on drug abuse research and women and research opportunities at NIDA to the committee.

On January 7-8, 1999, Ana Anders, Senior Advisor on Special Populations, Special Populations Office, met with a subcommittee of the Hispano/Latino Researchers and Scholars Work Group (HLRSWG) to plan for the upcoming HLRSWG annual meeting.

As a representative of NIDA, On April 17, 1999, Ana Anders participated in a town meeting in Espanola, New Mexico, called by Senator Pete Domenici. At the meeting, the town's black tar heroin epidemic was discussed.

As a representative of NIDA, Ana Anders has attended ongoing meetings with multiple federal agencies hosted by ONDCP. They have met to plan the Second U.S./Mexico Demand Reduction Binational Conference, which will take place in Tijuana, Mexico in June, 1999.

As a representative of the Special Populations Office, Ana Anders attended the "Substance Abuse in Primary Care Settings: Treating Hispanic Patients" conference in New York, New York on April 17, 1999. The conference was sponsored by the Interamerican College of Physicians & Surgeons (ICPS) in collaboration with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, SAMHSA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Bureau of Primary Health Care, HRSA and the Office of Minority Health, DHHS.

On April 9, 1999, Ana Anders met with representatives from NIMH, SAMHSA, CDC, HRSA and OMH to brainstorm on developing a project on Hispanic health issues that are common to the agencies. The project is aimed at closing the gap on the disparity of health among Hispanics.

Ana Anders presented NIDA's mission, programs for special populations and initiatives, particularly the Hispanic Initiative, to the National Boricua Latino Health Organization (NBLHO) at their annual conference held in Philadelphia on March 27, 1999.

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, Medications Development Division, was a discussant on Therapeutic Drug Development at the Fifth Office of National Drug Control Policy International Technology Symposium held in Washington, D.C. on March 9, 1999.

Dr. Frank Vocci, MDD presented a talk entitled "Development of Medications for Opiate Dependence" at the 1999 American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics meeting, San Antonio, Texas, March 19, 1999.

Dr. Frank Vocci was a co-Chair, along with Dr. London of the IRP, of a neuroscience breakout session of the NIH Biomarkers meeting entitled "Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints: Advancing Clinical Research and Applications" on April 15-16, 1999. The session featured presentations on cue-induced and drug induced craving for cocaine, the role of endogenous opioid receptor systems in the response to naltrexone in treatment of alcoholism, the role of computerized cognitive testing in drug development, markers for alcohol consumption, markers of vulnerability to alcohol abuse, and integration of data domains into an index biomarker.

Dr. Teresa Levitin, Director, OEPR, presented at the 1999 Society of Research in Child Development biennnial meeting held in Albuquerque, NM in April 1999. She participated in a symposium for new investigators, "How to Create Your Research Career: Mentoring, Networking, and Grant Writing". She also participated in a symposium on behavioral science and child and adolescent research at NIDA.

Mr. Richard Harrison, Chief of the Contracts Review Branch, OEPR, participated in a meeting of an interagency group coordinated by the Indian Health Service to assist the Department of Justice (DOJ) in an initiative to address crime issues affecting Native American Tribes. The DOJ is particularly interested in providing assistance to Tribes to help them deal with issues such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, child abuse, domestic violence and treatment issues.

Dr. Arthur MacNeill Horton, Jr. attended the Society for Research in Child Development meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 15-18, 1999 and co-chaired two sessions: "How to Create Your Research Career: Mentoring, Networking, and Grant Writing" and "Behavioral Science and Child and Adolescent Research at NIDA."

Dr. Peter Delany, Deputy Chief, Services Research Branch, co-chaired a meeting entitled "HIV/AIDS Services in Drug Abuse Treatment Settings: Expanding Research and Practice," held in Bethesda March 25-26, 1999. This meeting, co-sponsored by NIDA and the National Developmental Research Institutes, Inc., was attended by researchers, constituent representatives, and representatives from other Federal agencies. Participants heard brief presentations on the dimensions of the problem confronting drug treatment programs, organizational and systems issues, advances in interventions, and the needs of special populations. Materials from this meeting will be developed for a proceedings paper to be placed on the Resource Center for Health Services Research Website.

