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NIDA Home > Publications > Director's Reports > February, 2009 Index    

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2009


NIDA Publications

Research Report Series: Comorbidity of Drug Abuse and Mental Illness
NIH Pub. No: 08-5771

When two disorders or illnesses occur simultaneously in the same person, they are called comorbid. This new research report addresses the comorbidity of drug abuse and addiction and other mental disorders. It explores the complex ways in which genetic, developmental and environmental factors appear to interact to predispose individuals to develop both diseases or to have a greater risk of the second disorder after the first appears. The report describes the prevalence of, as well as the diagnostic and treatment challenges posed by, comorbid conditions that involve drug abuse, addiction and other mental disorders.

Research Report Series: Cocaine and Addiction
NIH Pub. No.: 08-4166

This updated version contains scientific information on crack and cocaine. Facts based on the latest technology are used to describe the different effects of this drug; as well as the pathways in the brain that it affects; the medical consequences of use; and some behavioral treatments for cocaine abuse. NIDA also reports on several pharmacological compounds currently being tested for their potential use in treating cocaine addiction.

Research Report Series: Tobacco Addiction
NIH Pub. No.: 08-4342

This updated version describes what tobacco is, presents current epidemiological research data regarding its use, and reports on the medical consequences of tobacco use. Emphasizes the effects on the brain as well as current research findings about use during pregnancy. It also includes treatment approaches.

Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Revised)
NIH Pub. No.: 09-4180

This second edition of the "Blue Book" includes updated principles, new questions, new program information, and expanded references and resources based on the latest findings from NIDA-funded research. Thirteen fundamental principles of effective treatment for addiction are outlined that include defining the disease of addiction to recognizing that it often co-occurs with other health conditions--all of which need to be addressed for the patient to successfully recover. This publication is intended to help patients and their families learn more about what they can expect from drug abuse treatment and how to optimize their results and minimize their difficulties. It also serves as a resource for healthcare providers seeking information about the various drug abuse treatment options.

Epidemiologic Trends in Drug Abuse Highlights and Executive Summary, January 2008 [pdf, 3.4 MB]
NIH Pub. No.: 09-6200

This publication highlights data reported at the January 2008 meeting of the CEWG.


NIDA NOTES, Vol. 22, No. 2
NIH Pub. No. 08-6457

The lead story describes imaging studies that elucidate the neurobiology of cigarette craving. They show that when smokers resist cravings, they engage brain areas that focus attention and regulate emotion and that heavy smokers can stave off cravings only by keeping virtually all the brain's nicotinic receptors filled. Also included in the issue are features reporting that both methadone and a medication prescribed for schizophrenia prevents rats from resuming cocaine seeking; that long-term cocaine self-administration depresses monkeys' neural activity in regions linked with cognition and emotion; and that close judicial supervisions can increase the effectiveness of drug treatment for high-risk offenders. The Director's Column evaluates progress on the development of vaccines to fight drug addiction.

NIDA Journal of Addiction Science and Clinical Practice

Addiction Science and Clinical Practice Volume 5, Number 1
NIH Pub. No.: 08-6453, January, 2009
This issue features two articles on drug abuse and criminal justice. In the first, Dr. Michael Prendergast describes how correctional drug treatment can improve outcomes for offenders upon release and stresses the importance of community aftercare for reducing relapse and recidivism. In the second, Ms. Melody Heaps and her colleagues at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) of Illinois posit a recovery-oriented system of care for drug-abusing criminal offenders that exists outside of the justice system, co-manages offender treatment, and provides other services to promote successful outcomes as well as public health and safety. Addressing some of the medical complications of illicit drug use are Dr. Shenghan Lai, who explores cocaine abuse and its involvement in atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems, and Drs. Kristy Hendricks and Sherwood Gorbach, who describe the nutrition issues of chronic drug users living with HIV. Finally, Dr. Michael S. Robbins and colleagues investigate the process of implementing an evidence-based practice, Brief Strategic Family Therapy, in a community treatment setting.

CTN-Related Publications

Seven editions of the CTN Bulletin Board were distributed. The Bulletin Board is an electronic report on the progress of the protocols, committees, and node activity in the CTN. The Bulletin has wide readership within and outside the CTN and NIDA.

Data from 16 CTN trials are now available on the CTN Data Sharing Web Site Currently more than 150 research scientists have downloaded one or more data sets. These data sets are in compliance with HIPAA and CDISC (Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium) standards in support of the interoperability required by the NIH Roadmap.

