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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2004

International Activities

At the 4th Annual Binational Meeting of the U.S. - Mexico Border Health Commission, held December 12, 2003, in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Mexican Ministry of Health signed a letter of intent to increase cooperation in drug abuse research programs and exchange materials and scientific professionals. DHHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Mexico's Health Minister, Julio Jose Frenk Mora, officiated. The letter of intent recognizes the importance of cooperation in accomplishing common goals and interests and provides for the intent to work together to develop collaborations in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research related to drug abuse and addiction. The agreement will build upon previous binational activities between the United States and Mexico and will be carried out through Mexico's National Council Against Addictions and NIDA. Dr. Steven W. Gust, Director of NIDA's International Program participated in the meeting.

NIDA and the Spanish National Plan on Drugs (PNSD), the government agency responsible for drug policy and programs in Spain, executed a formal Exchange of Letters during a ceremony at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C., on October 22, 2003. NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow, and The Honorable Gonzalo Robles Orozco, the then PNSD Government Delegate, represented the two institutions. Mr. Robles is now Government Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration. NIDA and PNSD first cosponsored binational scientific meetings on drug abuse in 1997. The relationship between the two organizations progressed informally through additional meetings, research training, scientific exchanges, and limited support for collaborative research efforts. Following the October 2002 creation of the PNSD foundation, National Institute of Drug Research and Training (INIFD), NIDA and PNSD began exploring ways to expand their cooperative activities.

The Exchange of Letters ceremony preceded a two-day binational research symposium, U.S. - Spain Binational Workshop on Drug Abuse and Addiction Research, October 23-24, 2003, where NIDA grantees and staff joined their Spanish counterparts to summarize the status of drug abuse research programs in both countries and to identify areas for future collaboration on biomedical and behavioral research related to drug abuse. NIDA Associate Director Dr. Timothy P. Condon outlined the organization of NIDA; reviewed the epidemiology of drug abuse in the United States; summarized the findings of NIDA-supported research; and discussed the Institute's efforts to discover how factors such as history, environment, and physiology interact with drugs of abuse and behavior to affect the development, progression, and treatment of drug abuse and addiction. Dr. Condon also listed NIDA's research priorities, including prevention of drug abuse among children and adolescents through studies of genetics, environment, co-morbidity, and treatment intervention targets; training researchers; and collaborating with other NIH institutes, other U.S. agencies, and the international community. National Plan on Drugs (PNSD) Government Delegate Gonzalo Robles described the structure of the PNSD and the National Institute of Drug Research and Training (INIFD); reviewed the epidemiology of drug abuse in Spain; outlined PNSD research areas; and discussed PNSD's active participation in international, regional, and bilateral cooperative agreements. He listed PNSD research priorities, including school- and family-based prevention programs, improving prevention and treatment programs, providing research training, and conducting studies on the neurobiology, clinical and therapeutical pharmacology, psychiatry, and clinical psychology of drug abuse. Drs. Steven W. Gust and M. Patricia Needle of NIDA's International Program (IP) and INIFD Vice President Juan Carlos Pérez Aguilar explained the research funding, training, and exchange opportunities supported by NIDA and INIFD respectively.

Workshop participants formed three working groups to identify potential collaborative research topics and teams. The Epidemiology and Prevention Working Group was co-chaired by Drs. Eve Reider, DESPR, and Teresa Salvador-Llivina, Centro de Estudios sobre Promoción de la Salud, Madrid; Treatment, by Drs. Ivan Montoya, DTR&D, and José Pérez de los Cobos, Hospital del la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona; and Basic Science, by Drs. Jerry Frankenheim, DNBR, and Maria Isabel Colado Meg’a, Universidad Complutense, Madrid. The groups recommended the following topics for potential binational collaborations:

  • Epidemiology and Prevention Working Group
    • Principles of prevention science
    • Compare components of successful programs and how they work across countries
    • Compare difficulties in using evidence-based prevention
    • Translate research into programs, especially those for different cultures
  • Treatment Working Group
    • Comorbidity, particularly in adolescents, and with nicotine and psychiatric disorders
    • Services research to measure patient satisfaction, comorbidity, staff burnout, and therapeutic alliances
    • Physiological measures, such as electroretinogram studies, to identify physiological components of craving and develop anti-methadone antibodies, rapid tests to detect methadone, and mechanisms to collect outcome variables on PDAs
    • Randomized clinical trials in Spain to test Vigabatrin as a treatment for cocaine dependence
  • Basic Science Working Group
    • Expand existing collaborations that are investigating the effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity, effects of cannabinoids on nicotine action and behavior, involvement of kineases in cannabis reward, the role of cytokine and microglia on the hyperthermia and neurotoxicity induced by amphetamine derivatives, the involvement of sigma receptors in the plasticity induced by cocaine, the role of the endocannabinoid system in relapse, regulation of delta receptors by cocaine, and changes in the striatum neural function during acquisition of cocaine self-administration and the dopamine receptor role in acquiring the behavior
    • Administrative supplements better accommodate the rapid pace of basic science than do R01 grants
    • Europe offers a unique setting for studies of the combined effects of marijuana and tobacco because marijuana is almost always smoked with tobacco there.

In a concluding session, meeting participants cited the quality and breadth of the research presentations, the similarity in goals adopted by NIDA and PNSD, and the personal connections facilitated by the meeting in predicting that research collaborations could be developed. The participants requested that time for follow-up meetings be arranged during the June 2004 NIDA International Forum meeting.

NIDA and the Dutch Addiction Program (DAP), a joint program of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Health Research and Development Council (ZonMW), hosted the Third Binational Workshop on Drug Abuse and Addiction in Amsterdam on September 27, 2003. Participants discussed possibilities for future binational clinical trials, reviewed progress reports on three previously funded binational research projects, and examined four new collaborative research proposals. The four newly funded research teams address drug abuse through the areas of treatment, epidemiology, genetic influences on addiction, and prevention:

  • Dr. William Fals-Stewart, State University of New York at Buffalo, and Dr. Paul M. G. Emmelkamp, University of Amsterdam, will evaluate the clinical efficacy of abbreviated Behavioral Couples Therapy versus the standard-length treatment in the study.
  • Dr. Geoffrey P. Hunt, Scientific Analysis Corporation, and Drs. Dike van de Mheen and Nicole Maalsté, Addiction Research Institute Rotterdam, will use qualitative methods to examine the complex interrelationship between club drugs, the users, and the social settings for club drugs in order to develop prevention and intervention strategies.
  • Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, Rockefeller University, and Dr. Jan van Ree, Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neurosciences of Utrecht, will identify hereditary polymorphisms in human mu-opioid receptors that might influence individual susceptibility to or protection from addiction and treatment outcomes in the study. Using animal models, the team also will assess the significance of the probable consequences of polymorphisms for the addiction process.
  • Drs. Alan W. Stacy and Steve Sussman, University of Southern California, and Dr. Reinout W. Wiers, Maastricht University, will assess the predictive value of measuring implicit cognition as an indicator of future substance abuse by high-risk adolescents. The team then will evaluate the impact of a brief prevention intervention (individualized motivational interviewing) on both drug abuse and the operation of implicit cognitions.

The three binational teams that began work in 2001 provided updates on their research:

  • Dr. Alfons A.M. Crijnen, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, and Dr. Hanno Petras, Johns Hopkins University, reported on their comparison of U.S. and Dutch randomized controlled prevention intervention trials that target aggressive and oppositional behavior to prevent initial drug use. The researchers have documented that the intervention mediates Attention Deficit Hyperactivity behaviors, and agreed on a technique to equilibrate different measures into one latent variable to conduct the bicultural analyses.
  • Dr. Dirk J. Korf, University of Amsterdam, and Dr. Lana Harrison, University of Delaware, discussed their investigation of the interaction of drugs, alcohol, and violence among juvenile detainees and school dropouts in Philadelphia, Amsterdam, and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal. Data collection is finished in all sites except Montreal, and preliminary analysis shows both similarities and differences among sites and between detainees and dropouts.
  • Dr. Dorret I. Boomsma, Free University of Amsterdam, and Dr. Xiangning (Sam) Chen, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), described the collaborative research that uses data from sibling pairs in a Dutch study that implicated genetic factors in smoking initiation, liability to heavy tobacco use, and nicotine dependence. The team is attempting to replicate-on a different sample using complementary methods-the location and identity of specific genes identified by a VCU genome scan as potentially controlling susceptibility to nicotine dependence. The epac gene, which is involved in the cAMP transduction pathway, is among the candidate genes that suggest promising linkage results for nicotine dependence.

