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NIDA Home > Publications > Director's Reports > February, 2007 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2007

Media and Education Activities

The National Institute on Drug Abuse released the results of the 2006 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of eighth, 10th and 12th graders on December 21, 2006. The survey findings were unveiled at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Featured speakers included John P. Walters, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy; Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States; NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow; and Dr. Lloyd D. Johnston, principal investigator of the study, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.

The press conference was well attended by national, local and trade reporters and generated extensive print and broadcast media coverage. Highlights included stories by the Associated Press, Reuters, New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Examiner, CNN, ABC National TV, Fox National Cable News, and a live broadcast of the press conference by C-SPAN. Distribution of wire service stories resulted in articles in local daily newspapers across the country. Television coverage included stories by TV stations in more than 60 large, medium, and small media markets nationwide.

Press Releases

November 9, 2006 - The National Institute on Drug Abuse Announces Summer Internship Opportunities.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is offering summer research training opportunities at their facility in Baltimore, Maryland. Students who are accepted to the program will work side-by-side with some of the world's leading scientists, in an environment devoted exclusively to cutting-edge biomedical research.

November 6, 2006 - Incentive-Based Therapy Improves Outlook For Methamphetamine Abusers.
New research suggests that offering methamphetamine abusers an incentive-based behavioral therapy program called contingency management (CM - also known as Motivational Incentives), along with psychosocial therapy is more effective than psychosocial therapy alone. The study was published in the November 2006 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

October 16, 2006 - NIDA Speeds Transfer of Research Findings into Clinical Tools.
Thousands of people in the United States seeking treatment for drug abuse will benefit from years of scientific research, thanks to new products announced at the 2006 Blending Conference in Seattle, a meeting hosted by NIDA. The Blending initiative encourages the rapid integration of research findings into clinical practice.

December 21, 2006 - NIDA-Sponsored Survey Shows Decrease in Illicit Drug Use among Nation's Teens but Prescription Drug Abuse Remains High.
The 2006 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey of eighth, 10th and 12th graders indicated that their past-month use of illicit drugs has dropped 23.2 percent since 2001 (from 19.4 percent in 2001 to 14.9 percent in 2006). By contrast, abuse of prescription opioids remains at unacceptably high levels. The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

October 13, 2006 - NIDA NewsScan #46 - Women and Substance Abuse Issue

  • Scientists Review Data on Substance Abuse in Women
  • Study Identifies Factors Associated with a History of Substance Abuse Treatment in Women
  • Case Management May Help Adolescent Females Stay In Treatment
  • The Nicotine Patch May Increase Short-Term Abstinence Among Postmenopausal Smokers
  • HIV Prevention Interventions Among Poor Women Need To Address Substance Abuse, Relationship Abuse
  • Pregnant Smokers: Don't Light Up During First Two Weeks of Cessation Program
  • Toddlers of Mothers Who Smoked During Pregnancy Show Behavior Problems

September 21, 2006 - NIDA Announces Smoke-Free Meeting Policy.
NIDA announced it would enact a new policy requiring that all meetings and conferences organized or primarily sponsored by NIDA be held in a state or municipality that has adopted a comprehensive smoke-free policy, unless specific circumstances justify an exemption.

September 18, 2006 - NIDA NewsScan #45 - Back to School Issue

  • School-Based Drug Prevention Program May Decrease HIV Risk Behavior in Young Adulthood
  • Project Towards No Drug Abuse Associated With Long-Term Reduction in Abuse of Certain Drugs
  • Risky Behaviors May Indicate Risk of Adolescent Depression
  • ADHD With Specific Co-Occurring Disorders Increases Risk for Drug Abuse in Adolescence
  • Anti-drug Messages May Be More Effective When Delivered In Tandem with Classroom-Based Prevention Curriculums
  • Successful Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Focuses on Positive Messages

September 4, 2006 - Prevention Programs for Young Rural Teens Can Reduce Methamphetamine Abuse Years Later.
New research shows that prevention programs conducted in middle school can reduce methamphetamine abuse among rural adolescents years later. Because methamphetamine addiction leads to problems with social interactions and a wide range of medical conditions, research into early interventions such as this is critical to protecting the Nation's youth. The paper was published in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

August 24, 2006 - NIH Researchers Complete Unprecedented Genetic Study That May Help Identify People Most at Risk for Alcoholism.
Researchers at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, have completed the most comprehensive scan of the human genome to date linked to the ongoing efforts to identify people most at risk for developing alcoholism. This study represents the first time the new genomic technology has been used to comprehensively identify genes linked to substance abuse. The study was published in the December 2006 issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B (Neuropsychiatric Genetics).