Drs. Peter Delany and Jerry Flanzer, SRB, DCSR represented NIDA at the Annual Program Meeting of the Council of Social Work Education in San Francisco, March 10-14, 1999. Drs. Delany and Flanzer also led workshop groups on NIDA health services research opportunities for junior faculty and doctoral students (co-sponsored by the Institute for Advancement of Social Work Research), and met with the Steering Committee of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Section (ATOD) of the National Association of Social Workers.

Dionne J. Jones, Ph.D., CRB/DEPR, gave a presentation on "Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis of the NIDA's Community-Based AIDS Research Program," at a Workshop on Research Syntheses and Meta-Analyses co-sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, on February 19, 1999, in Rockville, MD. Dr. William J. Bukoski, OD/DEPR, was appointed to the Evaluation Guidance Committee for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's (CSAP) National Cross-site Evaluation of State Incentive Grants (SIG), a three year $171 million dollar CSAP discretionary grant program in 19 States designed to promote the adoption of science-based prevention. The committee will meet several times a year to discuss research issues related to the design and implementation of the evaluation that is being conducted under a contract to COSMOS Corporation. The first meeting of the Committee was March 10, 1999.

Dr. William J. Bukoski, OD/DEPR, was appointed to the National Advisory Panel of the Centers for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT), a three year $18 million dollar program sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. The first meeting of the CAPT Advisory Panel was held on March 17, 1999. The purpose of the panel is to provide input to the Centers in their efforts to bridge the gap between prevention science and practice through training, technology transfer, and technical assistance.

On March 18, 1999, Dr. William J. Bukoski, OD/DEPR, participated in a panel presentation on the topic of "A Multidisciplinary Approach to Substance Abuse," at the 16th Annual National Preventive Medicine Meeting sponsored by the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine. On the panel with Dr. Bukoski were Tom Vischi, DHHS; Janet Chinconie, Policy Analyst, Department of Justice; and, Steve England, M.D., Presidential Fellow, Department of Education. The presentation summarized key points contained in a paper on prevention science that was developed by an inter-departmental Federal work group convened by DHHS as part of the Secretarial Initiative on Youth Substance Abuse Prevention. The paper is titled: "Science-based Substance Abuse Prevention," and summarizes the characteristics and principles of science-based substance abuse prevention programs and policies.

Dr. Naimah Weinberg, DEPR, presented an overview of risk factors for adolescent substance abuse, at a conference sponsored by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and the National Center for Learning Disabilities, in New York City on February 1, 1999.

Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR served on the DHHS panel and editorial for the report mandated by the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA, P.L. 105-89) to "describe the extent and scope of the problem of substance abuse in the child welfare population," services provided, outcomes, and recommendations. In the report, just released, most studies found that half to three-quarters of substantiated child abuse and neglect reports involve substance abuse. Half of drug-related cases involve children under 5 years of age. Children of drug dependent parents were identified as having an 8-fold increased risk of becoming drug abusers themselves thus are a high priority for preventive interventions. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Blending Perspectives and Building Common Ground, Report to Congress on Substance Abuse and Child Protection. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1999. Available from the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, 1-800-FYI-3366 and accessed electronically at either www.aspe.os.dhhs.gov or www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/cb/.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, PRB, DEPR, made a presentation on drug abuse in rural America at the Drug Enforcement Administration, Mid-Size Cities Conference on February 22, 1999 in Herndon, VA. Jeffrey Merrill and Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, PRB, DEPR, co-hosted a meeting on the Prevention Services Research agenda, at the Doubletree Hotel on March 17, 1999.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, PRB, DEPR, made a presentation on research-based family prevention interventions at CSAPs National Prevention Congress on March 23, 1999.

Dr. Elizabeth Robertson, DEPR, represented NIDA at the Prevention Roundtable on March 2, 1999. The Roundtable coordinates prevention activities across federal agencies.

