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National Institute on Drug Abuse

Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse

May, 2000

Media and Education Activities


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Press Releases

December 29, 1999 - NIDA Announces Second-Round Competition for National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network. NIDA announced the release of the second request for grant applications for participation in the National Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network. Launched in January 1999, the Clinical Trials Network provides a critically needed research infrastructure that will test and disseminate science-based addiction treatments in real-life settings throughout the country.

January 7, 2000 - Addiction and the Feminine Mystique: National Institute on Drug Abuse Hosts Seminar about Gender Differences in Addiction and Recovery. This Save-the-Date provided information about a January 29, 2000, seminar at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, co-sponsored with the Society for Women's Health Research, where experts in the field of addiction research, prevention, and treatment discussed the latest findings and provided insight into related issues such as abuse of multiple substances, family problems, violence, victimization, and HIV/AIDS. The event drew over 150 individuals from throughout the Washington metropolitan area, representing treatment professionals, women's groups, and members of the general public. As a result of this event, coverage appeared in AMA News.

February 20, 2000 - Nicotine Craving and Heavy Smoking May Contribute to Increased Use of Cocaine and Heroin. Researchers supported by NIDA found that craving for nicotine appears to be linked to increased craving for illicit drugs among drug abusers who also smoke tobacco. In addition, scientists said, patients in drug treatment programs may be less likely to successfully stay off drugs if they are cigarette smokers. These were the findings from two studies published in the February issue of Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. As a result of this news release, articles appeared in Reuters Health, M2 Presswire, and Join Together Online, as well as on ABC News.

March 1, 2000 - NIDA Survey Finds Practitioners Would Treat Addicted Patients with Office Based Methadone. A NIDA-supported survey of primary care physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners working in New York City found that two-thirds of the clinicians are willing to provide methadone maintenance treatment in their offices to opiate addicted patients. Seventy-one clinicians at 11 sites in Manhattan and the Bronx took part in the survey, which was conducted by researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. The full report appeared in the Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. As a result of this news release, articles appeared in M2 Presswire and Join Together Online, as well as on Fox News.

March 7, 2000 - New Study Underscores Effectiveness of Methadone Maintenance as Treatment for Heroin Addiction. New research clearly showed that longer-term methadone maintenance therapy combined with some psychosocial counseling is a far more effective treatment for heroin addiction than is simply the temporary use of methadone to detoxify patients and reduce drug craving, even when the detoxification is coupled with much more intensive psychosocial therapy. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by a research team from the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Veteran Affairs Medical Center. NIDA provided funding for the research. As a result of this news release, articles appeared in, Associated Press & Local Wire, Join Together Online, Reuters Health,, Agence France Presse, M2 Presswire, USA Today HealthT, as well as on Fox News.

March 10, 2000 - Students Learn What's Really on Their Minds: Brain Awareness Week Activities to be Held March 15-16. Some local students were offered the chance to touch and feel and learn all about the human brain during a special program co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The program took place at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

March 21, 2000 - Oscar Nominee, "The Insider," Receives Top Honors at PRISM AwardsTM 2000. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, in partnership with The Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. (EIC), and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, awarded the PRISM Awards 2000 for accurate depiction of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use and addiction in television, feature film, and comic book entertainment, as well as community service efforts and individual volunteerism. Coverage of the awards appeared in USA Today, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today online, US magazine, and local LA network affiliates.

March 27, 2000 - Methamphetamine Abuse Linked to Long-Term Damage to Brain Cells. New research shows that those who use methamphetamine risk long-term damage to their brain cells similar to that caused by strokes or Alzheimer's disease. In an article published in the March 28 issue of Neurology, scientists at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA, used magnetic resonance spectroscopy to take measurements of three parts of the brains of 26 participants who had used methamphetamine and then compared them with measurements of the same regions in the brains of 24 people who had no history of drug abuse. As a result of this news release, articles have appeared in Reuters Health, Eurekalert!, Press Association Newsfile, as well as on ABC News and Fox News.