Participants also discussed the requirements for future binational collaboration on clinical trials. ZonMW Addiction Research Program Vice Chairman Dr. Nick F. Ramsey identified two major prerequisites for conducting clinical trials within the treatment community: building adequate infrastructure, and building research-oriented expertise in community-based treatment centers. Dr. Gerard M. Schippers, Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, outlined the organization of Dutch Substance Abuse Treatment Services and described clinical trials conducted recently in the Netherlands. He concluded that NIDA and Dutch researchers could easily design, deliver treatment during, and fund binational clinical trials, but that recruitment might pose logistical or organizational problems.

More than 100 drug abuse researchers, treatment providers, and policymakers participated in the third U.S. - Russia Binational Workshop, Pharmacotherapies for Addiction: Basic and Clinical Science, September 28 - October 1, 2003, in St. Petersburg, Russia. NIDA and Pavlov Medical University cosponsored the meeting to examine the impact of preclinical and clinical research on addiction treatment and review U.S. and European pharmacological treatments for opiate dependence. Participants also reviewed research on pharmacological and behavioral addiction treatment strategies for patients with comorbid psychiatric or infectious diseases. Participants reported that the meeting helped them understand the importance of using preclinical and clinical research findings to develop effective pharmacological and behavioral drug abuse treatments, drug policies, prevention programs, and service delivery mechanisms. Presenters reviewed scientific advances that have contributed to the development of effective therapies for opioid addiction. NIDA Director, Dr. Nora D. Volkow, described how neuroimaging techniques have enhanced development and evaluation of both pharmacological and behavioral treatments. Dr. Frank Vocci, DTR&D, described how research findings that chronic opiate abuse produces long-term alterations in brain systems have led to new investigations of pharmacotherapies to modulate the dysregulated pathways of an addicted brain. Dr. Irina P. Anokhina, Russian National Research Center on Addictions, Moscow, described how researchers build on advances in genetics and neurochemistry to develop pharmacotherapies directly targeting the biological mechanisms that govern addiction. Dr. Juana Tomás-Rosselló, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, used data from the United Nations, WHO, European Union, and U.S. National Institutes of Health to demonstrate that pharmacotherapy is an element of effective drug treatment programs and is indicated in regions that experience a high prevalence of opioid abuse and related problems. Scientists from Norway, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States described opioid pharmacotherapies used in their countries, and a panel of researchers discussed the experience with buprenorphine in Finland, France, and the United States. The meeting, which was organized by Dr. M. Patricia Needle, IP, and Dr. Edwin Zvartau, Pavlov Medical University, also celebrated the maturation of the NIDA-Pavlov cooperative agreement, which was formalized in 1996.

NIDA expanded its scientific exchange programs for senior scientists, creating The Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award for U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents (USDISCA) to support direct collaboration between American researchers and their colleagues outside the United States. Like the original NIDA Distinguished International Scientist Award (DISCA) program, which was created in 2000, this competitive award allows veteran NIDA grantees to work with their colleagues from other countries. Recipients of both awards are expected to produce significant results (perhaps a new investigative finding, a scientific publication, or a research grant proposal), advance scientific knowledge about drug abuse and addiction, and, where applicable, offer mechanisms to apply enhanced research skills in either country. New initiatives will receive priority, as will applicants who document matching support. USDISCA awards support 1-3 month scientific visits to a drug abuse researcher in another country by NIDA grantees with a minimum of 7 years experience in drug abuse research beyond the doctoral level, and a scientific record that includes peer-reviewed publications. The award provides a $6,250 monthly allowance and airfare for one round trip between the United States and the other country. Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for the new USDISCA award. Foreign applicants should continue to apply for the original DISCA award.