Dr. Coryl Jones, ERB/DEPR gave a presentation and workshop on career development opportunities in drug abuse research at the NIH Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Workshop, February 17-18, 1999, in Bethesda, MD. The 40 investigators who attended seek to focus their work on child abuse and neglect through research training and career development (K awards) under a new NIH initiative to assist investigators conduct multi-disciplinary, clinically-relevant research on basic biological, behavioral, and social aspects of child and adolescent abuse and neglect. Participating institutes include NIDA, NIMH, NICHD, NIAAA, and NINDS.

Dionne J. Jones, Ph.D., of CRB/DEPR, gave a presentation on "Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis of the NIDA's Community-Based AIDS Research Program," at a Workshop on Research Syntheses and Meta-Analyses co-sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, on February 19, 1999, in Rockville, MD.

Jacques Normand, Ph.D., of CRB/DEPR, was a discussant in the symposium, "Beyond Drug-Testing: Recent Innovations in Workplace Substance Use Prevention," an APA-NIOSH Interdisciplinary Conference on Work, Stress, and Health, held in Baltimore, March 13, 1999.

Dr. Ro Nemeth-Coslett, DEPR, organized a meeting at the request of National Association of Children of Alcoholics (NACoA) to provide information on children of drug users for a fact sheet sponsored by NACoA. Drs. Kathy Etz and Elizabeth Robertson, DEPR, Dr. Vince Smeriglio, CAMCODA, and Dr. Cathy Cordigan, NACoA,also participated in the meeting held on March 3, 1999.

Dr. Kenzie Preston, IRP, presented "Urine and Sweat Monitoring of Illicit Opiate Use" at the annual scientific meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics in San Antonio, Texas, in March 1999.

Dr. David A. Gorelick, Chief, Pharmacotherapy Section, IRP, organized and chaired a symposium entitled "Update on Treatment of Stimulant Abuse" at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting, Washington, D.C., May 20, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "Functional Imaging in Neuropsychiatric Disorders" at NIMH, Jan. 11, 1999, Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Edythe D. London, IRP, presented "Common Problems in Brain Imaging Studies of Drug Abuse" at the Neurobiology of Addiction Conference, Los Angeles, CA, Jan. 12-13, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "The Dopaminergic Neurotransmitter System in ADHD" at the University of California, Irvine Grand Rounds, Jan. 13, 1999, Irvine, CA.

Dr. Edythe D. London, IRP, participated in a panel entitled "Novel Approaches to Smoking Cessation: Different Smokes for Different Folks" at the 32nd Annual Winter Conference on Brain Research, Snowmass, CO, Jan. 22-30, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "Neurobiology of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" at Beth Israel Medical Center Grand Rounds, New York, NY, Feb. 11, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, from Behavior to Brain" at the Hopital Robert Debre Ground Rounds, Paris, France, Feb. 18, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented a general lecture on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder at Children's National Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Grand Rounds, Washington, DC, Mar. 3, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "Nicotine Effects on Cerebral Blood Flow during a Working Memory Task" at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Meeting, San Diego, CA, Mar. 7-8, 1999.

Dr. D. Bruce Vaupel, IRP, presented "Imaging Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Using 5-[123/125I]Iodo-A-85380" at the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT) Meeting, San Diego, CA, Mar. 7-9, 1999.

Dr. Edythe D. London, IRP, presented "Imaging Technologies Reveal Persistent Abnormalities in the Brains of Substance Abusers" at the 1999 Office of National Drug Control Policy International Technology Symposium, Washington, DC, Mar. 8, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "The Dopaminergic Hypothesis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" at the University of Southern California School of Medicine Grand Rounds, Los Angeles, CA, Mar. 9, 1999.

Dr. Steven Grant, DCSR, presented "Imaging Drug Abuse" at Neuroscience Day 1999, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD, Mar. 23, 1999.

Dr. D. Bruce Vaupel, IRP, presented "Imaging Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors" at Neuroscience Day 1999, Maryland Psychiatric Research Center and Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, MD, Mar. 23, 1999.

Dr. Monique Ernst, IRP, presented "ADHD's Odyssey through 10 Years of PET" at NIH's PET Interest Group Seminar Series, Bethesda, MD, Apr. 9, 1999.


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