August 7, 2006 - Imaging Study May Help Point Toward More Effective Smoking Cessation Treatments.
Results of a recent imaging study showed that the nicotine received in just a few puffs of a cigarette can exert a force powerful enough to drive an individual to continue smoking. Researchers found that the amount of nicotine contained in just one puff of a cigarette can occupy about 30 percent of the brain's most common type of nicotine receptors, while three puffs of a cigarette can occupy about 70 percent of these receptors. When nearly all of the receptors are occupied (as a result of smoking at least 2 and one-half cigarettes), the smoker becomes satiated, or satisfied, for a time. Soon, however, this level of satiation wears off, driving the smoker to continue smoking throughout the day to satisfy cigarette cravings.

Articles of Interest

December 21, 2006, Washington Post -- "Teens Use Medicines to Get High"--NIDA mention.

November 17, 2006, CNN -- "Are Antidepressants Good for a Boost if You're Already Healthy?"--Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

November 17, 2006, Proto Magazine -- "The Addicted Brain"--Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

October 25, 2006, -- "Causes of Addiction, Prompts for Help Different for Women"--Interview with Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

October 20, 2006, Scientific American -- "Not Imagining It; Research into Hallucinogens Cautiously Resumes"--Interview with David Shurtleff, Ph.D.

September 26, 2006, Chemical & Engineering News -- "Scientists Drugs to Fight Addictions"--Interview with Frank Vocci, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DPMCDA, was interviewed by John Fritze of the Baltimore Sun on the role of physician training in the implementation of buprenorphine for treatment of opiate dependence.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Edyta Zielinska on clinical pharmacology studies involving substance abusers.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviwed by Wesley Cropp of the Daily Iowan on the nicotine vaccine.

Educational Activities

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body. Through a continuing partnership, NIDA and Scholastic Inc, the global children's publishing and media company distribute eye-catching, informative, science-based articles on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction to nearly two million students and teachers in grades 5 through 10 nationwide four times per year, with an emphasis on grades 7 and above. This is a very special relationship - NIDA is unique because Heads Up is the only regular "run-of-book" insert included in any Scholastic magazine. Also, 95 percent of the educators who distribute the articles in their classes rate them as "extremely valuable" or "very valuable" as a tool designed to teach students about the teen brain and the science behind drug addiction. Magazines that include Heads Up are Junior Scholastic®, Science World®, CHOICES®, SCOPE®, ACTION®, and Up Front®. The first article for this school year, The Science of Addiction, was distributed in September-October in CHOICES and followed in the remaining magazines in October 2006. The second and third articles, The Deadly Effects of Tobacco Addiction, and Stress and Drug Abuse, were distributed in November-December. Also, these articles are featured in the Heads Up website ( and have been supplemented with extra material.

NIDA's Physician Outreach Project made strides with the October 11, 2006 release of an RFP from the project's contractor to develop NIDA Centers of Excellence (NIDA COE's). The RFP was released via the American Medical Association, a subcontractor on the outreach project, to their newly-convened consortium of medical schools. The goals are (1) to develop research-based training resources for medical students and primary care resident physicians to advance the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of drug abuse and addiction and (2) to empower the medical school and residency community with self-sustaining educational tools on drug abuse and addiction. Seven medical schools submitted proposals and awards were given to four schools in January 2006.

Recent Past and Upcoming Conferences/Exhibits*

National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) on Drug Abuse Sixth Annual Scientific Conference -- September 13-17, 2006

Latino Behavioral Health Institute (LBHI) 12th Annual Conference -- September 19-21, 2006

American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Scientific Assembly and Exposition -- September 27-October 1, 2006

Society for Neuroscience (SfN) 36th Annual Meeting -- October 14-18, 2006

NIDA Blending Conference -- October 16-17, 2006

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) 54th Annual Meeting -- October 24-29, 2006

American Public Health Association (APHA) 134th Annual Meeting and Exposition -- November 4-8, 2006

Southeast Conference on Alcohol and Drug Addiction (SECAD) 2006 Conference -- November 29-December 2, 2006

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) Annual Meeting and Symposium -- December 7-10, 2006

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) National Leadership Forum XVII -- February 11-15, 2007

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 173rd Annual Meeting -- February 15-19, 2007

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) 122nd National Convention and Exposition -- March 13-17, 2007

Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Biennial Meeting -- March 29-April 1, 2007

Lonnie E. Mitchell Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) 9th Annual Substance Abuse and Mental Health Conference -- March 29-April 1, 2007

American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Annual Medical-Scientific Conference -- April 26-29, 2007,/p>

Experimental Biology 2007 (EB 2007) -- April 28-May 2, 2007

*Conferences/Exhibits are subject to change.


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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