NIDA has selected Dr. Bertil B. Fredholm, Sweden, to receive a Distinguished International Scientist Collaboration Award (DISCA). Dr. Fredholm, Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, has been collaborating with Dr. Michael Schwarzschild, Massachusetts General Hospital, on research designed to clarify the role of adenosine signaling in models of cocaine- and amphetamine-induced drug seeking. The scientists' laboratories have already jointly developed a double (A1-A2A) adenosine receptor knockout mouse line to be used in the research. During the research visit supported by the DISCA award, Drs. Fredholm and Schwarzschild will conduct one set of experiments and discuss the precise organization of the remaining experiments, which will employ locomotor sensitization and self-administration models of drug addiction to assess the mechanisms by which endogenous neuromodulators influence the altered dopaminergic reward circuitry underlying addictive disorders. Dr. Fredholm was a 1972-1973 Fogarty International Center Fellow at the University of California-San Diego, and has made numerous extended laboratory visits to colleagues in the United States, Argentina, and Japan. He is president of the Nordic Pharmacological Society, an adjunct member of the Nobel Committee, and an Editorial Board member for Pharmacological Reviews, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Neuropharmacology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Molecular Neuroscience.

Scientists from China and Italy have been selected as 2004 NIDA INVEST Research Fellows. Dr. Lan Zhang, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, will work with Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, on genetic studies of nicotine dependence. Dr. Marco Bortolato, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, Italy, will work with Dr. Daniele Piomelli, University of California, Irvine, to evaluate the role of endocannabinoids in the psychotomimetic effects of psychostimulants. In addition to conducting post-doctoral research with a NIDA grantee at a U.S. institution, INVEST Research Fellows also participate in an orientation program at NIDA and receive travel support to attend scientific meetings. Fellows and their mentors jointly develop a collaborative research proposal for implementation in the Fellows' home country.

During her Fellowship, Dr. Zhang will learn and use high throughput single nucleotide polymorphism typing technologies and apply these techniques to study candidate genes for nicotine dependence in subjects selected from the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry. She will also learn and apply statistical methods to the analysis of candidate gene studies. A lecturer and attending psychiatrist at Sichuan University, Dr. Zhang has been the principal investigator on genetic-epidemiological studies funded by the Chinese National Science Foundation, Chinese Ministry of Health, and the Chinese Medical Board Foundation. In 2000, she conducted research in molecular genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, UK. Her research has been published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics and in Chinese scientific journals and textbooks. In preparation for their collaborative research, Drs. Zhang, Kendler, and Sam Chen, Director of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, exchanged research visits in 2001 and 2002.

Dr. Bortolato will use high-performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry techniques to determine whether psychostimulant drugs can affect endocannabinoid synthesis in the limbic and motor regions of the rat brain and behavioral techniques to test whether the responses to these drugs can be modulated by pharmacological treatments that influence endocannabinoid signaling. A behavioral pharmacologist, Dr. Bortolato is a research assistant and postdoctoral student in the University of Cagliari Department of Neuroscience, where he lectures on pharmacology, and has co-authored articles published in the European Journal of Pharmacology and Psychopharmacology, as well as in Italian scientific journals. His fellowship will expand his training in molecular and cellular neuroscience.

Dr. M. Patricia Needle and Dale Weiss, IP, joined Mr. Bill Dant, Institute for International Education, for a September 24, 2003, meeting with the 2003-2004 Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows and Humphrey Fellowship program staff at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. The NIDA representatives discussed the Humphrey Fellows' six-week professional affiliations with NIDA grantees. The Fellows include Ana Djordevic, M.D., Serbia and Montenegro; Mariano Hembra, Philippines; Reminder Kaur, M.B.B.S., M.P.M., Malaysia; Boris Lobodov, M.D., Russia; David Otiashvili, M.D., Georgia; Riza Sarasvita, Indonesia; Vladimir Stempliuk, Brazil; Chenghua Tian, M.D., Ph.D., China; and Tomas Zabransky, M.D., Ph.D., Czech Republic. NIDA sponsors the competitive, 10-month Fellowships in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, the Institute of International Education, and The Johns Hopkins University. Through a combination of academic courses and professional experience, Fellows learn about NIDA-supported drug abuse research and the application of research to the development of prevention programs, treatment protocols, and government policy.