The CTN flyer/poster on Improving Recruitment and Retention - R & R Tips has been published. This document includes many suggestions and hints from the staff at participating CTPs in CTN trials. Topics covered include:

  • How to improve outreach efforts
  • How advertising dollars can be maximized
  • How incentives can help a study
  • Best practices

International Program-Related Publications

NIDA International Program E-News Letter
December 2008 - This issue reported on trends in Latin American drug use as identified by REDLA; NIDA's new Research Dissemination Center, DrugPubs; a NIDA poster session at SfN that featured international neuroscientists; and other achievements of NIDA Fellows or alumni. The issue also announced three new funding initiatives, the reissue of the international research collaboration PAs, new Huber H. Humphrey Fellows, and a new letter of intent for scientific collaboration between NIDA and Spain.

Other Publications

Volkow, N., Rutter, J., Pollock, J.D., Shurtleff, D., and Baler, R. One SNP Linked to Two Diseases-Addiction and Cancer: A Double Whammy? Nicotine Addiction and Lung Cancer Susceptibility. Mol. Psychiatry. 13(11), pp. 990-992, 2008.

Sahoo, S.S., Bodenreider, O., Rutter, J.L., Skinner, K.J., and Sheth, A.P. An Ontology-Driven Semantic Mashup of Gene and Biological Pathway Information: Application to the Domain of Nicotine Dependence. J. Biomed. Inform. 41(5), pp. 752-765, 2008.

Chodick, G., Struewing, J.P., Ron, E., Rutter, J.L., and Iscovich, J. Similar Prevalence of Founder BRCA1 and BRCA2 Mutations Among Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Men with Breast Cancer: Evidence from 261 Cases in Israel, 1976-1999. Eur. J. Med. Genet. 51(2), pp. 141-147, 2008.

Bjork, J.M., Smith, A.R., and Hommer, D.W. Striatal Sensitivity to Reward Deliveries and Omissions in Substance Dependent Patients. NeuroImage, 42(4), pp.1609-1621, 2008.

Bjork, J.M., Knutson, B., and Hommer, D.W. Incentive-Elicited Striatal Activation in Adolescent Children of Alcoholics. Addiction, 103(8), pp. 1308-1319, 2008.

Recent functional neuroimaging research of DCNBR's Dr. James Bjork was featured in the news section of the BHC Journal ( The BHC Journal is an on-line resource of psychiatry research findings for behavioral health care practitioners. Dr. Bjork found that compared to healthy controls, substance-dependent patients have exaggerated nucleus accumbens (NAcc) activation by receiving general (nondrug) rewards, but also showed an exaggerated NAcc deactivation by both denial and deferral of expected rewards. These findings indicate a possible biological signature of the lack of willpower characteristic of refractory addiction, where notifications of a delay to receiving a reward are processed by the patient's motivational neurocircuitry as though they were outright denials of reward.

Compton, W.M., Saha, T.D., Conway, K.P., and Grant, B.F. The Role of Cannabis Use Within a Dimensional Approach to Cannabis Use Disorders. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2008 Dec 3. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 19062204.

Denisco, R.A., Chandler, R.K., and Compton, W.M. Addressing the Intersecting Problems of Opioid Abuse and Chronic Pain Treatment. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology 16(5), pp. 417-428, 2008. PMID: 18837638.

Madras, B.K., Compton, W.M., Avula, D., Stegbauer, T., Stein, J.B., and Clark, H.W. Screening, Brief Interventions, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Illicit Drug and Alcohol Use at Multiple Healthcare Sites: Comparison at Intake and Six Months. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Epub ahead of publication, 17 October 2008. PMID: 18929451.

Swendsen, J.D., Anthony, J.C., Conway, K.P., Degenhardt, L., Dierker, L., Glantz, M.D., He, J., Kalaydjian, A., Kessler, R.C., Sampson, N., and Merikangas, K.R. Improving Targets for the Prevention of Drug Use Disorders: Sociodemographic Predictors of Transitions in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Preventive Medicine 47, pp. 629-634, 2008.

Dierker, L., He, J., Kalaydjian, A., Swendsen, J., Degenhardt, L., Glantz, M., Conway, K.P., Anthony, J., Chiu, W.T., Sampson, N.A., Kessler, R., and Merikangas, K. The Importance of Timing of Transitions for Risk of Regular Smoking and Nicotine Dependence. Annals of Behavioral Medicine Aug 13, 2008 [Epub ahead of print].