Opinion Pieces/Letters

December 22/29, 2000, The Journal of the American Medical Association - Commentary by Alan I. Leshner - "2020 Vision: NIH Heads Foresee the Future (National Institute on Drug Abuse)."

Articles of Interest

December 6, 1999, US News & World Report - Interview of Frank Vocci - "For Heroin Addicts, a Bizarre Remedy."

December 1999, Men's Health - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "The Good Times' Toll: How to Undo the Damage of Your Reckless Youth."

December 30, 1999, Associated Press - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Drugs in Research Lightly Monitored" (this article appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, Lexis-Nexis Universe, The New York Times, The USA Today, Yahoo! News and on ABC News, Fox News, and MSNBC).

January 12, 2000, The Washington Post (Horizon Section) - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "The Dope on Drugs: How the Most Popular Substances Affect Your Brain, Body and Behavior" (this article was reprinted in The Connecticut Post).

January 26, 2000, Fox News - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Nicotine Vaccine Could Mean the End of Addiction."

February 1, 2000, Physician's Weekly - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Club Drugs: A Strange New Brew Has ED Doctors Frustrated, Feds Concerned."

February 7, 2000, The Washington Post - Interview of Alan I. Leshner and Frank Vocci - "Can an Antibody Gobble Up Cocaine Cravings?" (a shorter version of this article was reprinted in The Amarillo Daily News).

February 15, 2000, Family Circle - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "What Every Parent Needs to Know, Special Survey Report: Teens and Drugs."

February 22, 2000, Mobile (Alabama) Register - Interview of Edward Cone - "Hair Testing Raises Doubts."

February 23, 2000, Reuters Health - Interview of Stephen Heishman - "Cigarette Craving Can Trigger Addicts' Drug Urge."

February 24, 2000, USA Today - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "Experts: Cocaine Addicts Often Relapse."

February 25, 2000, The Associated Press State & Local Wire - Interview of Steven Gust - "Ole Miss Research Yields Suppository and Plant Fingerprinting."

March 6, 2000, AMA News - Interview of Alan I. Leshner - "New Study Highlights Gender's Impact on Addiction."

March 14, 2000, APB News - Interview of Frank Vocci - "Vaccine May Block the Cocaine High."

April 2, 2000, Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) - Interview of Timothy P. Condon - "Teens Find ‘Club Drugs' Anywhere; Accessibility Makes Them a Chief Threat."

NIDA Director, Dr. Alan I. Leshner was featured as the key panelist on a special satellite broadcast by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) titled, "Emerging Drug Epidemics: Club Drugs" on April 25, 2000 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Other Activities

On February 2, Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DTR&D gave the first of a series of presentations on Medicine for the Layman to NIDA-wide staff. Dr. Vocci spoke on the subject of drug craving.

A directory of Clinical Trial Network (CTN) participants was compiled and distributed at the March 14-15, 2000 Steering Committee Meeting of the CTN in Baltimore.

NIDA Exhibits Program

Meetings where NIDA exhibited publications and program announcements over the past several months are as follows:

January 29, 2000 Smithsonian Institution: Gender Differences in Addiction and Recovery
February 18 - 20, 2000 Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
February 23 - 25, 2000 Centers for Substance Abuse Prevention
March 3 - 6, 2000 The National Conference on Education
March 16 - 19, 2000 American Medical Student Association
March 24, 2000 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Adolescent Medicine
March 30 - April 2, 2000 Society for Research on Adolescence
April 1-7, 2000 International Society of Magnetic Resonance Medicine
April 5-8, 2000 Parent Resource Institute for Drug Education
April 5-8, 2000 The Lonnie E. Mitchell National HBCU Substance Abuse Conference
April 9-11, 2000 Cognitive Neuroscience Society
April 9-12, 2000 National Methadone Conference
April 12-16, 2000 American Society of Addiction Medicine
April 26-29, 2000 National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations
April 29, 2000 Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission Sports & Learning Complex Grand Opening
May 7-9, 2000 HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis Conference
May 13-17, 2000 Summit 2000-An Annual International Media Literacy Campaign
May 13-18, 2000 American Psychiatric Association

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