NIDA provided travel support to two Russian researchers who presented at the symposium, U.S.-Georgia Biomedical Collaboration: Past Accomplishments, Current Status, and Future Opportunities in the Caucasus, held October 16-18, 2003, in Tbilisi, Georgia, to discuss collaborative research on drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, palliative care, cancer, tobacco dependence, and tobacco-related disease. Dr. Dmitri Lioznov, Pavlov Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russia, discussed NIDA and NIH-supported research collaborations on HIV prevention and treatment conducted by Pavlov and the University of Pennsylvania. Former NIDA INVEST Research Fellow Dr. Tatiana Tsarouk, Scientific Research Institute of Addictions, Moscow, described the NIDA-supported collaborative study of school-based drug abuse prevention programs being conducted in Seattle and Moscow. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Fogarty International Center and the Georgian Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs, with support from the U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CRDF), the U.S. Department of State, the Office of Global Health Affairs U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Emory University, and the Georgian Academy of Sciences.

NIDA provided travel support to Dr. Linda B. Cottler, Washington University, St. Louis, to meet with Dr. Jih-Heng Li, Director-General of the National Bureau of Controlled Drugs, Taiwan Department of Health in October 2003. During the visit, the two scientists discussed revisions to the drug abuse case report sheet used by various reporting agencies in Taiwan to obtain additional data on the use patterns of drugs and alcohol as well as on predictor variables, including risk and protective factors. They also finalized plans for a collaborative study on the use, abuse, and dependence of MDMA (Ecstasy), other club drugs, and inhalants. Dr. Cottler also explored additional opportunities for collaboration with investigators at the National Taiwan University College of Public Health.

Two researchers, Drs. Dan Lubman and Murat Yucel, from the University of Melbourne, Australia visited NIDA on September 23, 2003. The purpose of the visit was to discuss methodological issues and potential collaborations. NIDA representatives meeting with the visitors included: Drs. Jerry Flanzer and Naimah Weinberg, DESPR, Drs. Minda Lynch and Steve Grant, DNBR, Dr. Vince Smeriglio, CAMCODA, and Dr. Rita Liu, OEA.

NIDA was one of five institutes participating in a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Program on October 1, 2003. The title of the program was, "Tobacco and Alcohol Abuse: A Freedom Support Grant Program for Kazakhstan". The goal of the program was to provide public health professionals from Kazakhstan opportunities to observe how alcohol and tobacco abuse are addressed in the U.S. as a public health issue. During the program the participants examined how the U.S. runs public health education campaigns, youth outreach programs and media campaigns. The program also provided the participants with information on alcohol and drug abuse treatment in the U.S. Dr. Jag Khalsa, CAMCODA, represented NIDA. The other NIH institutes participating included, NIAID, FIC, NIAAA, and NCI.

Three law enforcement officials from Brazil visited NIDA on October 29, 2003. The purpose of the visit was to provide information about drug abuse prevention programs as both military and civilian police officers in Brazil have begun to receive professional training to address community relations and to identify best practices. NIDA representative, Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian, DESPR, met with the visitors.

Dr. Steve Gust and Dale Weiss, International Program, met with Dr. David Powell, President, The International Center for Health Concerns, Dr. R. Munidasa Winslow of the Institute for Mental Health, Singapore, and with Dr. Jeff Hoffman, Danya International, on October 27, 2003. Discussions centered on treatment efforts in China and other Asian countries.

Mr. Björn Fries, the Swedish National Drug Policy Coordinator, Ms. Christina Gynnå, Administrative Director, Mr. Walter Kegö, Head of Police and Custom Issues, and Dr. Fred Nyberg, Head of Research Issues, all from the Swedish National Drug Policy Coordinator office visited NIDA on November 5, 2003. The purpose of the visit was to get an overview of NIDA, information about research funding and NIDA priorities. Drs. Timothy P. Condon, Associate Director, NIDA, and Steven Gust, International Program, welcomed the visitors. Other representatives from NIDA that met with the group were Dr. Meyer Glantz, DESPR, Drs. Jamie Biswas and Roberta Khan, DTR&D, and Dr. Rita Liu, OEA.

