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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" program continues to receive awards. In recognition of the development, promotion and dissemination of the program, NIDA received an NIH Director's Award. The program also received an APEX '99 Award of Excellence, which is sponsored by Communications Concepts, Inc.

NIDA's video, "Treatment Solutions," received a bronze award for video communications from Questar Awards 99. This award is from MerComm, Inc., which is affiliated with the International Academy of Communication Arts and Sciences.


Media Activities

June 11, 1999, Los Angeles Times - Commentary by Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D. - Why Shouldn't Society Treat Substance Abusers? Drugs: Let's get past the moral outrage and use available solutions to help addicts and, in turn, to help everyone. The piece was also carried by the LA Times Syndicate and appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Three by-lined columns have been distributed nationwide in the last three years through a news service. Topics include, The Essence of Addiction, Nicotine Addiction, and Why Do Sally and Johnny Use Drugs? To date, the columns have generated more than 3,400 newspaper articles around the country.


Press Releases

June 14, 1999 - Combined Drug Counseling Approach Works In Treating Cocaine Addiction. Drug addiction treatment combining individual and group drug counseling reduced cocaine use more effectively than group drug counseling alone or in combination with cognitive or supportive-expressive psychotherapy, according to a study reported in the June 1999 issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry. The findings are from the multi-center NIDA Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study. This study sites included: University of Pennsylvania; Brookside Hospital (Nashua, New Hampshire); Western Psychiatric Hospital and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh; and McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Extramural scientists from NIDA also collaborated on the study. The University of Pennsylvania provided overall coordination for the project. As a result of this news release, the articles appeared in Reuters Health.

June 14, 1999 - Severity of Problems is Key to Best Type of Treatment for Cocaine Addiction. Cocaine addicts with problems such as unemployment, poor support from family and friends, current alcohol or multidrug use, depression or anxiety require more intensive and lengthier treatment to overcome their drug abuse than those without such problems according to a new study in the June 1999 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry. The study investigated 1,605 cocaine patients admitted during 1991-1993 to 55 community based treatment programs in NIDA's nationwide Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS). As a result of this news release, articles appeared in The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Reuters Health.

June 14, 1999 - Long-Term Brain Injury From Use of "Ecstasy." The designer drug "Ecstasy," or MDMA, causes long-lasting damage to brain areas that are critical for thought and memory, according to new research findings in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. In an experiment with red squirrel monkeys, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that 4 days of exposure to the drug caused damage that persisted 6 to 7 years later. As a result of this news release, articles appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The Toronto Star, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters Health, The Journal of Neuroscience, The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, The New York Post, The Mirror, and on MSNBC and CNN.

June 14, 1999 - NIH Institute Opens Treatment Research Center in Baltimore to Help Teens Quit Smoking. NIDA announces the opening on June 23rd of its Teen Tobacco Addiction Treatment Research Clinic (TTATRC), at the new Adolescent Clinic in the IRP's laboratories on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus in East Baltimore. This Center will assess which smoking cessation methods, including the use of nicotine patches and gum, with supportive counseling, are effective with teenagers. As a result of this news release, the article appeared in The Washington Post and as a Substance Abuse Report.

August 1, 1999 - Chronic, Heavy Cocaine Use Associated with Long-Lasting Impaired Function. The detrimental effects of heavy cocaine use on an individual's manual dexterity, problem solving, and other critical skills can last for up to a month after the drug was taken, according to a study reported in the Summer issue of The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. The study, which was conducted by researchers at NIDA's Intramural Research Program and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, found that heavy cocaine users were outperformed by moderate users and non-users on most tests measuring verbal memory, manual dexterity, and other cognitive skills. Heavy cocaine use was defined as two or more grams a week. As a result of this news release, articles appeared in The Washington Times, Washington Dateline and The Journal of Neuropsychiatry.

August 2, 1999 - Boys Treated With Ritalin, Other Stimulants Significantly Less Likely to Abuse Drugs Later. Boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are treated with stimulants such as Ritalin are significantly less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol when they get older, according to a new study funded by NIMH. The study, which appeared in the August 2, issue of Pediatrics, compared three groups of boys - those with ADHD who had been treated with stimulants, those with ADHD who had not been treated with stimulants, and those without ADHD -- and their susceptibility to substance use disorder.

On June 21, 1999, Dr. Jean Lud Cadet was interviewed by Maryland Public Television on the Teen Tobacco Addiction Treatment Research Center.

On June 23, 1999, Dr. Jean Lud Cadet was interviewed by Fox 45 on the Teen Tobacco Addiction Treatment Research Center.


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:

June 3-5, 1999 -- National Association of Drug Court Professionals

June 3-6, 1999 -- American Psychological Society

June 5-9, 1999 -- National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors and National Prevention Network

June 26-29, 1999 -- 103rd Annual National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association

July 14-17, 1999 -- Association on Higher Education and Disability

July 15-18, 1999 -- AIDS Impact 1999

August 15-20, 1999 -- International Congress on Alcohol and Drug Dependence

August 20-24, 1999 -- American Psychological Association


Planned Meetings

On September 22, 1999, the MDD will sponsor a symposium on HPA dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. The aim of this symposium is to discuss similarities and differences, and biological significance of HPA hypo and hyperactivity in mental illness, including drug dependence.

CAMCODA is organizing a workshop on the Role of Neuroendocrines and Micronutrients in Neuropsychiatric Complications in HIV Infection and Drug Abuse. The workshop is scheduled for September 29-30, 1999, Conference Room D, Natcher Building, NIH Campus. Contact: Dr. Walter Royal or Jag Khalsa, Ph.D., CAMCODA, 301-443-1801

The Behavioral Science Workgroup is sponsoring a satellite symposium on "Career Pathways in Behavioral Neuroscience" at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in October of 1999 in Miami, Florida. The symposium is one in a series of events on "Early Career Pathways: Opportunities for Behavioral Researchers" hosted by the workgroup throughout 1999. The events showcase particularly promising early career investigators whose behavioral science research programs in drug abuse are supported through a variety of different funding mechanisms. NIDA grantees Dr. Robert L. Balster and Dr. Lisa Gold will deliver oral presentations on "mentoring and being mentored" with NIDA support. Dr. Lucinda Miner from NIDA's Office on Science Policy and Communications will discuss sources of support that are appropriate for research and career development at the predoctoral, postdoctoral and junior investigator level. Twenty poster presenters will represent the diversity of behavioral research in neuroscience sponsored by the institute and were selected from among present training center fellows, individuals supported by minority supplements, B/START or FIRST/* awardees and career development (K mechanisms) grantees.


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