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National Institute on Drug Abuse

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

May, 1999


Media and Education Activities


Awards

The NIDA Goes To School toolbox of materials was a Finalist in the Astrid Awards given by MerComm, Inc., honoring outstanding design communications. The toolbox contained many materials written specifically for students in grades 5 through 9, including the Mind Over Matter magazines featuring the cartoon adventures of Sara Bellum, a girl who explores the brain's response to particular drugs and introduces key concepts in neuroscience, and ATOD-TV, an interactive CD-ROM, featuring information on drugs of abuse in a variety of television show formats. Other materials in the toolbox included NIDA publications and fact sheets.

PRIDE World Conference, April 8-9. Dr. Leshner appeared as a keynote speaker at the PRIDE conference in Cincinnati. He also spoke to Cincinnati-based counselors, medical directors, and community-based physicians at the Hamilton County Alcohol & Addiction Services Center. During an evening awards gala, Dr. Leshner was presented with PRIDE's Network to Freedom Award.

As a result of these appearances, Dr. Leshner was quoted in an April 8 article in The Cincinnati Post, which also highlighted the NIDA Goes to School Material. In addition, the ABC TV affilliate, WKRC, interviewed and taped Dr. Leshner for a piece on inhalant abuse among young people, which aired April 29.


Press Releases

March 3, 1999 Advances in Imaging and Understanding the Human Brain Featured in NIH Commemoration of Brain Awareness Week. Noninvasive technology has become the scientist's window into the brain and how it functions. To help commemorate Brain Awareness Week, NIH sponsored morning and evening symposia on March 16, showcasing what scientists are learning about the brain from neuroimaging advances. "Neuroimaging: Glimpses into the Working Brain," featured both the history and future of imaging technology.

March 16, 1999 Higher Doses of Methadone Found to Be Safe and Effective. Researchers have demonstrated that methadone can be used safely at dose levels higher than those often considered standard, and that the higher dosages significantly improve treatment outcomes. They also showed that addicts receiving even low doses of the medication are more likely to remain in a treatment program than those receiving no methadone.

March 22, 1999 Researchers Discover Function for Brain's Marijuana-Like Compound. Researchers, funded in part by NIDA, have discovered a function for a natural compound in the brain that is chemically similar to the active ingredient in marijuana. This finding may lead to the development of new medications for treating a wide variety of disorders. As a result, an article appeared in the San Jose Mercury News.


Media Advisories

January 13, 1999 NIDA Launches a Major Effort to Establish National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. NIDA has taken major steps forward in establishing a critically needed research infrastructure that will test and disseminate science-based addiction treatments in real life settings throughout the country by establishing the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. As a result, articles appeared in the AAAP Newsletter, the American Psychological Society Observer, and CADCA's Coalitions.

March 9, 1999 - Miramax, NBC, CBS, & ABC Among Winners of PRISM Awards Which Champion Accurate Depiction of Drug Use In Movies & On TV. The Third Annual PRISM Awards, which spotlight outstanding efforts of the entertainment industry to accurately depict drug use and addiction in entertainment products, were presented at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA. As a result, stories appeared on all TV Channels in LA, plus in USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Substance Abuse Report, Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly, and TV Guide On-Line's Daily Dish, and an Associated Press story ran in over 100 newspapers nationwide.


NIDA Exhibits Program

The following are meetings where NIDA exhibited its publications and program announcements over the past several months:

February 24-27, 1999 -- American Society of Neuroimaging

February 26-March 2, 1999 -- National Association of Secondary School Principals

March 9, 1999 -- PRISM Awards

March 18-21, 1999 -- Prevention '99 Scientific, Political and Social Priorities for the 21st Century

March 25-28, 1999 -- 47th Annual National Science Teachers Association

April 8-10, 1999 -- Parent Resource Institute for Drug Education

April 15-18, 1999 -- Society for Research in Child Development

April 17, 1999 -- Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons

April 1999 -- NIDA Mini-town Meeting

April 28-May 1, 1999 -- The Lonnie E. Mitchell National HBCU Substance Abuse Conference

April 29-May 2, 1999 -- 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Addiction Medicine

May 6, 1999 -- NIDA Town Meeting

May 15-20, 1999 -- American Psychiatric Association

May 22-28, 1999 -- International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine


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