Dr. Cathrine Sasek, OSPC and Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian, DESPR, met with Naama Zweig, Head of Prevention at the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, and Dr. Sharon Rabinovitz-Shenkar of BarIlan University, Israel on November 5, 2003. School based curriculums, especially for young children and prevention programs, were discussed.

Mr. Oscar Edmundo Ortiz Sanchez, Head Evaluation Department, Provisional Detention Center, Quito, Ecuador, visited NIDA under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State International Visitor program. Mr. Ortiz Sanchez met with Dr. Bennett Fletcher, DESPR, and discussed issues of incarcerated drug abusers and the significant problem of drug abuse in Ecuador.

Dr. Frank Vocci, DTR&D, and Dale Weiss, IP, represented NIDA at a briefing for Kaoru Misawa, the newly appointed Scientist (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Project), Quality Assurance and Safety of the World Health Organization. Other DHHS organizations attending the briefing included Office of the Secretary, DHHS, FDA and SAMSHA.

Ms. Silvia Tortajada of the Fundacion de Ayuda Contra la Drogadiccion (Spanish Foundation Against Drug Addiction) and Mr. Antonio Vidal of the Sociedad Espanola de Toxicomanias (Spanish Society on Drug Abuse), Valencia, Spain, visited NIDA and other HHS agencies on December 16-18, 2003, to learn about U.S. government research, programs and publications in the areas of prevention and treatment of drug abuse. During their visit to NIDA, they met with Dr. Larry Seitz, DESPR, Dr. Jacques Normand, CAMCODA and Dr. Ivan Montoya, DTR&D.

Wilson Compton, M.D., M.P.E. and Meyer Glantz, Ph.D., both of DESPR, presented papers at the July 2003 World Psychiatric Association Conference in Paris, France. Dr. Compton's paper was on conducting drug abuse research from a public health perspective and Dr. Glantz's paper, developed by the Analytic Unit of the Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research was entitled "Twenty years of adolescent drug use: Comparing multiple sources" and was written by Meyer Glantz, Ph.D., James Colliver, Ph.D., Marc Brodsky, M.S., Bennett Fletcher, Ph.D., Howard Chilcoat, Ph.D., and Wilson Compton, M.D. Dr. Glantz's paper examined critical questions about widely used epidemiological data. Studies meeting criteria of representativeness and methodological rigor were identified. Published and publicly available data from the MTF, NHSDA, YRBSS, NCS, ADHealth, NLSY, NSPY, NELS and NSAUS studies were used to create variables that are comparable across the studies for age and drug use by adolescents in the years 1975 through 2001. Data for two age-school grade ranges, 17 - 18 years old -12th grade and 15 -16 years old - 10th grade were compared for past month alcohol and cigarette use, and past year marijuana, cocaine, and heroin use. Concurrence of findings varied by age and substance with the NHSDA reporting lower use levels than the other surveys. Concurrent and divergent findings were presented for each age group and drug and the implications of these findings were discussed.

Meyer Glantz, Ph.D., as NIDA's collaborating investigator in the National Comorbidity Study, represented the Institute at the July 2003 World Mental Health Consortium Meeting in Paris, France. As a member of the Consortium and the Substance Use Data Analysis Workgroup, Dr. Glantz will be collaborating in the analysis and publication of national and international data on drug abuse and associated factors.

On October 29, 2003 Dr. Juan Carlos Melero of Spain met with Drs. Elizabeth Robertson, Pat Needle, Shakeh Kaftarian, Aria Crump and Elizabeth Ginexi at NIDA to continue discussions about possible research projects and collaborations.

Dr. Shakeh Kaftarian met with a group of scientists from Israel's Anti-Drug Authority on October 29, 2003 and presented an overview of NIDA's prevention research portfolio. This meeting took place at NIDA.