Degenhardt, L., Chiu. W.T., Conway, K.P., Dierker, L., Glantz, M.D., Kalejian, A., Merikangas, K., Sampson, N., Swendsen, J., and Kessler, R.C. Does the 'Gateway' Matter? Associations Between the Order of Drug Use Initiation and the Development of Drug Dependence in the National Comorbidity Study Replication." Psychological Medicine, May 9:1-11, 2008 [Epub ahead of print].

Drgon, T., Montoya, I., Johnson, C., Liu, Q.R., Walther, D., Hamer, D. et al. Genome Wide Association for Nicotine Dependence and Smoking Cessation Success in NIH Research Volunteers. Mol. Med., 15(1-2), pp. 21-27, 2009.

Khalsa, J.H., Treisman, G., McCance-Katz, E., and Tedaldi, E. Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse and Co-occurring Infections: Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse, 29(3), pp. 5-14, 2008.

Khalsa, J.H., and Vocci F. Clinical Management of Drug Addicts Infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Hepatitis C Virus. J. Addict. Dis. 27(2), pp. 1-10, 2008.

Montoya, I. Immunotherapies for Drug Addictions. Adicciones, 20, pp. 111-115, 2008.

Montoya, I.D. and Vocci, F. Novel Medications to Treat Addictive Disorders. Curr. Psychiatry Rep., 10, pp. 392-398, 2008.

Yu, E., Miotto, K., Akerele, E., Montgomery, A., Elkashef, A., Walsh, R. et al. A Phase 3 Placebo-controlled, Double-blind, Multi-site Trial of the alpha-2-adrenergic agonist, Lofexidine, for Opioid Withdrawal. Drug Alcohol Depend., 97, pp. 158-168, 2008.

Hiremath, M.M., Chen, V.S., Suzuki, K, Ting, J. P-Y., and Matsushima, G.K. MHC Class II Exacerbates Demyelization in vivo Independently of T Cells. Journal of Neuroimmunology 203, pp. 23-32, 2008.

Martin, B., Brenneman, R., Golden, E., Walent, T., Becker, K.G., Prabhu, V.V., Wood, W. 3rd, Ladenheim, B., Cadet, J.L., and Maudsley, S. Growth Factor Signals in Neural Cells: Coherent Patterns of Interaction Control Multiple Levels of Molecular and Phenotypic Responses. J. Biol. Chem., E-pub 2008.

Panililio, L.V., Mazzola, C., Medalie, J., Hahn, B., Justinova, Z., Drago, F., Cadet, J.L. Yasar, S., and Goldberg, S.R. Anandamide-induced Behavioral Disruption through a Vanilloid-dependent Mechanism in Rats. Psychopharmacology (berl), E-pub 2008.

Jayanthi, S., Buie, S., Moore, S., Herning, R.I., Better, W., Wilson, N.M., Contoreggi, C., and Cadet, J.L. Heavy Marijuana Users Show Increased Serum Apolipoprotein C-III Levels: Evidence from Proteomic Analyses. Mol. Psychiatry, E-pub 2008.

Cao, J., Kopajtic, T., Katz, J.L., and Newman, A.H. Dual DAT/s1 Receptor Antagonists Based on 1-(4-(3-(bis(4-fluorophenyl)amino)propyl)piperazin-1-yl)-3-phenylpropanol. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 18(19), pp. 5238-5241, 2008, e-pub August 22, 2008.

Paul, N.M., Taylor, M., Kumar, R., Deschamps, J.R., Luedtke, R.R., and Newman, A.H. Structure-Activity Relationships for a Novel Series of Dopamine D2-like Receptor Ligands based on N- substituted 3-aryl-8-azabicyclo[3.2.1]octan-3-ol. J. Med. Chem. 51(19), pp. 6095-6109, 2008, e-pub September 6, 2008.

Koffarnus, M.N., Grundt, P., Newman, A.H., and Woods, J.H. The Discriminative Stimulus Properties of Dopamine D2- and D3-Preferring Agonists in Rats. Psychopharmacology, e-pub September 21, 2008.

Lin, J-L., Vahabzadeh, M., Mezghanni, M., Na, P.J., Leff, M., and Contoreggi, C. Pharmacy Informatics in Controlled Substances Research. Proc. AMIA Annual Symposium on Biomedical and Health Informatics: From Foundations to Applications to Policy (American Medical Informatics Association-2008), pp. 1025, 2008.


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