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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - May, 2003

Media and Education Activities

Press Releases

January 23, 2003 - Nora D. Volkow Named New Director of NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). National Institutes of Health Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., announced the appointment of Nora D. Volkow, M.D., as the new director of the NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Dr. Volkow is currently Associate Director for Life Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Director of Nuclear Medicine at BNL, and Director of the NIDA-DOE Regional Neuroimaging Center at BNL. She is also Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, SUNY-Stony Brook, and Associate Dean for the Medical School at SUNY-Stony Brook. Coverage of this release appeared in Wall Street Journal, Psychiatric News, Substance Abuse Letter, Science Magazine, Join Together Online, Drug Week, and Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Weekly.

Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, a company in Rockville, MD, which presently has NIDA grant funding for the development of a nicotine vaccine (NicVAXTM), issued a press release on February 19, 2003, to announce the completion of a Phase I safety trial, and the enrollment in a Phase I/Phase II clinical trial in smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers, in the Netherlands. The purpose of the present trial is to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of NicVAX. Additional clinical trials are planned to begin later this year in the United States.

February 19, 2003 - NIDA NewsScan #19

  • Studies Show Bidis and Smoking Products Are No Safer Than Conventional Cigarettes
  • Selegiline Hydrochloride May Help Smokers Quit
  • Quitting Smoking Offers Psychological Benefits; Unsuccessful Attempts May Change Perceptions of Health Risk
  • Parental Smoking, Behaviors, and Attitudes May Be Associated with Adolescent Smoking
  • Study Finds Short-Term Benefit from Both Antidepressant Therapy and Counseling in Smoking Cessation

As a result of NewsScan promotion, coverage appeared in Time Magazine, Health and Medicine Week, Los Angeles Times, Family Practice News, and Pain & Central Nervous System Week.

February 21, 2003 - Stress and the Brain will be the Focus of NIH Symposium during Brain Awareness Week, March 10-16, 2003. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in recognition of Brain Awareness Week, sponsored a scientific symposium. The meeting focused on the various ways that stress can impact the brain, body, and ultimately, peoples' lives. Brain Awareness Week is a nationwide effort, organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research.

March 5, 2003 - NIDA NewsScan #20

  • Stimulant Treatment of Children with ADHD Reduces Subsequent Substance Abuse
  • Women Who Abuse Drugs Are At High Risk For Serious Injury or Trauma
  • Cocaine Use May Alter Brain Cells, Play Role in Depression
  • Study Links Ecstasy Use with Changes in Cardiovascular Function

As a result of NewsScan promotion, coverage appeared in Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, Mental Health Weekly Digest, and Heart Disease Weekly.

March 26, 2003 - NIDA Hosts Two-Day Neuroscience Symposium to Honor the Late Dr. Roger Brown. NIDA organized the symposium, "Foundations and Innovations in the Neuroscience of Addiction," dedicated to the memory of Dr. Roger Brown, Associate Director of Neuroscience in the Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

April 4, 2003 - NIDA Hosts Blending Clinical Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships in the Rocky Mountain States to Enhance Drug Addiction Treatment. This two-day conference brings together clinicians and researchers to examine cutting-edge scientific findings about drug use and addiction and their application to clinical practice.

April 9, 2003 - NIDA NewsScan #21

  • Study of Twins Reveals That Changes in Attention and Motor Skills Persist at Least a Year after Heavy Stimulant Abuse
  • Environmental Cues Associated with Heroin Use May Decrease Immune Function
  • Increased Depression During Treatment May Make It Harder for Women to Quit Smoking
  • Concurrent Use of Tobacco and Marijuana May Hamper Cigarette Smoking Cessation Efforts
  • Pain Control Bandage Now Available for Clinical Use

Articles of Interest

February 1, 2003, Counselor Magazine--"NIDA is Making Progress in Developing Medications to Treat Stimulant Addiction " -Article by Frank Vocci, Ph.D.

February 25, 2003, JAMA--"Public Health Implications of Excessive Alcohol Consumption" -Editorial by Glen R. Hanson Ph.D, D.D.S, and Ting-Kai Li, M.D.

March 24, 2003, Los Angeles Times--"Recycled for Rehab" -Interview with Frank Vocci, Ph.D.

April 1, 2003, Counselor Magazine--"Survey Shows Decrease in Teen Use of Ecstasy, Marijuana, and Cigarettes" -Article by Glen R. Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.

April 11, 2003, USA Today--"Scientists Find Clues to Cocaine's Hold on Addicts" - Interview with Roy Wise, Ph.D.

Dr. Frank Vocci, Director, DTR&D, was interviewed by Peter Landers for an article on medications to treat addictions that ran in the Wall Street Journal on February 20, 2003.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Mark Elliott of Toronto radio CFRB on April 4, 2003 on Lofexidine and other treatments for opiate addiction.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Shari Roan for an article on pharmacotherapies for cocaine dependence that ran in the LA Times on March 24, 2003.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Mignon Fogarty in February 2002 for an article on the nicotine vaccine to run in The Scientist.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Stephen Cotler of the Los Angeles Weekly on March 27, 2003 for an article about buprenorphine as a treatment for opiate addiction.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Duncan McCue of the Canadian Broadcasting Company on April 2, 2003 for a segment on Ibogaine as a potential addiction treatment.