Moira O'Brien, DESPR chaired the 7th Border Epidemiology Work Group Meeting (BEWG), September 11-12, 2003, in San Diego, California. Participants included representatives from the Mexican Ministry of Health and 14 Border areas in 5 Mexican States and 9 areas in 4 U.S. States. The most recent available data on patterns and trends in drug abuse in border areas were presented. Methamphetamine abuse continues to spread from western and southwestern BEWG areas eastward. Cocaine/crack abuse remains at high levels along the eastern U.S./Mexico border and in the Midwestern State of Sonora. Primary heroin treatment admissions remained relatively stable from 2001 to 2002 in most Mexican areas but increased in San Diego and Texas areas. Marijuana continues to be a major drug of abuse in all BEWG areas. In the Texas Lower Rio Grande Valley in 2002, around 70 percent of primary treatment admissions among youths were for marijuana abuse, as were 66 percent of adolescent admissions in El Paso and 33 percent in Douglas.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented a talk on Laboratory-Based Approaches for Developing Medications for Stimulant Dependence Treatment at the International Society of Addiction Medicine in Amsterdam on September 26, 2003.

Dr. Frank Vocci presented two talks: Overview of Buprenorphine treatment in the USA, and Medications Development for the Management of Opiate Dependence at the NIDA-Pavlov Medical University International Workshop " Pharmacotherapies for Addiction: Basic and Clinical Science" in St. Petersburg on September 29-30, 2003.

Dr. Frank Vocci met with Dr. Brion Sweeney, a consultant psychiatrist to the Government of Ireland, to discuss pharmacotherapies for opiate dependence on November 4, 2003 in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Frank Vocci chaired a session and presented a talk on GABA B Receptors as a Medications Target for Cocaine Dependence at the Australian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs on November 17, 2003. Dr. Vocci also met with the Australian Expert Committee on The Feasibility of Studying Naltrexone to discuss depot and implantable naltrexone dosage forms on November 16, 2003. Dr. Vocci also met with Dr. Robert Ali, who has an academic appointment in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Adelaide as well as being the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for the study of Drug and Alcohol Problems. Dr. Ali discussed a possible US- Australia collaboration to perform treatment research in Asian studies, most notably Vietnam.

Drs. Frank Vocci and Dorynne Czechowicz, along with representatives from FDA, CSAT and HHS International health, met with Dr. Mauro Mizawa of the World Health Organization to discuss WHO's intended reviews of drugs and medicines under international control treaties on November 25, 2003 in Rockville, MD.

Drs. Frank Vocci and Ahmed Elkashef visited four psychiatric hospitals in Cairo from November 30-December 2, 2003 both privately owned and those associated with medical schools to determine the nature and extent of substance abuse disorders and the use of medications for management of drug dependencies. Both Drs. Vocci and Elkashef presented on NIDA research at the Behman Hospital on December 1, 2003.

Dr. Ivan Montoya, DTR&D, was a guest speaker at the Social Development Symposium organized by the Interamerican Development Bank and held in Washington DC, November 3-5, 2003.

In a collaborative effort with the Fogarty International Center's International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups, the DTR&D is participating in the support of two grants for the discovery of new medications from natural sources: "Studies of the Flora and Predator Bacteria of Jordan (R21TW006628, PI Nicholas Oberlies) and "Building New Pharmaceutical Capabilities in Central Asia" (U01TW006674, PI Ilya Raskin). These grants were in response to RFA TW-03-004 "Fogarty International Center ICBG". The purpose of this program is to integrate drug discovery from natural products with conservation of biodiversity and economic development in source countries.

Ana Anders, Senior Advisor on Special Populations, SPO, presented a paper at the "Centros de Integracion Juvenil" annual conference in Mexico City, November 2003.

Dr. William Corrigall, DNBR, represented NIDA at Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe meeting in Padua, Italy November 19-22, 2003.

Dr. Jonathan Pollock, DNBR, presented "Genetics of Substance Dependence Disorders," at the World Congress on Psychiatric Genetics, Quebec City, Canada on October 6, 2003.

Betty Tai, Ph.D., Director, CCTN, provided an update of NIDA's CTN at the Tenth International Conference on Treatment of Addictive Behaviors meeting in Heidelberg, Germany, September 4-8, 2003. The meeting theme was "From Research to Practice and Back Again". She joined panel members, Bill Miller, Everett Rogers, and Tom McLellan for a round table discussion: "What does it take for evidence-based treatments to be adopted in practice?"

