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National Institute on Drug Abuse -  NIDA NOTES
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Volume 12, Number 5
September/October 1997

NIDA's Town Meetings Take Drug Abuse Research Information to Chicago and Philadelphia

By Sharon Cargo, NIDA NOTES Contributing Writer

NIDA held Town Meetings in Chicago and Philadelphia earlier this year, the latest in a series of Town Meetings the Institute is conducting around the country to dispel myths about drug abuse and addiction and to share with the public what has been learned from NIDA-sponsored research. (See "NIDA Goes to Town," NIDA NOTES, January/February 1997)

"These two Town Meetings furthered one of NIDA's most important goals," says NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner. "They enabled us to bring scientific knowledge about preventing drug abuse and treating addiction to the grass roots where people can use it to make a difference in their communities," he says.

NIDA's Town Meetings have three specific objectives: to increase public knowledge about NIDA-sponsored research and how it can be used to assess local drug abuse problems and improve prevention and treatment services, to work with community-based organizations to increase dissemination of drug abuse information and materials to the public, and to help NIDA learn what additional scientific information communities and grassroots organizations need.

Dr.

NIDA Director Dr. Alan I. Leshner, left, and U. S. Representative John E. Porter (R-IL), chair of the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, take a break at a community meeting at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois, the evening before NIDA's Chicago Town Meeting.

"Local officials and policymakers have been supportive of NIDA's Town Meetings, and their support has been key to the success of these events."

The night before the Chicago Town Meeting in May, Dr. Leshner met with parents, students, teachers, and community leaders at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois, to talk about drug abuse among youth. Representative John E. Porter (R-IL), chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, also attended. At the Town Meeting the next morning, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Bob Kustra, whose office helped sponsor the meeting, gave the opening remarks.

At the Philadelphia Town Meeting in October, fifteen NIDA-sponsored researchers from the Philadelphia area participated in a research "gallery" on drug abuse and addiction research. The gallery featured poster presentations that explained the researchers' current findings. "Local officials and policymakers have been supportive of NIDA's Town Meetings, and their support has been key to the success of these events," says Dr. Timothy Condon, NIDA's associate director for science policy. NIDA Town and Regional Meetings have been held in St. Louis, Miami, Tampa, Columbus, San Francisco, and Dallas. Additional meetings are planned for 1998.

NIDA NOTES - September/October 1997

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