Dr. Frank Vocci was interviewed by Bob Holmes on February 14, 2003 for an article on Ibogaine to run in the New Scientist.

Educational Activities

David Shurtleff, Ph.D., DNBR, and Sheryl Massaro, OSPC, represented NIDA at the National Press Club on March 13, 2003 for the kickoff of National Inhalants and Poisons Awareness Week (NIPAW), with SAMHSA and the National Inhalants Prevention Coalition (NIPC). NIDA continues to reach audiences with several products. In March, magazines such as Junior Scholastic and Science World, targeting middle school and early high school students, carried an article on inhalants as part of NIDA's collaborative series with Scholastic Magazines, Inc., Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body. Scholastic also worked closely with NIPC in producing the article. As in 2002, to coincide with the 2003 NIPAW, NIDA produced two post cards featuring graphics from the NIPC website, and distributed 240,000 of the cards in surf, ski and skate shops nationwide. Mind Over Matter, a seven-part series including a segment on inhalants, encourages young people in grades 5 through 9 to learn about the neurobiological effects of drugs. The Research Report Series on Inhalants presents information on the types of inhalants, the consequences of their use, who is abusing inhalants, and how to recognize inhalant abuse. All materials can be downloaded from NIDA's website,

NIDA has reached the end of Year 1 in its 2-year collaboration with Scholastic Magazines, Inc. Magazines such as Junior Scholastic and Science World, targeting middle school and early high school students, have carried articles on inhalants, ecstasy, marijuana, and nicotine as part of the Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body series. The last articles for year 1, on heroin and steroids, were distributed to schools nationwide. The second year's lineup will include articles on the health effects of a variety of stimulants and hallucinogens, and on the abuse of medications. The magazines are distributed to 1.7 million students nationwide, with a reach of 6.8 million.

Over 200 middle-school and high-school students from Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina attended the Brain Awareness Week activities held at the National Museum of Health and Medicine on March 12 and 13, 2003. NIDA sponsored "Who Wants to be a NIDA Neuroscientist," which is designed to generate student interest in brain research and to teach students about the brain and the effects of drug use. Dr. Glen Hanson, Acting Director, NIDA, delivered a plenary session on drugs and the brain to local students. Other participating NIDA staff included Anna Staton, Drs. Denise Pintello, Cathrine Sasek, David Thomas, Jane Acri, Cynthia Kleppinger, Rita Liu, and Betty Tai.

On May 8, 2003, Dr. Nora Volkow, Dr. Timothy P. Condon and Beverly Jackson represented NIDA at the 7th Annual PRISM Award Celebration in Los Angeles. The PRISM Awards are sponsored by the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC), NIDA, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These awards recognize the efforts of the entertainment industry to accurately depict drug, alcohol and tobacco addiction. Winning entries this year included the feature film "Skins;" episodes of "ER", the "Young and the Restless" and "Ozzie and Drix"; the NBC news production "Sudden Impact: The Ripple Effects of Drunk Driving," the Bernie Mac Show "Sweet Home Chicago", and the Ricki Lake Show episode "Ephedra: Miracle Supplement or Deadline Drug?" MTV original movie "Wasted"; and biographical episodes of VH1's Behind the Music "Aerosmith" and The E! True Hollywood Story, "Andy Dick". Singer Kenny Chesney won for music entry, "The Good Stuff." The PRISM Awards television special premiered May 15, 2003 on Capitol Hill prior to the national airing on the FX network on May 25, 2003.


March 10-16, 2003: Brain Awareness Week
March 20-23, 2003: National Student Assistance Conference
March 21-25, 2003: American Counseling Association Annual Convention
March 27-30, 2003: National Science Teachers Association
April 2-5, 2003: Lonnie E. Mitchell Historic Black Colleges and Universities Substance Abuse Conference
April 11-15, 2003: Experimental Biology 2003
April 13-16, 2003: American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence
April 16-18, 2003: Association of Minority Health Professions School Annual Symposium on Career Opportunities in Biomedical Sciences
April 24-27, 2003: Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting
May 1-4, 2003: American Society of Addiction Medicine
May 17-22, 2003: American Psychiatric Association
May 27-31, 2003: American College Health Association
May 29 - June 1, 2003: American Psychological Society
June 14-19, 2003: College on Problems of Drug Dependence
June 20-22, 2003: National Congress of Parents and Teachers Association
June 22-25, 2003: BIO 2003 Annual Convention
June 27-29, 2003: Academy Health Annual Research Meeting
July 15-19, 2003: Association on Higher Education and Disability
July 27-30, 2003: 2003 National HIV Prevention Conference
July 30 - August 3, 2003: National Black Nurses Association
August 7-10, 2003: American Psychological Association Annual Convention

Dr. Eliot Stein, IRP, was interviewed for and his research was highlighted in the New York Times Television Science episode on Addictions.


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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