Peter Hartsock Dr.PH., served on the organizing committee of the 11th International Conference on AIDS, Cancer, and Related Problems, which was held October 5-10, 2003 in St. Petersburg Russia. At the conference, Dr. Hartsock co-chaired sessions on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and on HIV/AIDS in the military. He also visited the sites of research projects currently funded by NIDA and the Fogarty International Center.

Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D. of CAMCODA presented a satellite symposium on the Medical Management of HIV/HCV Co-infection in Addicted Patients at the 5th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Addiction Medicine (ISAM), Amsterdam, the Netherlands, September 26, 2003. The symposium was directed towards psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and other health care providers engaged in the health care of addicted patients co-infected with HIV and HCV. An international panel of clinicians and scientists discussed current issues and medical management practices for patients with co-infection and a history of substance abuse. Topics included: the epidemiology of co-infections among drug abusers in the US and international settings (Drs. Xiao-Fong Yu and Rebecca Garten, Johns Hopkins); natural history of liver disease in HCV/HIV (Dr. Jack Stapleton, University of Iowa); neurobehavioral aspects (Dr. Eileen Martin, University of Illinois); diagnosis, medical management of care and treatment (Dr. Diane Sylvestre, UCSD); HAART in HIV/HCV co-infection (Dr. Curtis Cooper, U. Ottawa); and research funding opportunities at NIDA/NIH (Dr. Khalsa). Proceedings of this symposium and of an upcoming symposium at the Annual Meeting of ASAM, to be held in Washington, DC in April 2004, will be published in the scientific literature.

Jag H. Khalsa, Ph.D. of CAMCODA, at the invitation of NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR), one of the co-sponsors of a Workshop on Grant Writing at the 3rd Central American Conference on STDs and HIV/AIDS, Panama City, Panama, October 16, 2003, discussed NIDA's efforts in supporting research on HIV/AIDS and other co-occurring infections among drug abusers and offered a number of useful suggestions as to how to write successful research grant applications. The workshop was simultaneously translated into Spanish/English. It was suggested that (NIH) should provide research and economic support to clinicians, scientists, and other health care providers, and offer more such workshops in the region (Central and Latin America) where there is a significant problem with STDs nd HIV/AIDS, especially in vulnerable populations. The workshop was chaired by Dr. Robert Eisinger of OAR. Program staff from NIAAA, NIAID, and NICHD also presented their institutes' efforts in supporting research on STDs and HIV/AIDS.

Peter Hartsock, Dr.PH., CAMCODA, participated in the World Bank's meeting on HIV/AIDS in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), held in Washington, D.C. on October 21, 2003. Drug abuse was discussed as a major factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS in the FSU. The World Bank expressed interest in working with NIDA and USAID in support of collaborative research activities.

Dr. Jerry Flanzer, DESPR, presented a talk entitled Services Linkages: An Integral Component of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment in Theory But Not in Reality, and he moderated a session on research issues related to substance abuse and corrections at the 46th Annual International Conference of the International Council on Alcohol and Other Addictions (ICAA), October 5, 2003, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Yihong Yang, Neuroimaging Branch, IRP, was invited as a keynote speaker in the Annual Congress of Chinese Radiological Society held November 8-10, 2003 in Guangzhou, China. The title of his talk was "CBF-Based Functional MRI."

Dr. Yihong Yang, IRP, was invited as a keynote speaker in the International Conference on Functional MRI held on December 9-10, 2003 in Taipei, Taiwan. He gave two talks at the conferences, entitled "Perfusion-Based Functional MRI - Technical Issues and Applications" and "Brain Structure and Connectivity - Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Beyond."

Dr. David Gorelick gave an invited workshop on psychopharmacology and pharmacological treatment of substance abuse at the XIV annual congress of the Federación Latinoamericana de Psiquiatria de la Infancia y la Adolescencia held in Asuncion, Paraguay, September 18-21, 2003. Dr. Gorelick also gave several scientific presentations and discussed possible scientific collaborations with attendees.


Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings


Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

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